Charles Schoder

2014 Civil Rights Activist


Charles Schoder is making a difference in the community by day, and is learning how to plan for a better future by night as he pursues his master’s degree in public administration at University of Michigan-Dearborn.

During the day, he promotes equality through his work with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, where he serves as an Arab American and Middle Eastern Community liaison.

“I believe I am a difference maker in our community because of my strong sense of commitment to issues of civil and human rights,” Charles said. “I am an impassioned public servant and strive to dedicate my professional and personal efforts to matters of diversity, inclusion and fairness.”

Charles received his undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University, where he maintained a 3.95 GPA and graduated summa cum laude. His academic achievements helped him launch his dream career.

“I truly feel blessed to be working in my dream career now,” Charles said. “However, it is not my title or compensation that I am most grateful for. It’s the ability to work doing what I love, helping others. Each progression throughout my career has been educational and enjoyable, including my nearly 10 years as an investigator with the department. My current position in the Community Relations Division, as a civil rights specialist, has been the most rewarding; feeling as though I am part of making Michigan a better place to live, work and play for all people.”

As a graduate student with a full-time job, Charles still finds time to participate in campus activities.

“Charles recently worked with Dr. Ann Lampkin-Williams to plan and host a community conversation event and panel discussion in the Fairlane Center, featuring Mayor O’Reilly, Police Chief Haddad, Associate Provost Ismael Ahmed and other community leaders in Dearborn,” said classmate and Greek Life Coordinator Kristin McDonough. “He is an energetic and extremely proficient member of our graduate student body. Charles is an excellent ambassador for UM-Dearborn and someone I know has truly made a difference.”