Wayne Law seeks racial equity research fellow in Detroit

The Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL), an initiative of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School, is advancing the cause of racial equity with the support of a $2.4 million grant awarded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in January 2018. The Keith Center is now seeking applications for a racial equity post-doctoral research fellow. Grounded in a methodology of systemic and structural racism, the researcher will analyze issues such as water shutoffs, equitable development, tax foreclosures, education justice, criminalization, state violence, othering and anti-blackness. 

The researcher will work closely with DEAL members in the community to collaboratively define research priorities, as well as to situate the analysis in the expertise of those actually working on and affected by these issues.

Applicants should possess the following qualifications:

  • Background and experience in issues of structural racism and racial equity
  • J.D. or Ph.D. in disciplines such as African American Studies, Indigenous Studies, Sociology, Public Health, Public Policy, Anthropology, History or Urban Studies
  • Experience in community-based participatory research
  • Ability to work effectively with community groups and organizations advancing racial equity
  • Outstanding research and writing ability
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Ability to navigate challenging situations with grace and willingness to be an agent for change 
  • Ability to work constructively and collaboratively as part of the DEAL team

The post-doctoral research fellow will be assigned a diverse range of tasks. They will be expected to work in the field with community partners to obtain a grassroots understanding of the issues and a strong sense of the needs of community members. This field work will be performed in a collaborative manner. Researchers will spend part of their time supporting cross-cutting DEAL projects in areas that overlap their research (such as water shutoffs, the implications of the commemoration of the 1967 Detroit rebellion, building counter-narratives). Each researcher will have a specific long-term research project, but also will be expected to take on shorter, more discrete projects responding to the real-time needs of our partners. Researchers will be required to collaborate with and seek the assistance of local and regional experts on their areas of interest.


Applicants should submit a cover letter, CV and the names and email addresses of three references.

The position will be open until filled.

Questions: peter.hammer@wayne.edu

Fields with asterisks (*) are required.

Include the name, email, phone number, title and organization for three references

Detroit Equity Action Lab

The Detroit Equity Action Lab promotes racial equity and justice by bringing together a multi-racial, intergenerational group of leaders and innovators working in the many dimensions of racial equity to address issues of structural racism in the greater Detroit area. Sectors and issues include arts and media, community development, law, and access to basic needs such as water, education, health and community care, a clean environment, food security, transportation and housing.

Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights

The Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School promotes the educational, economic and political power of underrepresented communities in urban settings.

Wayne State University Law School

Wayne State University Law School, located in the heart of Midtown Detroit, trains the next generation of lawyers, advocates and leaders. Unrivaled civil rights, entrepreneurship, environmental and international programs, and their related clinics, set Wayne Law apart as a community of advocates for justice committed to serving the public.

Training the next generation of lawyers, advocates and leaders

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