Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

February 08, 2016 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



Best-selling author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson talks about his experiences with race and business at the Alfred L. Edwards Conference at

Robertson Auditorium on Friday.

The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Monday, February 8, 2016 — 3A

Wednesday they were investigat-
ing ROK’s original plan to meet
up, but did not release a statement
after the cancellation.

AAPD Sergeant Patrick Magu-

ire said though the backlash
against the meet-up took place
primarily online, AAPD officers
still needed to monitor real-life

outside Nickel’s Arcade, ROK’s
proposed assembly point in Ann
Arbor on Saturday night, but said
aside from a few protesters inside
the arcade, the space was fairly
quiet throughout the night.

“We’re just keeping an eye on

things tonight,” he said.

A majority of attendees at the

rally were local community mem-
bers and activists. Groups used
the rally to promote other wom-

en’s rights issues — many carried
signs for Planned Parenthood and
Students for Choice. Second-year
law student Dana Ziegler, member
of Law Students for Reproductive
Justice, said it was important for
her organization to stand united
with those at the rally.

“We saw that the undergrads

had organized this event, and saw
it as a great opportunity to turn
it around into an educational and
positive event, ” she said. “It’s
important not to just talk about
this event as a reaction to this
group, but as a reaction to the
prevalent sexism in our society.”

Multiple protesters also spoke

of lending their voices to the cause
as individuals. Ann Arbor resident
Chris Thomas said it was impor-
tant for him as a Black man to

“Utilizing the support networks

that are built between things like
Black Lives Matter and the femi-

nist movement brings about a bet-
ter place for everyone,” he said.
“As we all sort of gain rights, we
gain a better world.”

The rally drew protesters from

communities as far as Lansing and
Detroit, many of whom spoke dur-
ing the rally’s slate of speakers or
as part of an open-mic speakout-
style session. The Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center
staffed a debriefing room in the
Michigan League for the dura-
tion of the event, and organizers
repeatedly referred to the rally as
a “safe space.”

Though multiple speakers did

touch on prevailing issues of vio-
lence against women, the occasion
ultimately celebrated feminists’
rights and the women present at
the event.

“Tonight, our kings are in caves,

it seems,” one attendee chanted
from the crowd during a speaker.
“We won.”

to sharing a few lyrics from classic
hip-hop songs. The lecture, howev-
er, mainly focused on the relation-
ship between business and social
movements and a legacy of leader-
ship, which was the theme of the

The Detroit native had a lot to

say about the importance of being
authentic in business and social
movements; he cited himself as an

“I’ve got to be who I am, talk like

I do, cite some blues lyrics, some
Shakespeare, some hip-hop, some
great poetry, some Black preach-
ing, some country music — which I
love very greatly — and that is who
am and that is why I am comfort-
able doing what I do and express-
ing the full range of my identity as
much as my gifts will allow me,”
Dyson said.

Dyson also talked about the

importance of knowing how to
“code switch” as a person of color
in the business world and shared
with the audience advice he gave
to his own son. Code switching
refers to when a speaker alternates
between two different forms of
speech, which can mean either
switching dialects or languages.

“When you’re working in busi-

ness you’ve got to be the most noble
sellout you know how to be,” he

He emphasized that he didn’t

want to overstate the importance of
race, noting that people are diverse
in many ways, but said individuals
shouldn’t be afraid to be who they
are, even in professional situations.

“There is something to be said

for coming from a society where
the experiences of our culture
have been limited according to
artificial barriers like race, class,
sexual orientation and gender and
the like,” Dyson said. “So at the
end of the day it makes a differ-
ence, and yes, business does have
a role to play in the distribution
of justice and the application of
it, both in a board room, both in
the corporate culture, and in the
broader society that those corpo-
rations or businesses or conglom-
erates or startups affect.”

Victor Olowu, a Chicago resi-

dent attending the conference,
said he thought that Dyson was
amazing, albeit unconventional,
and he felt he took a lot away
from the talk. Olowu was espe-
cially impacted by Dyson’s story
of General Motors’ actions in the
Flint water crisis, where the com-
pany switched from Flint River
water back to Lake Huron water
in Oct. 2014 due to fear of its cor-
rosion, much before the city itself
changed its water supply a year
later. The initial change to Flint
river water occurred in April 2014.

“Businesses should make their

stance on ethical issues known,
regardless of the financial con-
sequences,” Olowu said. “Com-
panies should think about the
communities around them and
how their actions affect them.”

