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Affiliated Law School Professor Earns Diversity Honor

April 18, 2011
Contact: John Masson, 734.647.7352,

The Law School's Prof. Martha Jones is one of six faculty members from across the University of Michigan to receive the 2011 Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award for developing cultural and ethnic diversity.

"This year's award recipients help the university promote diversity through activities that demonstrate intellectual excellence and commitment to cultural diversity in service, teaching, scholarship and creative activity," says Lester Monts, senior vice provost for academic affairs. "The University of Michigan community benefits from their dedication to diversity, which is an important part of our educational mission."

Established in 1996, the award, from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, is given in honor of Harold Johnson, dean emeritus of the School of Social Work. The award provides $5,000 to recipients to further research and scholarship opportunities. The honorees will be recognized at a ceremony and dinner May 2 at the Michigan League.

Jones, an affiliated LS&A faculty member at the Law School and an associate professor of history and Afroamerican studies, brought earlier training as a public-interest attorney in New York City to her teaching career.

Her course "Mapping Black Detroit: Race and Space and Citizenship in a Preā€“Civil War American City" takes up major themes of migration, urbanization, segregation, and unrest, engaging with primary historical sources along with the Geographic Information System, Adobe Illustrator, and Flash programming.

"This is a wonderfully concrete and exciting way to teach, earning her the admiration and gratitude of her students. It beautifully illustrates the bridges she builds from the classroom into the history and social life of southeast Michigan and the city of Detroit," Monts wrote in a nomination letter.

Jones is recognized for promoting intellectual excellence and a commitment to cultural diversity through a series of conferences and symposia and "Reframing the Color Line: Race and the Visual Culture of the Atlantic World," called the most successful William L. Clements Library exhibit in decades. It became the basis for 17 different U-M classes in the departments of history, English, history of art, and American culture; the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies (CAAS), and the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Earlier in April, Jones helped organize "'We Must First Take Account'," a conference on race, law, and history. She's also one of the core faculty members in the Law School's newly launched Program in Race, Law & History.

Other recipients this year included LS&A professors Crisca Bierwert, Deborah Carter, and Andrew Shyrock; and College of Engineering professors Avery Demond and James Holloway.


Information provided by The University Record.

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