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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Communications and Marketing

Progress update

In support of DEI efforts across the university, communications professionals from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) and U-M Public Affairs continued working together to provide critical updates and announcements to faculty, staff, students and community members. Communications were shared through social media, news articles and event promotion, and raised awareness via publications at the local, regional and national level. Achievements of Year Five included the launch of a DEI Summit website, an all-virtual DEI Summit and report and a resource guide for issues impacting African Americans and Asian Americans & Pacific Isalnder communities at the university.

ODEI continued to manage two social media accounts: @UMichDiversity on Twitter and a Facebook page, UMichDiversity. Posts included news, events, photos, videos, live tweeting and other items that communicated U-M’s active efforts to cultivate a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community.

In partnership with the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, ODEI worked with campus units and departments to continue developing dynamic news stories that educate target audiences on the university’s commitment to diversity, raise awareness of our strategic plans, and position U-M as an international leader in diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education. The university’s DEI efforts were consistently highlighted in both internal and external publications at the local and national level.

Year Five brought significant progress in DEI resources and communications. ODEI launched several new digital initiatives, including a DEI Summit website to align with the annual Summit event, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fourth annual DEI Progress Report was presented, for the first time, in a fully web-based format, including infographics, video and text components and with a more navigable and searchable format. Feedback on the new report format was very positive, based on over 300 survey responses. A digital resource guide including programs, resource initiatives and activities that are, as part of their mission, addressing issues that face the African American community at UM-Ann Arbor, was created. Communications and news covered the university’s continued commitment to condemning societal instances of anti-Asian racism as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact our nation, as well as its condemnation of systemic racism as national unrest continued in response racist violence and police brutality. To provide timely updates, resources and support, in addition to regular communications with DEI Leads campuswide, ODEI began a bi-weekly email rotation from Chief Diversity Officer Robert M. Sellers and Deputy Chief Diversity Officer Katrina Wade-Golden. 

ODEI leaders and communications staff members along with central university communications staff members began planning and socializing the upcoming transition from DEI 1.0 (2016–2021 strategic plan) to DEI 2.0 (launching in 2023, following a year of evaluation and a year of planning). Consistent messaging focused on the fact that our DEI work will continue and is ongoing. A timeline infographic was shared with DEI Leads to use with unit-based communications, and news stories about the transition provided additional context. In summer 2021, a new page on the website was created focusing on the transition to DEI 2.0.

These efforts continue to reflect and support the university’s commitment to ongoing DEI efforts campuswide.