As the director of the Ginsberg Center, Mary Jo is responsible for leading the center’s efforts to promote civic engagement at U-M and foster equitable service, teaching, and research partnerships between U-M and communities.
In partnerships with youth and communities, Mary Jo Callan has spent her career working to advance equitable access to social, political, and economic power. She served in K-12 schools, local governments, and nonprofits prior to coming to U of M. Her time at Ozone House, a youth development and housing organization, was particularly formative as she learned alongside young people to stand up, organize, and persist for change. As the founding director of Washtenaw County’s Office of Community and Economic Development, she led cross-sector efforts to collectively address the growing racial and economic inequities playing out across our region.
At the Ginsberg Center, Mary Jo is continuing her efforts to work with others to create a more just world. The Ginsberg Center’s community and civic engagement work supports student service and faculty teaching and research to come to bear on pressing social and community concerns. Like her colleagues at Ginsberg, Mary Jo is wholeheartedly dedicated to partnering with others who want to help build healthy and vibrant communities by advancing opportunities for everyone to thrive.
Mary Jo earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Michigan, where her participation in curricular and co-curricular community engagement ignited her passion for public service toward social justice. She earned her doctorate in educational policy and leadership at the College of William and Mary.
In addition to her role at the Ginsberg Center, Mary Jo is a strategic advisor on academic partnerships for U-M’s Division of Student Life, and an adjunct lecturer in U-M’s School of Social Work.
Contact Mary Jo if you want to learn more about:
- Partnership, collective action, and coalition-building
- Assessment and research on how university community-engaged teaching, research, and service impacts community partners
- Strategic approaches to civic engagement and education for democracy
- Equitable leadership practices
- Partnerships with the Ginsberg Center