Jamila Michener to Lead the Cornell Center for Racial Justice and Equitable Futures

Jamila Michener, associate professor of government in the College of Arts and Sciences and senior associate dean of public engagement at the Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has been named the inaugural director of the university’s new Center for Racial Justice and Equitable Futures. Dr. Michener will begin her new role in January 2024.

“There is a tremendous breadth of scholarship across the university on issues of racism, indigeneity, ethnicity, and bias,” said Martha E. Pollack, president of Cornell University. “This new center, under Professor Michener’s leadership, will support and elevate that scholarship, advancing opportunities to break cycles of inequality and injustice.”

“I want to acknowledge that this is not an easy time to build a center to advance racial justice,” Dr. Michener said. “But precisely because this is a difficult time, it is a necessary time – when the world needs this most. This is exactly the right time. I’m looking forward to building this Center for Racial Justice and Equitable Futures and all it represents.”

Professor Michener added that “there are advocacy and community organizations and government agencies working to advance racial justice in the world. But what is Cornell’s place of comparative advantage? What can we contribute? Our critical resources are faculty and students. For the Center for Racial Justice and Equitable Futures, we can draw on the strength and brilliance of our faculty and on the passion and energy of our students to facilitate real progress in the face of the enduring challenges of racism.”

Dr. Michener earned her bachelor’s degree at Princeton University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago. She is the author of Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

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