Three people pose for a photo in front of a sign.

Supporting Internal Community-led Initiatives and Events

As part of its DEI efforts, the U-M School of Nursing supported the development of several new community-based student organizations including the Future Black Healthcare Professionals, Nursing Students of Color, a chapter of the American Association of Men In Nursing, LGBTQ Nursing, Disability Nursing Association, and the COPE Student Wellness Group. The school also launched a Culture Champions Organization to promote culture change and hosted several community-based events such as Brave Space and the Health Equity Speaker Series. These and other initiatives—which engaged large numbers of students, faculty and staff—provided opportunities for participants to create spaces of belonging, learning and community where knowledge and experience could be shared, and where stories could be heard with compassion and mutual respect. Over the course of DEI 1.0, UMSN saw consistent growth in participation for all events. That trend increased sharply during the pandemic and the months of virtual learning that ensued.

Unit: School of Nursing

A historical photo of two women climbing ladders beside each other for physical fitness

Moving Through the Centuries: The Empowerment of U-M Women Through Physical Activity

Held in celebration of U-M’s bicentennial, this event featured a panel discussion with faculty and staff along with an exhibit of photographs and memorabilia showcasing women engaged in physical activity. Partners in this venture included the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, Athletic Department, Bentley Historical Library and others. Designed to be informative, engaging and inspirational, the program:

  • Examined the myriad cultural challenges women have faced at U-M
  • Illuminated the hidden history of gender inequity on campus
  • Highlighted the ways in which physical activity has been an outlet for women’s mental, physical, social and psychological empowerment
  • Challenged both audience members and participants to be agents of change and advocates for girls and women in sports and physical activity

Above all, “Moving Through the Centuries” acknowledged and confronted the challenges of the past that were rooted in a pervasive, constrained and flawed gender ideology, and highlighted the possibilities for the future for women’s equity and empowerment at U-M, in all areas.

Unit: School of Kinesiology

A design where the word "M-PACT" masks an image of a diverse group of people

Rackham Professional Development DEI & Alumni M-Pact Certificate Programs

Since the launch of the Rackham Professional Development DEI Certificate in September 2017, numerous alumni have inquired about how they can become involved in DEI efforts at the university. In response, Rackham Graduate School and the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan (AAUM) created the Alumni M-Pact DEI Certificate Program—a four-week virtual, immersive, project-based diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice (DEIJ) program for alumni looking to make an immediate impact in their community and organizations. Participants submit an idea for an M-Pact project with a DEIJ focus and then work on their own professional development while simultaneously advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, sense of belonging and social justice efforts for individuals in their communities. The program was piloted in October 2021 with 61 alumni from all three U-M campuses and hailed from 18 different U.S. states. Alumni participants were graduates from all degree levels and were drawn from cohorts between 1969-2021. In addition, another 39 alumni volunteered to have coaching conversations with certificate program participants.

Unit: Rackham Graduate School

A person in a wheelchair speaks with another seated person

Rackham Graduate Students with Disabilities Needs Assessment

During a four-week period in winter 2020, Rackham Graduate School partnered with ADVANCE to conduct a first-in-the-nation study of the needs of graduate students with disabilities. Of the 1,070 students who responded to the survey, 349 identified as having a disability and 147 more felt they would benefit from accommodations. A semi-structured interview protocol was then developed to elicit the experience of participants related to the process of requesting, receiving and/or implementing and using accommodations at U-M. Students were diverse in terms of gender, race-ethnicity, fields of study and degree programs. Survey results suggest that U-M graduate students with disabilities face significant obstacles to having their needs met, including an unpleasant campus climate. Findings and recommendations generated by the report were posted on the Rackham website, and a case study was accepted for publication in A Practitioner’s Guide to Supporting Graduate and Professional Students (Routledge, 2022). Rackham and various campus partners are now enacting recommendations generated by the study and report.

Unit: Rackham Graduate School

Two researchers discuss their work in a lab setting

COVID-19 Disparities Assessment and Mitigation

COVID-19 had a disparate impact within the research community across gender, racial/ethnic, disciplines/fields and other areas. In August 2020, OVPR sought to assess and mitigate some of these impacts by creating a COVID-19 Research Disparities Committee to outline critical challenges and recommend short-term, low-cost strategies for immediate relief. In Fall 2021, OVPR sought to further understand the longer-term extent of COVID’s impact on researchers through a faculty survey and focus group discussions with faculty and Research Associate Deans. The report helped raise awareness and provide information to units that supported their work and decision-making (e.g., lifting financial restrictions on internal spending, supporting faculty tenure extensions, recovering time for research and teaching, building infrastructure/programs to help researchers with caregiving responsibilities).

