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Kedra Ishop

The differences we bring to institutions strengthen those institutions and our relationships within them, says Dr. Kedra Ishop, the vice provost for enrollment management at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Speaker, Dr. Ishop reviewed legal battles for racial and ethnic inclusion in higher education, from Plessy v. Ferguson, a 19th-century Supreme Court case that ruled public institutions may be “separate but equal,” to modern legal challenges to university admissions processes. Dr. Ishop serves on multiple national and international committees and advisory boards related to university diversity, affordability, assessment, admissions and enrollment. She holds three degrees from the University of Texas-Austin, where she began her career in admissions: a B.A. in sociology, a master of education in higher education administration, and a Ph.D. in educational administration.

“Who you are matters. The color of your skin matters, your economic background matters, your sexual identity matters, your political affiliation matters, and we should do our work to try to craft the diverse environments we are seeking. We are no longer using these things to keep people out, but to bring them in.”


Publishing stories: researching, interviewing, analyzing, reporting and responding—is challenging and in some cases, dangerous. Has the profession been affected by the wave of invectives, the efforts to sow mistrust, the drive to discredit journalists’ work? What seems difficult and what is rewarding about reporting on the world? Journalists are critical agents in helping us develop the awareness and the acuity to understand our world and to inform our choices.