Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want

Dr. Ruha Benjamin, Leseliey Welch

Join us as we welcome Dr. Ruha Benjamin to campus to discuss her newest book, Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want. In this talk, Dr. Benjamin draws on the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and introduces a micro-vision of change—a way of looking at the everyday ways people are working to combat unjust systems and build alternatives to the oppressive status quo. 

Born of a stubborn hopefulness and grounded in social analysis, Dr. Ruha Benjamin offers a pragmatic and poetic approach to fostering a more just and joyful world. Following the lecture, audience members will have a chance to participate in a community conversation and Q&A session facilitated by three time UM alum, Leseliey Welch.

This event is both online and in person. Light refreshments will be served at 11:30am, before the session begins. Please share any questions you have for Dr. Benjamin about her research, teaching, publications via this form.

Registration link

Summer Impact Internship Funding Application Due

Each summer, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer internships to MBAs and BBA juniors in the Ross School of Business as well as MPP students in the Ford School of Public Policy.
The application for these monetary awards has just opened and will be considered on a rolling basis until April 18th. Award decisions will be based on the level of need (taking into account other funding being received), consideration of the position, the organization’s impact, and the quality of the application.


Viral Justice: Teach-In and Discussion

Viral Justice: Teach-In and Discussion

Dr. Ruha Benjamin will be coming to Ross on March 14, 2023 to talk about her book, Viral Justice: How We Grow the World We Want. In anticipation of her visit, and to build our capacity for equity-centered knowledge, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting an in-person teach-in on February 20, 2023 from 11-12:30 PM in Blau 2560. Ross Adjunct Lecturer of Organization and Management and Business Consultant Dr. Valerie Myers and Inclusive Leaders Pathway Program Manager Dr. Elizabeth LaFray will give short talks on structural racism and the intersection of criminal justice, healthcare, and education in the United States. An interactive discussion will follow.  Lunch will be provided.

Registration link 

Undoing Racism Workgroup Meeting

The journey to dismantle racism has not ended. Join us to build community collaboration and continue the conversation about anti-racist practice. We invite all members of our school community to attend meetings.


So Cool So Just: Social Justice Organization Fair

The So Cool So Just (SCSJ) Organization Fair is hosted by the Community Action and Social Change (CASC) Undergraduate Minor and the Ginsberg Center. Since 2012, the fair has created space for organizations to connect with students seeking opportunities to get involved on campus, build community with other social justice organizations, and share activities and programs related to social change.

This year, we are planning an in-person fair at the School of Social Work convention room 1820. If you have questions, email for information.

If you are interested in attending, complete the RSVP below.


Open Road @ Ross 2023 Application

A group of students outside a minivan

Open Road is an action-based social entrepreneurship program taking place in May, where MBAs drive from state to state meeting socially- and environmentally-driven entrepreneurs. Students spend one week on-site in each location, working closely with the entrepreneur to provide a solution or recommendation to a business problem they are facing, then they move on to the next city and the next entrepreneur.
Open Road @ Ross is a student club powered by Ford Motor Company Foundation and co-sponsored by Business+Impact and the Zell Lurie Institute.

Apply now

Summer Impact Internship Funding Application

Man holding fruit outside a farm

Each summer, Business+Impact awards competitive grants for summer internships to MBAs and BBA juniors in the Ross School of Business as well as MPP students in the Ford School of Public Policy.
The application for these monetary awards has just opened and will be considered on a rolling basis until April 18th. Award decisions will be based on the level of need (taking into account other funding being received), consideration of the position, the organization’s impact, and the quality of the application.

Apply now 

Applebaum Family Philanthropy and Guests Guide +Impact Studio Founders and Applebaum Design Fellows During Special Visit

On Friday, December 9, 2022, representatives from Applebaum Family Philanthropy, Applebaum Ventures, and three expert advisors came to the +Impact Studio to provide feedback and advice to UM students in the +Impact Studio Founders and Applebaum Impact Design Fellows programs. Applebaum Family Philanthropy was represented by Pamela Applebaum (CEO & President of Applebaum Ventures and Applebaum Family Philanthropy), Andrew Echt (Chief Operating Officer of Applebaum Ventures and Director of Applebaum Family Philanthropy), Gabe Scharg (Director of Investments for Applebaum Ventures), and Julia Bleznak (Director of Applebaum Fellows and Community Development for Applebaum Family Philanthropy). Their guests included Veronika Scott (Founder and CEO of the Empowerment Plan), Kiana Wenzell (Co-Executive Director of Design Core Detroit), and Josh Sklar (Senior Product Manager at StockX).