Based on committee recommendations, OVPR advocated for U-M to:

  • Pull back research spending restrictions
  • Issue broad guidance on the operation of research cores during the pandemic
  • Institute no-cost extensions on all OVPR internal seed funding programs

In addition, OVPR and the Provost’s Office developed complementary programs to provide accessible funding for early- and mid-career faculty significantly impacted by COVID. They also launched a series of workshops that offered guidance and tools for continuing active grants, building capacity and regrowing research programs.

Unit: Office of the Vice President for Research

A diverse group of volunteers fill boxes with non-perishable food supplies

Diversifying the U-M Donor and Volunteer Base

Research shows that specific donor groups continue to be under-engaged at U-M and, on the whole, remain untapped constituencies despite their high potential and capacity to give. From FY17 through FY21, the Office of Development and its partners made significant progress in promoting more inclusive donor engagement practices focused on race, women (gender) and age. New programs, open to individuals regardless of background, include The Raise: Generations of Black Excellence, the Women’s Philanthropy Committee (WPC) and the NextGen Committee. With a more diverse donor and volunteer base, University Development hopes to increase support for DEI initiatives across all three U-M campuses by encouraging contributions to funds that align with donors’ specific interests and affiliations. Also, by diversifying the donor base, OUD diversifies the voices that may be invited to advise U-M decision-makers and strengthens the university’s position as a global leader in education and research.

Unit: Office of University Development

A laptop shows U-M's COVID-19 response website

COVID-19 Support for the University & An Enhanced Focus on Accessibility

The implementation of U-M’s DEI plan and the COVID-19 pandemic provided OVPC with both a mandate and an opportunity to focus on digital accessibility across all media. The sudden shift to remote work, communication and learning modes forced the unit to develop innovative digital strategies for promoting inclusion and equity and for making universal accessibility standard practice in all communications. Activities included:

  • Introducing a COVID-19 Key Issues page
  • Launching the Campus Maize & Blueprint website to communicate U-M plans and programs
  • Responding to thousands of inquiries from the campus community
  • Auditing all websites to assure accessibility
  • Conveying health and safety messages from U-M leadership
  • Working with the CDC, Washtenaw County Health Department and local, state and national officials
  • Disseminating materials to increase awareness and uptake of vaccines, mental health services and public health guidelines

This multi-year communications effort touched all aspects of campus life and helped ensure that the university’s mission continued throughout the pandemic.

Unit: Office of the Vice President for Communications

Veteran and Military-Connected Student Support

U-M views its military-affiliated members as a distinct population that broadens the diversity of campus life. Prospective and current military-connected students receive ongoing support through the Veteran and Military Services program (VMS), with services that include application assistance, help in accessing VA educational benefits, advocacy, referrals to local and campus resources and a peer-to-peer mentoring program called PAVE (Peer Advising for Veteran Education) that matches current student veterans with incoming student veterans to provide support and guidance throughout the academic year. In October 2019, OEM changed its residency requirements for military-connected students to include Chapter 31 and the Montgomery GI Bill. Chapter 31 assists veterans with service-connected disabilities to find and retain jobs, while the GI Bill helps qualifying veterans and their family members access educational grants and other resources. In 2022, U-M added Chapter 35, a VA benefit that makes all qualified dependents and survivors eligible for in-state tuition rates.

Unit: Office of Enrollment Management

Four people pose for a photo in front of a projected powerpoint slideshow

The Center for Educational Outreach

CEO supports and advances the university’s commitment to educational outreach by collaborating with faculty, staff and students to develop and implement effective outreach programs. The center offers high-level consulting services to the entire campus community, including students, faculty and staff/units as well as school and community partners when possible. CEO’s efforts prepare stakeholders to:

  • Coordinate successful programs
  • Engage with underserved communities
  • Connect with school and community partners
  • Secure external funding
  • Create new collaborations

Consulting options range from individual meetings and programming to workshops and training focused on DEI and effective public service practices. These outreach and consulting efforts include fostering partnerships between U-M faculty/staff and K-12 communities on projects that range from the development of K-12 program designs and evaluations to the expansion of existing outreach programs with a DEI lens. To date, CEO has conducted 350+ consultations supporting over 260 faculty and staff across more than 35 units and 17 schools and colleges.

