For this edition of "Staff Spotlight", a regular feature where we share things you may not know about IGR staff members, we sat down with IGR Associate Director (LSA) Roger B. Fisher.
In his role, Roger teaches training and practicum classes, directs IGR's partnership with the School of Social Work on the Summer Youth Dialogue Program, performs high-level administrative functions for IGR, trains K-12 professionals, consults with other Higher Education institutions on dialogue programs and works on special Student Life projects. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about Roger!
Where did you grow up and where did you go to college? I was born and raised in Detroit. I am a product of the 60's and 70's Motown experience. I came to the University of Michigan in the early 80's for undergraduate school and stayed for graduate school.
Why do you work for IGR? What feelings come up as you think about where you work? I am blessed to be a member of The Program on Intergroup Relations and to be able to do my work as a Social Justice Educator and Practitioner. To sum whatever aspirations, ambitions, or fondest hopes professionally and personally would be to contribute to the ending of human suffering caused by the misuse and abuse of power by other humans. I get to do that everyday in my role at IGR so everyday I have a sense of fulfillment.
Can you tell us about your family? My wife and I have raised wonderful adult children, and one teen, and now have the joy of a grandchild as a reward!
Do you have any particular role models in life? Several, like many people they are a combination of famous and intimate influences. I draw on the wisdom I have learned from Mandela, Grace Lee Boggs, Martin Luther King Jr., bell hooks, Robert Kennedy and Fannie Lou Hamer; but also, my mother, grandfather, football coaches, my partner and my children.
What social causes are close to your heart? Racial and economic justice. Also, educational opportunity.
If you had two weeks off and unlimited funds, and were told to use those for something that relates to your work, what would you use it for? Wow, I think developing and promoting grassroots empowerment and leadership at the neighborhood and community levels is where we realize sustainable social progress and social justice. So, helping to establish institutions, and identify individuals to lead them, that can promote that is how I would choose to spend those funds.
What do you do in your free time? I believe in investing my time not just spending it, so anything that contributes to well-being for myself, my family or my community is usually what gets my attention.