Shani Abiona Campbell

Shani is a policy professional, DEI leader, and educator with experience working in strategic planning, international education admissions, homelessness policy,  and organizational change, in both public and private sectors. Currently, Shani works as DEI & Outreach Lead for The Aerospace Engineering Program at the University of Michigan. Ms. Campbell aspires to serve as a leader for a philanthropic or non-profit organization focused on eradicating poverty, with an emphasis on homelessness and affordable housing. 

Shani began her journey into DEI, social justice and anti-racism work as a research assistant for the Diversity Research & Policy Program under the leadership of social psychologist Dr. Philip  Bowman, professor of higher education at the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor.  In this role, her team completed the program evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Research Scholars Program. Simultaneously, Shani worked as a social justice education course facilitator for the Program on Intergroup Relations, as well as serving as  the strategic planning implementation assistant at the University of Michigan’s Office of Diversity,  Equity, and Inclusion, where she researched best practices to build employee retention practices that are evidence-based and data-driven.  

Shani is a graduate of the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and minor African American studies in 2015. During her years at Michigan, she was heavily involved in programs and organizations including the Sexual Assault Prevention & Awareness Center, where Shani lead as a volunteer and survivor support group facilitator.. Additionally, Shani gained experience as  a research assistant for Dr. Tabbye Chavous at the Center for the study of black youth in context, where she researched the experience of Black students and social movement building at predominantly white institutions. Shani continued her work as a student researcher during her study abroad program in the Masai Mara, Kenya, completing field research of  women entrepreneurs within the ecotourism industry of Kenya.  In her spare time, she served as a mentor in the Leaders and Best program, and worked as a teaching assistant for the summer bridge program. In between her degree programs, Shani was an international education admissions representative for private K12 schools based in the United States, and also completed an AmeriCorps service year in Washington, D.C. Shani later returned to the University of Michigan to complete a masters of arts degree in higher education administration. In her spare time, Shani researches affordable housing projects, and works on small DIY projects at her duplex. Utilizing her knowledge of homelessness and affordable housing, Shani dreams of one day owning and operating a large portfolio of affordable single and multi family homes for working class families in Detroit. She also spends time volunteering for the Cooperman College Scholars program, a dynamic organization creating pathways to higher education for New Jersey high schoolers. During her time as a National Urban Fellow, Shani is most interested in exploring the field of Philanthropy and opportunities within social impact focused organizations, while learning new methods of persuasion for social change.