In order to better carry out the mission and goals of the SOE’s dije strategic plan, a dedicated office and position was created to ensure stewardship of the dije plan in actionable ways. In April of 2019, David Humphrey, Jr. was appointed as Chief Diversity Officer in the newly established Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity.
As Chief Diversity Officer, David works with colleagues within and outside of the SOE to develop programming and initiatives that support faculty, staff and students in doing dije work. In his own words, the dije office is “responsible for stewarding the dije strategic plan and working with colleagues in the SOE and outside the SOE to develop programs and initiatives that expand our ability to think about, and through, difference in ourselves and in others. The role of this office is to give vision and insight to the ways in which we can become more justice-minded in our pursuit of preparing future educational leaders.”
As the SOE Chief Diversity Officer, David brings his entire self to each conversation, class program, and event. Passionate, energetic, inquisitive, and engaging are all words that describe David’s presence in the SOE community. A Detroit native, he is excited for the opportunity to continuously engage in dije work here at the University of Michigan because of a long-standing admiration of the University and its community engagement. As a father and a husband, David aspires to create spaces that are powered by radical love ethic. As a scholar and a practitioner, he believes dije work to be personal, soulful, and humanizing. This belief is evident in his powerful use of storytelling and narrative as a way to catch a glimpse into other ways of being.
Feeling called to this work, David has developed strong ideas about the need for his role and the vision for it over time. “I hope that one day this role is not needed. But the reality is that elite spaces were not created with certain bodies in mind. Because of this reality, my position is necessary in order to help us interrogate knowledge claims and reimagine a way to do education that positions education as an act of freedom.” Over time, David “hopes that the Chief Diversity Officer role continues to position itself as a voice that operates at the higher levels of our school to help think about ways in which policy and practice can be viewed through the lens of equity and can be more humanizing. I hope this position will operate in that way to the point that it is so ingrained in our norms that everyone is doing this job.”
The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity and the SOE community are both fortunate to have a Chief Diversity Officer who holds such strong ideas about—and commitments to—the dije work we are implementing here at the SOE.
MORE FROM Expansions Vol 3
The School of Education is proud to be a leader in the campus-wide initiative promoting Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Adding "Justice" to these values underscores the role of educators in the creation of just societies. Through research, public scholarship, community building, and the preparation of education practitioners and policymakers, we articulate and advance our dije agenda.