Promoting Social Justice and Equity for Sexual and Gender Diverse Communities

The Wayne State University School of Social Work is proud to launch our 2023-2024 community series, "Promoting Social Justice and Equity for Sexual and Gender Diverse Communities". This series is designed to help social workers, students, faculty, staff, and community members develop a critically conscious awareness regarding the lived experiences of transgender and gender diverse individuals. We encourage all to join us for this three-part series of open, respectful, and enlightening conversations. Social Work continuing education credits will be offered at each event. 

Event #1: Health Equity and Access in Transgender Communities in a Time of Changing Policies

Thursday, October 26, 2023
3:30 - 5:00 pm EST
The Thompson #105 Multi-Purpose Room

(4756 Cass Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201)

RSVP now

Event flyer

We request that attendees submit questions for the Q&A portion of the event via the RSVP form. 

Cost to Attend: Free

Continuing Education: 1.5 Social Work CECH's are available for a cost of $10

The first event in this series, our annual Edith Harris Endowed Memorial Lecture, is a discussion of health equity and access in Detroit’s transgender communities. We will be examining the changing landscape for health access for transgender communities in the U.S. and discussing innovations in health care organizations working to serve the needs of these communities.


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Julisa Abad is the Director of Transgender Outreach and Advocacy at Fair Michigan. The Fair Michigan Justice Project seeks to create a safer environment for transgender persons in the Detroit Metro area by investigating and prosecuting hate crimes against transgender individuals. They go into the communities and reach out to victims and witnesses in their own neighborhoods where they feel safer. They help them through the prosecution process, which in turn, gets violent hate crime perpetrators off the streets.

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Rachel Crandall-Crocker, LMSW, Executive Director and Co-founder of Transgender Michigan. Crandall Crocker is a licensed psychotherapist specializing in transgender issues. She is also an international transgender activist, and the founder and organizer of the International Transgender Day of Visibility. Crandall Crocker has consulted for corporations, government agencies, and universities. She runs the Transgender Michigan help line which is the first transgender help line in the US. 

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Layton “Mykell” Price, CDE, CDP, CDR, Director of Talent, Equity, and Inclusion at the Ruth Ellis Center, has over 15 years’ experience of leading and growing the global diversity and inclusion landscape for multiple local and national nonprofit industry leaders. Price has developed and managed programs for individuals from diverse backgrounds with a focus on LGBTQ+ identities, BIPOC, homelessness, disability, and other historically marginalized experiences. Price leads the Ruth Ellis Center’s organizational diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic initiatives. Addressing social determinants of health with a focus on economic stability, he directs REC’s employee experience department and career readiness programming, Mykell also serves on the board at Student Advocacy Center of Michigan and the Dismantling Oppression continuing education advisory committee at University of Michigan’s school of social work.

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Emme Zanotti, Director of Advocacy & Civic Engagement at Equality Michigan, will serve as moderator at this event. In her current role at the largest statewide nonprofit dedicated to LGBTQ+ advancement, Zanotti oversees all of the voter engagement programs, legislative advocacy tactics, and a robust network of volunteers across the state. Prior to her time at Equality Michigan, she served as a national DE&I manager in the private sector, was appointed board treasurer at Stand with Trans and a co-chair of the statewide #HateWontWin coalition, ran candidate campaigns for public office, and was elected as the vice chair of the Michigan Democratic Party’s LGBT&A Caucus. 

Save the Date

  • Event #2: Embracing Diverse Perspectives and Addressing Sexual Fluidity on Thursday, March 7, 2024 from 3:30 - 5:00 pm on Zoom
  • Event #3: Legislative Milestones: Understanding LBGTQ+ inclusive policies, exploring anti-discrimination laws, and empowering LBGTQ+ communities on Thursday, April 4, 2024 from 3:30 - 5:00 pm on Zoom