Michael Williams

I am a native of Detroit and a senior at the University of Michigan in the Honors program for Afroamerican and African Studies. As a Spirit of Detroit Award recipient, I dedicate my academic research as well as professional and community service involvement to better understanding urban and social inequality and working to fight against it. Thanks to the support of the Raoul Wallenberg International Summer Travel Award, I was able to participate in the Pedagogy of Action program in South Africa in May 2012. Sponsored by the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and led by Dr. Nesha Haniff, the program engaged me in the work of HIV-capacity building as I taught an oral methodology in HIV prevention at several primary schools, universities, research institutions, and community organizations throughout South Africa. This experience allowed me to return home with an enhanced perspective of what it means to be engaged in community- and self-empowerment, further inspiring my own passion for civic engagement in my hometown of Detroit.