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Trotter Multicultural Center

Action Item (as stated with DEI strategic plan launch in 2016)

A new multicultural center will be built in the heart of campus. Inspired by the advocacy of the Black Student Union, and with the enthusiastic support of campus leadership, this building will serve as a venue for student programs and activities that develop cultural learning and skills for collaborative engagement. In addition to providing event and meeting space for student organizations, the Trotter Multicultural Center (TMC) will serve as a center for campus conversations on and programming to improve climate, student support and diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Michigan.

Progress update

Through intensive efforts, Trotter was able to function as a welcoming community space during the entire 2020–21 academic year, while preserving the health and safety of all visitors. Year Five for the Trotter Multicultural Center was deeply impacted by the pandemic. The new building, which opened in April 2019, was forced to close in March 2020 for the duration of Year Four. In Summer 2020, hours of operation and building use policies were changed in preparation for reopening on August 31, 2020. In response to a series of executive orders, public health-informed recommendations and best practices, numerous changes were implemented. These included the installation of wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers, removal of furniture, reduced room capacities and deeper, more frequent cleaning. Throughout the pandemic, Trotter also served as a distribution site for Maize and Blue COVID safety kits. These and other measures made it possible for the Center to remain open.

During the Fall 2020 semester, Trotter continued to pursue its educational mission by hosting three academic classes, all presented in person with an online option. These included:

  • Intro to Environmental Politics: Race, Class, and Gender
  • Selected Topics in Black World Studies, Section 003 – Hoop Dreams:

  Race and Basketball in America

  • Law and Border

Building use shifted away from room reservations for groups and organizations to a model that enabled students to reserve individual study spaces. From September 2020 through April 2021, the Center accommodated a total of 589 reservations. During this time, building managers conducted hourly rounds to confirm adherence to policies, conduct spot cleaning and analyze building use. Guest counts made during these rounds—a total of 12,177 guests were counted from September through April—enabled us to adjust hours of operation and provided insights into space usage.

During Year Five, all programming shifted to virtual and online platforms. In all, Trotter presented 50+ programs and workshops for more than 1,900 students. In addition, our newly created interfaith videos have garnered 1,051 views to date. The Center also conducted 1,041 Intercultural Development (ID) Inventories and coordinated 525 individual results meetings between students and licensed IDI Consultants.

Year Five programming highlights included:

  • Cultural Engagement Programming (three events, 116 participants)
  • How to FLOURISH wellness & identity series (eight events, 150 participants)
  • Intercultural Learning (22 workshops, 1,150 participants)
  • Interfaith Programming (11 events, 94 participants)
  • Trotter Distinguished Leadership Series (three events, 163 participants)

Overall, there were a total of 34 partnerships: 21 with academic units, seven within Student Life and six with multiple units and departments.

In the 2021–22 academic year, Trotter will expand hours of operation to pre-pandemic levels and will safely return to in-person programming while retaining the best practices of virtual engagement developed this year. Leveraging our strong alliances with units and departments, the Center will resume its role as a central hub for engaging, gathering and learning.

Responsibility: Division of Student Life