The annual conference is host-

ed by the Black Business Students
Association and is the longest-
running student-led conference on
campus. Business senior Giancarlo
Moise, a member of the BBSA, said
he felt the conference was impor-
tant to students because they were
able to get advice from individuals
with a range of experiences.

“(The speakers) have met so

many influential people through-
out their life — they had been
shaped by so many different
things, and we can experience
that by listening to them,” he said.


Abney, who is also a member of
BBSA, said the student organiza-
tion and the conference have had
a profound impact on his educa-
tional experience.

“Especially the MBA is much

more than a classroom experi-
ence,” Abney said. “It’s the dif-
ferent people that you’re meeting,
the different groups that you are
involved in, the different cultures
that you’re exposed to and bring-
ing that into business.”

Moise agreed.
“I thought it was powerful

that many of our classmates who
weren’t African American were
there sitting next to us,” he said.
“BBSA has had an impact outside
of just students of color within the
Ross community. When our dean,
Alison Davis-Blake, talked about
the Black Lives Matter vigil, that
was powerful for all of us, and that
was powerful because it wasn’t
just the BBSA students that were
there — everyone stood up in soli-
darity for that movement.”

Both students said they thought

the talk was inspiring and made
them more optimistic about find-
ing ethical companies to work for

“To a certain degree, busi-

ness needs to lead a lot of change,
because business is given a plat-
form,” Abney said. “Especially
for successful businesses — it’s
just like anything else, if you are a
celebrity, or a politician or an ath-
lete, you are given a platform and a
means to reach people in order to
create some type of change.”

From Page 1A

infertile or unable to have chil-
dren,” she said. “In the phrasing
of their recommendations they
just said any young women who
are having sex and not on birth
control need to be worried about
being pregnant, which obviously
isn’t factual. It just marginalizes
a lot of people who are already
excluded from the mainstream.”

One of the concerns cited in the

CDC’s recommendation was the
number of unplanned pregnan-
cies in the United States, mean-
ing women may not be aware that
they are pregnant and at risk of
giving their newborns fetal alco-

hol syndrome. Bailey said about 50
percent of pregnancies are unin-
tended, a fact the CDC empha-
sized as a reason for restricting
alcohol use if women are not using
a form of birth control.

Bailey said though avoiding

alcohol makes sense for women
planning a pregnancy, there is

for the true effects of drinking
on fetuses, and noted the CDC’s
approach is severe.

“Fetal alcohol syndrome is a

real thing,” she said. “As far as
we know, fetal alcohol syndrome
occurs in women who are drink-
ing very large amounts of alcohol,
like a fifth a day. Even of those
women who are chronic alcohol-
ics who drink that much, not all

children that they give birth to
while they’re consuming that
alcohol are going to have fetal
alcohol syndrome. We don’t really
know what is different in each
gestating embryo and fetus.”

She added that other countries

have different approaches to alco-
hol during sexually active times
for women as well as for preg-
nancy. This, she said, adds to the
discrepancies surrounding the
true risk associated with alcohol

“There’s never been data that

people support across the board
that says ‘this is a safe amount’
in the United States,” she said.

children can lead to developmen-
tal issues and can cause behav-
ioral problems and affect future
academic performance.

“This is no time for politics as

usual,” she said. “Flint should be
able to start making the repairs
you need to have clean water as
soon as possible. We need to do
so much more to provide health
care and educational support for
Flint’s children.”

Clinton talked about lead

poisoning as an issue affecting
communities across the coun-
try, citing her work dealing with
lead-based paint exposure dur-
ing her tenure as one of New
York’s senators.

She said she would stand by

the Flint community and fight to
ensure they are taken care of.

“As a senator I fought for chil-

dren,” she said. “I will fight for
you in Flint no matter how long
it takes.”

Citing an amendment to a

bipartisan energy bill proposed
by Senator Gary Peters (D–
Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow (D–
Mich.) — which would provide
$200 million in federal fund-
ing for Flint — Clinton said she
supported legislation aimed at
assisting the city.

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint)

also recently sponsored compre-
hensive legislation, which would
provide $765 million in federal
funding to Flint for both short-
term infrastructure repairs and
long-term support for affected
children. The bill additionally
requires the state to match every
dollar provided by the federal
government with state funding.

In an interview Sunday Kildee

said he thought Clinton’s sup-

port helps raise the issue to the
national level it needs to get the
proper response.

