Community of Belonging

A Community of Belonging (CoB) is a group of university employees linked by a common purpose, ideology, or interest.  Communities of belonging can play an important role in cultivating an inclusive environment where all social identities are valued, validated, and empowered to succeed.  Additionally, they provide a collective voice for faculty and staff with common interests.

  • Develop a community, mentorship, and support network that nurtures university employees and supports their retention and development
  • Provide professional and personal support to university employees
  • In conjunction with Staff Council and the DEI Advisory Committee, amplify the voices and concerns of university employees on campus
  • Contribute to a positive work environment for university employees
  • Work with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), and UM-Flint administration on issues relating to employee recruitment, retention and advancement
  • Promote and celebrate UM-Flint employee achievements
  • Provide mentoring to faculty and staff
  • Improve retention and experience of UM-Flint employees, translating to higher retention and satisfaction of our diverse student population
  • Support the goals in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Action Plan for recruiting and retaining a more diverse student body
  • Promote and celebrate UM-Flint student contributions and achievements
  • Support, mentor, and connect with UM-Flint’s identity-based and culturally-themed registered student organizations (e.g. through the Diversity Organizations Collaborative coordinated by the Intercultural Center)
  • Network and collaborate with other employee communities of belonging, affinity groups, or employee resource groups within the University of Michigan-Flint and possibly the University of Michigan system
  • Enhance campus community engagement through developing and strengthening collaborative relationships with the community
  • Provide opportunities for social and professional networking, including opportunities to connect across communities of belonging (e.g., regularly assembling members of all of these groups)

Membership is open to all employees of the University of Michigan-Flint.

Communities of belonging should each have one faculty co-chair, who is a DEI Committee member, serving as co-chair of that committee for the duration of their term on the DEI Committee.  The DEI Committee will vote on who will serve as chair if more than one person is interested.  A staff co-chair will be selected from a related unit on campus (Center for Gender and Sexuality, Intercultural Center, etc.) and will help provide continuity for the CoB.

Co-chairs will be responsible for organizing and convening meetings, identifying themes, and addressing other needs as they arise and will have administrative support through the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  

Co-chairs will also meet regularly, at least once per semester, with the CDO to share their plans, address needs identified by the CoB, and provide suggestions for strategic interventions to improve sense of belonging at UM-Flint.  

  • Employees of Color Community of Belonging
    • Staff co-chair, Program Manager, Intercultural Center
  • LGBTQIA+  and Allies Employee Community of Belonging
    • Staff co-chair, LGBTQIA+ Coordinator, Center for Gender & Sexuality
  • Multicultural Women Employee Community of Belonging
    • Staff co-chair, Director, Center for Gender & Sexuality

For more information or to get connected, please email [email protected].