Advancing Inclusion and Equity from Instruction to Research

From training on fostering inclusion in remote learning and advancing anti-racist curricula, to recognition and support of faculty leading DEI-focused research, we continue to build towards lasting change.

University Action Items

University action items focused on scholarship and teaching integrate DEI issues into curricula and scholarship, influence how curricula is delivered, and shape how scholarship is evaluated in relation to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Featured Scholarship & Teaching Action Items

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Diversity Scholars Network

In Year Five, NCID continued to engage its University of Michigan Diversity Scholars Network (DSN) members in a number of innovative and meaningful ways, despite the many adjustments and restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Consideration of DEI Contributions in Promotion and Tenure Review

The DEI-focused subcommittee of the Academic Programs Group (APG) has taken on this item for the past two years, culminating in a general recommendation that the university “adjust promotion criteria for faculty and staff with the goal of recognizing the ‘invisible DEI work’ that frequently goes unrecognized and which over time can decrease commitment to DEI.”
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James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship

The James S. Jackson Distinguished Career Award for Diversity Scholarship is bestowed biennially on faculty members who have made significant contributions to understanding diversity and addressing disparities in contemporary society.
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Campus Spotlights

Our campus spotlights share stories of progress in scholarship and teaching efforts from among the 50 unit DEI Strategic Plans.

Featured Scholarship & Teaching Spotlights

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Three people presenting at a podium

College of Literature, Science and the Arts, School of Education, School of Information, Ross School of Business

Anti-Racism Initiatives in Curriculum and Scholarship

Multiple units on campus engaged in notable efforts to advance anti-racism across curricular and research domains. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts hosted a public conversation to reflect on the resulting trauma and activism. Ultimately, this led to the launch of Community Conversations, focused on the work of Bryan Stevenson and the Equal Justice Initiative. Many departments across LSA, including 22 units in Undergraduate Education, hosted reading groups throughout the academic year. Undergraduate Education also created an anti-racism faculty development series for Fall 2021. In addition, the College launched an Anti-Racism Task Force composed of faculty, staff and students with deep expertise in anti-racism work which surfaced a list of far-reaching recommendations for curriculum design, hiring/promotion/supervisory practices and admissions. Finally, LSA implemented policy changes that are more transfer-friendly and support student success. The School of Education continued its Anti-Racism Colloquia series in which students and faculty collaborate to present research related to pressing DEI issues in education and to support research and teaching centered on educational justice. In addition, SOE created Anti-Racist Mini-Grants for students seeking to work on education research and scholarship that advances capacity to create an anti-racist environment. Direct grants to students totaled $10,000. The School of Information expanded the mandate and membership of its DEI Committee to focus on creating an anti-racist curriculum and developing anti-racist approaches across the school. This followed engagement with student and alumni members of Black@SI, who met with School leadership over the summer to set an agenda for action on anti-racism. Key accomplishments of the past year included a set of anti-racist course design guidelines for instructors, a Race and Technology reading list, a series of workshops on anti-racist instruction and facilitated focus groups exploring issues impacting Black students at UMSI. The Ross School of Business formed its DEI Curriculum Task Force in Fall 2020 to develop and facilitate implementation of proposals designed to enhance diversity, equity and inclusion in the Ross curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate programs. Task Force membership comprised faculty, staff and students—both undergraduate and graduate–who formed subgroups to work on specific domains. These groups reviewed current course offerings and instructional practices and met with other faculty and students throughout AY 2020–21 in order to develop recommendations for metrics, courses and course materials, inclusive teaching practices and co-curricular activities.

Luke Shaefer speaking on a panel

Ford School of Public Policy

Kohn Collaborative for Social Policy

With a transformational set of gifts totaling $17 million from Harold and Carol Kohn and the Kohn Charitable Trust, the Ford School will establish the Kohn Collaborative for Social Policy, a resource hub to catalyze innovative, interdisciplinary research on policy that promotes social equity and inclusion for all U.S. residents. A total of five new professorships will form the core of the Collaborative. The Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professorship in Social Policy and Social Justice is currently held by Luke Shaefer, a nationally recognized expert on anti-poverty policy and director of the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions. The Harold Kohn Professorship will support economic research that furthers social equity and inclusion. The Carol Kakalec Kohn Professorship will advance social equity through U.S. education policy. The Karl and Martha Kohn Professorship of Social Policy will advance societal equity and inclusion. The Arlene Susan Kohn Professorship of Social Policy will address the rights of the disabled. The Kohn Collaborative will also fund two Rackham Master’s Awards at the Ford School, and provide core funding for collaborative research and policy engagement.

Ayana Evans performing on Elbel Field and being recorded by camera

Stamps School of Art & Design

Stamps School Hosts Visiting Performing Artist

In keeping with its goal of connecting students with artists and designers from across the globe, the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan invited NYC-based performance artist Ayana Evans to be a Roman J. Witt Visiting Artist during the Fall 2020 semester. Internationally known for guerilla-style street performances that explore the body, race relations and gender bias, Evans has performed internationally at New York’s El Museo Del Barrio,the Barnes Foundation, arts festivals in Great Britain and Ghana and more. The visit was organized by Stamps professor Rebekah Modrak, who brought together cheerleaders from the U-M Cheer team, vocalists and actors from the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance and professional artists based in Detroit to bring Evans’ new performance to life on U-M’s Elbel Field. Stamps students in Modrak’s “Dressing Up and Down” course created costumes for the performance. With Evan directing remotely from NYC, the group created a video performance entitled You Better Be Good to Me.

“While there was planning done for the performance, there were also many decisions that had to be made on the day of filming, and I was really grateful that she put so much trust in us to deliver her message,” said Stamps senior Shannon Yeung (BFA ’21) of the collaboration with Evans.

The performance, which was supported by the U-M Arts Initiative, was featured at the 2021 U-M Reverend Martin Luther King Junior Symposium and can be viewed on vimeo and as part of Evans’ Penny Stamps Speaker Series talk.