“I think her presence helps

elevate this to the national
issue it should be at,” he said.
“A national issue is a legiti-
mate issue that Congress should
take up. The moral outrage that
people feel that she expresses
doesn’t mean anything if it’s not
translated to help for the people
of Flint, and that’s the message
that she helped deliver.”

Flint resident Laura Henry

said she believes Clinton will
help ensure Flint will receive the
support it needs to get through
the crisis.

“I think it was very nice of

her to come,” she said. “It was
an awesome experience. I think
she is going to look out for us. She
is going to do the best she can to
make sure we get all of the help
and resources we need.”

From Page 1A

ment, students could be facing
something there that students in
the economics department aren’t.
That’s just how LSA pans out.”

LSA junior Jacqueline Saplicki

Lausell said she found the forum
productive and was inspired by
some of the discussions she had.

“It’s humbling to always see

that people want to give back to
their communities in ways that
won’t only benefit themselves,”
she said. “The question of inclu-
sivity is something that this cam-
pus has struggled with and what
I found very impactful from this
discussion is that we as students
are looking for several ways to
combat problems that have arisen
in the general cookie-cutter mod-
els of education systems.”

LSA senior Jessica Feather said

she felt motivated after the forum
to become more involved in the
campus community before she

“I’m really excited that I’m not

the only one who sees issues on
this campus, nor am I the only
one who experiences them,” she
said. “Of course, a lot of my expe-
riences aren’t the same as others’,
but I like how we can express
solidarity and really connect
with each other in such a safe
space and actually develop ideas
for what can tangibly promote
change on campus.”

Feather added that the forum

made her feel more connected to
the campus community.

“There is a community that

I’ve missed out on but can also
still connect to,” she said. “I’ve
also come away with the under-
standing that my school does care
about me and students do care
about each other, which is really
heartwarming and relieving in a

ing that she hopes students will
consider not only the theme
#WhoWillBeNext but also who
will be now.

“Here we are today in the

midst of one of the largest acts
of injustice on a community
for quite some time,” Borrego
said. “It wouldn’t be completely
accurate to say this is new.”

Outlining other instances of

environmental injustice, such
as contamination of water and
improper waste disposal, she
said then disproportionately
affected low-income communi-
ties due to their lack of political

She ultimately urged stu-

dents to collaborate with each
other and consider ways in
which they could positively and
respectfully impact the Flint

“The consciousness that we

bring to this work always has
to be ‘What’s our relationship
to power in the community?’
— ‘what’s our relationship to
power in our daily lives?’ ”
Borrego said. “How do we not
exploit a people but use our
power and resources to make
more space?”

Following Borrego’s address,



community engagement and
networking, and focusing on a
different campus issue.

At the workshop on workers’

rights, students from the Uni-
versity’s chapter of Fight for
15, a student organization dedi-
cated to encouraging the Uni-
versity to raise minimum wage
for its student and non-student
workers to $15, gave a presen-
tation on their cross-campus
work between the Ann Arbor

and Dearborn campuses.

LSA junior Rebecca Wren,

a member of Fight for 15, said
she hopes the workshop will
encourage students from the
University’s other campuses to
engage with the organization
in the future. The organization
is currently active on both the
Ann Arbor and Dearborn cam-

“One of the most rewarding

experiences of doing the cam-
paign is meeting the Dearborn
students because I think there
is a lot of isolation from the
campuses in general,” Wren
said, attributing the barrier
between the Ann Arbor and
Dearborn campuses to a lack
of transportation.

“If more things could bring

the campuses together, I think
that would be really great for
students to see the differenc-
es in their campuses but also
see the similarities we have
together as students,” Wren

Teia McGahey, a junior in

the College of Arts, Sciences
and Letters at the University’s
Dearborn campus, who is also
involved in Fight for 15, echoed
Wren’s optimism.

“I thought today’s conversa-

tion went really well. I think it
just sort of reflects the whole
conference — the power of
bringing the three campuses
together,” McGahey said. “A
big part of why I’m here is
student power, and knowing
how much we can get done if
we work together, and finally
being able to bridge the gaps
between Dearborn, Ann Arbor
and Flint to really make big
changes on our campuses and
hopefully reflect the changes
that students want to see for
the future.”

Read more at MichiganDaily.com

From Page 2A

From Page 1A

From Page 1A

Read more at MichiganDaily.com

From Page 1A

Back to Top

© 2024 Regents of the University of Michigan