The University of Michigan-Flint is bringing together students, faculty, staff, and administrators from across the university to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.
The university launched its Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee in December 2019, and the members are now creating short- and long-term goals in a multi-faceted action plan for UM-Flint.
Faculty from each school and college, each university division, faculty and staff councils, the undergraduate and graduate student bodies, and the Provost’s Office comprise the committee.
Strategic Action Plan
The DEI Strategic Action Plan, A Call to Action: Pursuing Excellence through Inclusion and Equity, is now available to review. The Action Plan’s goals and timetable are available to view here.
The DEI Strategic Action Plan (DEI SAP) lays out broad goals and suggested tactics for improving our institutional excellence with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Some of this work means supporting and enhancing existing programs, while other aspects mean generating new programs. Here are few of our noteworthy new or enhanced initiatives, informed or supported in significant ways through our strategic action plan:
- The Committed to Excellence and Opportunity (CEO) Program in the Office of Educational Opportunity Initiatives (EOI) is one of the programs building a pipeline from local Flint schools to the University that is receiving increased support.
- The Division of Student Affairs launched the Success Peer Mentoring program with the understanding that peer mentoring programs are evidence-based initiatives that cultivate student belonging and promote success for our diverse student population.
- Enhancement of DEI Competencies is a continued effort that now expands beyond UM-Flint, with a short professional development course, Cultivating Equity in your Organization available to local businesses.
- In engaging in the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion, it is important to establish shared meaning in the language being used, which will also improve our collective understanding. To that end, the DEI SAP contains a DEI Glossary, to begin shaping our campus’ knowledge and comprehension of some of the language of DEI.
- The DEI Initiative Grant (DIG) program is an effort to solicit the insights and expertise of the entire UM-Flint community in pursuit of inclusive excellence. The DIG program is a funding opportunity for UM-Flint employees to create projects that support progress toward the goals of our DEI SAP.
- A priority in the DEI SAP has been to increase professional and leadership development opportunities related to DEI, and that is under way. The Wolverines for Social Justice and Diversity Residential Learning Community, Social Justice Leadership Series, Inclusive Leadership Certificate, Leadership and Healthy Masculinity, and Sexual Violence Prevention Certificate programs are all examples of collaborative efforts toward this goal.
- Institutional efforts focus on promoting belonging throughout campus. Additionally, certain spaces, open to all, intentionally center identities of specific student populations to promote belonging and focused support. Spaces like the Center for Gender and Sexuality, Center for Global Engagement, Intercultural Center, and Student Veterans Resource Center are among those centers that work to support our diverse students and their success.
- In an effort to promote scholarship and research-based advocacy addressing some of the specific circumstances faced by Flint, Michigan and other similar cities, the University, through the DEI Committee and in consultation with numerous faculty and staff partners, established the Urban Institute for Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice. Students can plug into the Urban Institute through research and employment opportunities to equip them for an impactful future.
These are a sampling of some of the work underway at the university. As the work continues, we will keep our university community informed. We welcome your feedback along the way.
As we pursue continuous improvement in the areas of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we define those terms at the University of Michigan-Flint as follows:
Diversity: A range of ideas, opinions, perspectives, experiences, and decision-makers across race and ethnicity, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status, political perspective, and other variables related to life experience.
Equity: Equal outcomes through just and fair practices, policies, and procedures, particularly for the historically underserved. Disruption and dismantling of any identified institutional barrier or situation that unfairly or unjustly impacts a specific population based on their identity.
Inclusion: Equal opportunities and resources for all individuals. Deliberate efforts to ensure that differences are welcomed and valued, differing perspectives are respectfully and empathically heard, and every individual feels a sense of belonging, community, and agency.
Messages to Campus
- Response to September 22, 2020 Executive Order by the White House | September 2020
- UM-Flint DEI Audit | July 8, 2020
- UM-Flint Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | June 2, 2020
- DEI Committee Update | May 26, 2020
- DEI Open Office Hours | May 1, 2020
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chairs Announcement | January 2020
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Announcement | December 2019