UM Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy: Safiya Merchant

Safiya Merchant

Safiya Merchant is a former journalist and communications professional focused on enhancing equity in K-12 education and improving mental health resources for families. Originally from Chicago, Safiya graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She previously worked as a government, crime and education reporter at the Daily Herald in the Chicago suburbs, and as a K-12 and higher education reporter for the Battle Creek Enquirer in West Michigan. At the Enquirer, she reported on school district consolidations, funding challenges and educational equity. Most recently, she worked as the senior staff writer for The University Record, the University of Michigan’s newspaper for faculty and staff. In that role, Safiya collaborated with several schools and departments to produce stories about university news, efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion on campus, and the impact of faculty and staff community engagement and scholarship. Safiya serves on the Millennial Board of Ann Arbor’s Ozone House, and is a volunteer for SafeHouse Center.