SPI is an organization that welcomes diverse voices, elevates the accomplishments of marginalized people, and advances racial equity and justice for all. Our vision is to reduce inequality in social, economic, health, and educational outcomes at the local, state, U.S. national, and global national levels through evidence-informed policy and practice. Inclusion is one of our key values.

The Social Policy Institute launched a diversity, equity and inclusion committee, compiled of staff and students from all departments, to ensure we live our values in every aspect of our work and day-to-day practices as an institute. This work is an ongoing priority for the Social Policy Institute as individuals and an organization.

Our committees are currently working on documenting our equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility goals and objectives. They will be posted here soon.

SPI Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Accesibility Committee

Committee Standing Members

Sarah Cowart, communications manager

Dan Ferris, associate director of education and training

Jenrose Fitzgerald, program coordinator

Katie Kristensen, program manager

Maggie Speck-Kern, operations manager

Dan Zhao post-doctoral research associate

Communications Working Group Members

The communications working group focuses on internally and externally documenting our values and activities related to championing diversity, equity and inclusion at SPI. This group will work closely with the other working groups to create a visible legacy of current strategies and guides for best practices moving forward. 

Abaki Beck, research manager

Martha Benduski, communications coordinator

Sarah Cowart, communications coordinator

Dan Zhao, post-doctoral research associate

Operations Working Group Members

The operations working group combines broad strategic visioning with narrower, action items in the areas of administration, organizational culture, feedback, hiring and supervision, professional development, and how we measure success across these efforts.  

Mary Acri, research associate professor

Grace Anderson, research assistant

Laura Brugger, data analyst III

Dan Ferris, associate director of education and training

Jason Jabbari, research assistant professor

Seamus Saunders, program coordinator

Maggie Speck-Kern, operations manager

Takeshi Terada, data analyst III

Fanice Thomas, associate director of policy and strategy

Community Engagement Working Group Members

The community engagement working group focuses on how we build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with a diverse range of community partners and organizations. This includes working collaboratively with community organizations, mobilizing university resources to benefit community partners in a meaningful way, incorporating participatory research practices where relevant, and providing research findings and educational materials in accessible formats.

Martha Benduski, communications Coordinator

Jenrose Fitzgerald, project coordinator

Sophia Fox-Dichter, data analyst II

Hayley Kalb, communications associate

Katie Kristensen, program manager

Esma Karakas, program coordinator