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Presented By: LSA Opportunity Hub

Hub Panel: Navigating your Identity in the Workplace

Judy Kehler, Ira Brandon Kameron Brackins, and Sheldon Johnson Judy Kehler, Ira Brandon Kameron Brackins, and Sheldon Johnson
Judy Kehler, Ira Brandon Kameron Brackins, and Sheldon Johnson
Have you ever had to wrestle with changing your name to assimilate at work? Or debated how to wear your hair to an interview? Maybe you’ve considered adjusting the way you speak, or which parts of your experience to share in your application materials? Join us for a virtual roundtable discussion with LSA alums that explore what it means to be authentically ourselves in the workplace and what happens if we face conflict or pushback in these situations.


You should attend this panel if you are:

Encountering instances when you feel unsure about expressing your full self at work
Looking to learn from others’ experiences so you can advocate for yourself, your peers, and your colleagues
What you’ll gain by attending:

Explore the tension between social and professional identities and understand how that can shape your experience in professional settings
Gain awareness of existing oppressions and privileges in the workplace and how to respond to challenges like these
Connect with LSA alums who can answer questions you have
Interaction Level: Low

Video and audio presence is not necessary
The event will mainly consist of passive viewing with the opportunity for small interactions like asking questions
NOTE: Students who cannot meet participation expectations are still encouraged to attend
About the panelists:


Kameron Brackins (English ’05), In-House Counsel at McKesson Specialty Health

Born and raised in Flint, Kameron earned her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 2005. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University in 2010 and now resides in Houston (Texas) where she serves as in-house counsel for McKesson, the leading healthcare company for wholesale medical supplies and equipment, pharmaceutical distribution, and healthcare technology solutions. In her free time, Kameron enjoys volunteering in her community, traveling the world, and spending time with family.


Sheldon Johnson (General Studies in Black Studies, Education, and Political Science ‘08), Vice President of Community Development at Community Building Partners

Sheldon’s life’s work is to build and sustain inclusive and equitable neighborhoods that allow all residents to thrive. Sheldon approaches this work with a lens of racial equity and addressing the social determinants of health. He currently serves as the Vice President of Community Development for Community Building Partners, an enterprise of Praxia Partners that works to empower communities through innovative collaboration with nonprofits and community organizations.


Sheldon is a 2008 LSA graduate of the University of Michigan where he received a Bachelors in General Studies with concentrations in Black Studies, Political Science, and Education. He also holds a Master of Public Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School.

Sheldon loves neighborhoods, vibrant public spaces, and believes that strengthening third places is a key ingredient for building a sense of community and the people's power necessary for social and political change. He lives in Columbus, OH with his wife, LC, his two children, Sheldon Junior and Karah, and a furry mutt named Huey.


Judy Kehler (General Studies ’98), Chief Strategy Officer for the City of Lansing

Born and raised in Lansing, Judy earned her General Studies degree from the University of Michigan. She now serves as the Chief Strategy Officer for her hometown. She recently obtained her Certified Public Funds Investment Manager (CPFIM), Advanced Certified Public Funds Investment Manager (ACPFIM), and Business Process Management (BPM) certifications. She also is a member of the Association for Strategic Planning.


Kehler served as the first woman and African American Treasurer & Income Tax Administrator during Mayor Hollister’s administration. Kehler’s past professional experiences include working for KPMG Peat Marwick as a Senior Management Consultant, as well as serving as Finance Director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Department of Environmental Health. Kehler returned to the City of Lansing as the City Treasurer and Income Tax Administrator in April 2019.


Ira Brandon (History ‘16), CX Solution Designer for North American SMB Solution Engineering at Oracle

Ira Brandon III is a 2016 LSA graduate who during his time at the University of Michigan, majored in History and minored in Music. He was a three-year member of the Michigan Marching Band and a four-year member of the Michigan Cheer Team, with whom he won four consecutive National Championships. Since graduating, Ira has worked at Oracle in Austin (Texas) and currently works as a Solution Engineer for North American Applications. In the meantime, Ira has also served LSA students with professional development support related to career fairs, interview prep, and virtual discussions. In his free time, he enjoys playing bass guitar, roughhousing with his Golden Doodle, Ginger, and working outside.


Jenna Cortis (Communication & French ‘11), Development Assistant at Twentieth Century Fox


Jenna Cortis is a queer television writer, comedian, and podcaster living in Los Angeles. A native Michigander, she began her quest for the stage in high school when she enrolled in classes at The Second City Detroit. Later on, she dabbled in stand-up comedy, eventually competing in The University of Michigan's Funniest Student on Campus competition in 2011.


In 2012, Jenna moved from Chicago to Vegas for a teaching post while also performing at comedy venues both on and off the strip. She also headlined the Vegas HER event in support of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). In 2016, she moved to Los Angeles to perform stand-up and pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a TV writer. Jenna teamed up with Kevin Sullivan to create the podcast Two Broke Gays which provides a platform to LGBTQ+ emerging artists. She also co-wrote Generation Z which received numerous short content awards. Jenna currently works at Twentieth Century Fox as a development assistant where she provides project support and reviews original pitches. Aside from writing profusely, Jenna loves to watch reality TV with her friends, FaceTime her parents relentlessly, and lay on top of her pekilear, Malone.


Cindy Lin (Political Science and Asian Studies ‘20), Organizing Director for David for NYC Comptroller Campaign

Cindy Lin is an organizer and has spent her entire young-adult life working in government and electoral politics to ensure racial justice for all marginalized communities. After graduating from Michigan in May 2020 with a degree in Political Science, she worked on two national campaigns back to back as a field organizer recruiting and managing volunteer teams. Cindy was on the ground with the Michigan Democratic Party where she helped flip Michigan blue during the General Election and then organized Georgia’s virtual field team program where she helped flip Georgia and the United States Senate blue as well. Currently, she is the Organizing Director at David for NYC Comptroller, where she is executing a robust field plan on a competitive citywide race in her hometown of New York.



The LSA Opportunity Hub aims to deliver inclusive and accessible experiences and welcomes all LSA students to participate. This event will be hosted on Zoom (learn more about Zoom accessibility) and can be accessed by phone or computer. Presentation materials may be shared in advance if requested, and live captioning will be provided. To request other accommodations please contact Paige Baker at paigebak@umich.edu or 734.763.4674. so we can make arrangements.
Judy Kehler, Ira Brandon Kameron Brackins, and Sheldon Johnson Judy Kehler, Ira Brandon Kameron Brackins, and Sheldon Johnson
Judy Kehler, Ira Brandon Kameron Brackins, and Sheldon Johnson

Livestream Information

 Livestream
March 31, 2021 (Wednesday) 5:00pm
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