Mary Jo Callan recently returned to school. As the director of the Edward Ginsberg Center at the University of Michigan, Mary Jo has resumed her efforts to prepare young people to work toward a more just community and world. The Ginsberg Center’s work in Washtenaw County, the Southeast Michigan region, and throughout the United States is aimed at advancing two goals – developing students while developing the community.
Mary Jo has spent her career working in partnership with youth and marginalized communities, to do her part to create pathways to promote equitable access to social, political, and economic power. She was the founding director of Washtenaw County’s Office of Community and Economic Development, where she led efforts to illuminate and address the growing disparities playing out across our community. Prior to her work in local government, Mary Jo worked in K-12 education and the nonprofit sectors, focusing on providing opportunities for youth and families, and on reforming systems to create social and economic integration and equity. She is committed to collaborating with others who share her passion to advance quality of life for all. Examples from all over the country demonstrate that healthy community members, with equitable access to opportunities and resources, are essential for vibrant and sustained community vitality.
Mary Jo has first-hand experience of the transformative power of community-engaged learning. She credits participation in both curricular and co-curricular service as an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of Michigan for igniting her passion for public service and social justice.