Endings and New Beginnings

Today marks my last day as Program Coordinator of The Future Public Health Leaders Program (FPHLP) at The University of Michigan School of Public Health.

This winter I will continue my education in a Post-Master’s Certificate Program (PMC) in Higher Education Administration and Educational Leadership at Oakland University with later plans to matriculate into the doctoral program.

This is will be my first step as part of a larger process of furthering my development and capacity to advance the cause of equity and inclusion at colleges and universities, and the surrounding communities which they inhabit.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve with my team these past 2 years and witness the life-changing impact that FPHLP has had on our alumni.

Helping them to find their way, and to realize that they can succeed and contribute to changing their world despite the many messages they might receive which say the opposite has been a strong part of our work, and although it is an ongoing process, I leave with a sense of peace and appreciation knowing that I, with my team, have contributed to fostering such positive transformation within our students.

I accept that my contribution has had and will have positive rippling effects beyond those that I might be able to see, and I carry this understanding with me as I transition.

My experience with the FPHLP team and our students has reminded me that none of us can do it by ourselves. It has re-affirmed to me the importance of interdependence, interconnectedness, and the power that lies in believing in people, and using whatever you have, wherever you are to open doors and provide them with opportunities to become more of who they were meant to be.

I look forward to what comes next.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW

Relando Thompkins-Jones

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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