Students Jarrad Henderson and Alex Perez-Garcia share ideas with Kiana Wenzell and Pamela Applebaum.

Students and professionals, and Business+Impact staffers began the day at 10 am with a hearty breakfast and mingling. This was followed by welcoming remarks from Business+Impact Faculty Director Jerry Davis, Managing Director Cat Johnson, and +Impact Studio Program Manager Loren Townes Jr., who facilitated introductions and descriptions of the student-led venture teams. Then student teams  met with Applebaum Family Philanthropy reps and guests in a round-robin series of breakouts. Students described where their ventures are, where they hope to go, and the challenges/goals through which they are working. Applebaum Family Philanthropy reps and their guests offered guidance, experience, and support. The event concluded around noon with final remarks and info-sharing.

This was all part of a special Community Coworking Friday called “Idea Day.”  These Coworking Fridays are designed to incubate and nurture innovative ideas and projects related to social impact — from taking ideas from concept to prototype to scale. Each week, student founders meet in the +Impact Studio to work on their ventures; collaborate on ideas; consult with Applebaum Impact Design fellows, faculty, staff, and special guests; and support one another. These Community Coworking Friday sessions have been extremely beneficial to the +Impact Studio entrepreneurial teams, positively impacting their social venture journey and even helping them unlock new insights.  Many students also say the sessions have assisted them in overcoming the unique challenges that solo entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams can face.

Current student ventures include:

Pop Up Docs aims to democratize visual storytelling by centering and educating diverse creators while building a capable community of talented, experienced, and influential storytellers. Founder: Jarrad Henderson (2023 Knight Wallace Fellow); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Alex Perez-Garcia (MBA/MPP 2024)

PILs Ventures seeks to cultivate generational health-and-wealth for one million people in the Black, Latinx, and other historically overlooked communities across STEM fields by 2033. Founder: George Okpamen (MBA 2023);  Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Grace Sanders (BBA 2023)

Bubble! Learn Science looks to improve the scientific  literacy skills of low-resource high school students and empower them to succeed in STEM careers. Founder: Rafee Mirza (LSA 2025); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Kelsey Hewett (MBA 2023)

Lifeboat is currently facilitating easier, safer, and more affordable gender-affirming medical procedures in the U.S. and abroad. Lifeboat believes that by building the infrastructure needed to facilitate domestic medical tourism, providers across the U.S. will be forced into cost competition, leading to better, higher quality, more affordable medical care for all Americans. Founder: Sasha Kolodkin (MSI/MBA 2024); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Carly Fink (MBA 2023)

Students George Okpamen and Grace Sanders share their plans with Gabe Scharg and Josh Sklar.

La Onda looks to create and foster community for Latinx individuals and reduce barriers to accessing mental health resources. Founder: Christian Ilarraza Colón (MBA/MPP 2023); Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Alejandra Fuentes (MPP 2023)

G2G: Grow Together eases the financial and emotional burden of individuals experiencing major life hardships (divorce, infertility, caregiving, life-threatening ailment) by offering an app-based platform with 1:1 financial coaching, financial education modules that uses story-telling & behavior change principles, and a community support forum.  Founder: Yasmin Abdulhadi (MBA 2023) Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Bridgit Jung (IS 2025)

CliMates goal is to have ten million people invested into climate action through time, energy and money by 2030. Co-Founders: Akhila Kosaraju (M.Des 2023), Isha Goel (MS Corporate Sustainability 2022) & Chris Okumura (BS, Electronics 2022);  Applebaum Impact Design Fellow: Grace Sanders (BBA 2023)



Paths of Protest: Histories of Student Activism on Campus

Paths of Protest poster

When the university fails, who steps up? Join the students of History 294/Amcult 301 for a historical campus walking tour about UMich student activism on Tuesday, December 6th at 1:00PM on the front steps of the Michigan Union. “Paths of Protest” disrupts university narratives of progress and instead centers students as the agents of change on campus. This hour-long tour includes stops at ten different historical campus sites, and free hot chocolate will be served afterwards.

Registration link

Can we fix business education to build equitable enterprises?

Business is by far the most popular college major in America. But are business schools training young people to build and lead more equitable enterprises, or churning out apparatchiks whose main function is to serve shareholders? An alarming recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that business school-educated executives do not improve corporate performance — but they do lower wages. Is business education inherently anti-labor and pro-investor? And how should business education change to meet the aspirations of Gen Z, which is more diverse, better educated, and far more progressive than prior generations?

This question has a new urgency today, as the basic structure of business is being fundamentally transformed by new technologies that have disrupted how companies raise capital, recruit and deploy labor, manage supply chains, and get products to customers.

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