In the 21st century, university students across the United States and UM-Flint will be increasingly diverse, increasingly socially engaged and aware, and increasingly technology and information-sharing oriented. In less than 30 years, the majority of the U.S. population will be people of color and in less than 25 years, the majority of workers in the nation will be people of color. Experience working in diverse contexts will be a top-five work-related competency that employers will look for in the next five years. Finally, in the 21st century, projections indicate that margins of inequality could increase across race, class, and gender unless the next generation is committed and prepared to positively change our trajectory. In the spirit of the students who founded the ICC and the staff and administration that worked to establish it, we intend to fully commit ourselves to making sure that our students are fully prepared to make that positive change.
Welcome to Intercultural Center
What is a Land Acknowledgement
A land acknowledgement is a formal statement, and a small but meaningful gesture to recognize indigenous populations and their relationship to the land. It serves as an effort to call attention to the important historical and contemporary relationships of Native inhabitants who were traditional stewards of the land. While it may seem inadequate in many ways, to simply make mention of the painful history of violent oppression of Native populations connected to this land, it is even less adequate to avoid the acknowledgement altogether.
Land acknowledgements usually occur at the beginning of a formal or informal gathering, and have become normative in numerous other countries around the world. Our hope is that use of the land acknowledgement we are providing becomes normative at the University of Michigan-Flint at all events, and spreads from there.
This land acknowledgement has been developed through conversations with several faculty members as well as Indigenous students, alumni, and community members. With that said, we welcome any feedback on this acknowledgement; you can leave your feedback by clicking here.
We would like to acknowledge that the land we are meeting on today is the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary homeland of many Indigenous nations, most recently the Anishinabek (including Potawatomi, Chippewa/Ojibwe, and Odawa) tribal nations.
We acknowledge the painful history of genocide, forced relocation, and removal of many from this territory, and we honor and respect the many Indigenous people, including those of the Three Fires Alliance, who are still connected to this land on which we gather.
The Intercultural Center (ICC) opened on October 21, 2014, in response to the requests from various cultural student organizations that expressed a need for a space focused on supporting the work of their organizations and educational programming related to issues of cultural competency and centering marginalized identities, especially people of color. There was a focus on creating spaces for critical dialogues and fostering an increasingly inclusive environment at UM-Flint. In the spirit of inclusion, everyone is welcome at the ICC and at all ICC events and programs.
The work of the ICC is built on the foundation of social justice and upheld by three pillars: belonging, advocacy, and education. Everything that comes from the ICC aligns with one or more of these pillars.
Advancing social justice and intercultural understanding at the University of Michigan-Flint by promoting belonging, advocacy, and co-curricular education.
The Intercultural Center (ICC) at the University of Michigan-Flint is centered on the needs and experiences of people of color and other marginalized people, especially students, at the University. The work done through the ICC has three primary purposes:
- Improving access and sense of belonging,
- Improving retention of students and helping to advance and advocate for policies that improve campus climate, and
- Educating the campus community about power, privilege, social justice, systemic racism, and other key concepts to cultivate an environment of elevated cultural competence.
This work is done through programming, policy advocacy, workshops, and extensive collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and members of the university community, on the foundation of social justice. Everyone is welcome.
Student Success - Cultivate experiences that are essential elements to retention and success for students that are underserved in the population
Justice - Serve as an advocate for an inclusive campus environment, and for all students to realize that they are a valued part of the UM-Flint community
Collaboration - Develop strong, diverse collaborations with the university and beyond, partnering with a variety of entities to reach a broad constituency
Outreach - Connect students across social and cultural boundaries and the campus to the broader community to further efforts of inclusivity