Unit: The Center for Educational Outreach

The front of the UMMA building displays several "Black Lives Matter" signs

Development of the UMMA Commitment to Anti-Racist Action

Following the 2020 killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and the social justice movements during spring and summer 2020, UMMA developed and advanced a Commitment to Anti-Racist Action. In this statement, the museum vowed to stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and acknowledge that, like museums generally, UMMA has been a part of a history of structurally racist systems and systemic inequality This Commitment asserts that being an anti-racist museum means identifying and correcting inequities in structures, ideas, behaviors, systems and policies. It also describes actions UMMA will undertake to challenge and dismantle systems of oppression. By providing a platform for discussion, feedback, critique, collaboration and accountability, the Commitment has led to more intentional use of museum resources and collections as well as a deep shift in priorities, as exemplified in the 2022-2027 UMMA strategic plan which centers anti-racism as a guiding value. It also created a strategic filter for DEI work, providing measurable goals that will extend into DEI 2.0. Ongoing efforts are documented on the UMMA website.

Unit: Museum of Art (UMMA)

A laptop shows a metric tracking dashboard

Metric Tracking Dashboard

Dashboards created by Michigan Medicine are designed to track data that can identify gaps, monitor climate and create opportunities to embed diversity, equity and inclusion across the entire health system. The DEI Dashboard, launched in January 2019, is an interactive tool that combines workforce and cultural analytics in an easy-to-navigate format, resulting in clear indications of DEI impact. Dashboards tracking patient data help to identify areas that require educational interventions, clinical practice improvements and/or culture change. For example:

  • OBGYN-Tracks health-related outcomes across various markers of socioeconomic status
  • Emergency Medicine-Tracks inequities in health care throughout the ER
  • Anti-Racism Oversight Committee – Tracks deliverable progress and metrics of success

These dashboards have a direct impact by demonstrating the measurable results of MM’s efforts to increase the diversity of its workforce and patient population. They also serve as strategic reminders of the ultimate measure of diversity: who is invited to contribute to the realization of our mission.

Unit: Michigan Medicine

The words "Change it Up!" are displayed on a multicolored background

Change it Up – Anti-Black Racism Bystander Intervention

Change It Up! Anti-Black Racism Bystander Intervention Training (CiU-ABR) helps individuals engage around the topics of race, racism, anti-Black racism, systemic racism, internalized dominance, internalized oppression and racial microaggression while also providing context and history related to these topics. During CiU-ABR, participants learn various strategies to apply when experiencing harm. After 10.5 hours of rigorous training, facilitators are equipped to train community members to intervene when individuals are targets of microaggressions. Facilitators also become anti-racism allies in their spheres of influence, actively modeling appropriate responses to inappropriate behaviors. In the pilot phase, deans, department chairs and unit administrators completed the workshop and then recommended faculty and staff to serve as CiU-ABR workshop facilitators. A total of 34 facilitators were trained, including nine faculty members and 10 graduate students. During a two-year period ending in fall 2022, approximately 3,100 faculty, students and staff completed the workshop. The goal is for every member of the Michigan Engineering community to complete the training. Future suggested sessions include other groups/identities, such as anti-Asian and anti-Latinx.

Unit: College of Engineering

The CRLT players perform a show on an auditorium stage

CRLT Players Focus on Sexual Harassment

The CRLT Players developed two successful programs as part of the university’s efforts to create culture change to prevent sexual harassment:

Moving the Needle on Sexual Harassment challenges participants to expand their understanding of what sexual harassment is, how it impacts individuals and communities, and what they might do to alter the permissive status quo of institutional spaces. Three facilitated sessions are complemented by case studies and were performed for 49 academic units.

A program for leadership teams on Creating Climates Resistant to Sexual Harassment was originally offered as a daylong, in-person retreat that included research overviews, theatrical case studies and time to develop departmental plans. These sessions were attended by over 400 deans, chairs, and colleagues. In post-session evaluations, more than 88% of respondents rated the program as either Effective or Very Effective and said they were likely to apply what they learned to individual actions and unit processes. An online version was attended by over 450 leaders representing 117 leadership teams from 16 Ann Arbor schools and colleges, and two units each from Flint and Dearborn.

Unit: Center for Research on Learning & Teaching (CRLT)

A historical black and white photo of a group of African-American students at U-M

African American History Project

The African American Student History Project has been a multi-year effort to compile biographical information on all African American students who attended the University of Michigan from 1853 forward. It was officially launched in 2016 in anticipation of the university’s bicentennial. Bentley Director Terry McDonald authorized the project in order to provide more context and data about African Americans at U-M from 1817 to 1970. Through an exhaustive, ongoing process of research and verification, researchers identified almost 6,000 individual names and collected information on hometowns, local addresses, years of attendance, membership in campus organizations, degrees and fields of study. In addition to the database, the site provides a link to a collection of stories, autobiographies and biographies about some of the remarkable African American students who attended the university and the diverse nature of their experiences. For most of U-M’s history, these experiences were a combination of institutional barriers and the determination to overcome them.

Unit: Bentley Library