To the University Community,
One of the pillars that defines the strength of the University of Michigan is its unwavering commitment to supporting an environment that honors diversity, champions equity and encourages inclusivity at every level. Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – as students, faculty and staff is woven into the fabric of our 200-plus-year history.
Our progress as a university is part of a much larger journey where significant steps have led to lasting, impactful progress. From the admission of U-M’s first black student in 1853 to the first female student to graduate in 1870, the University has made significant DEI progress at home and the national level. During Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, research from former U-M professor Otto Klineberg challenged the notion of segregation in schools across America.
In the 1970s, student activism led by the Black Action Movement (BAM) at U-M contributed to much-needed systematic change at the time, which was a direct response to the longstanding issues of racial inequality and discrimination on campus, as well as broader social and civil rights movements happening across the United States.
The belief that DEI is integral for excellence at the highest levels continued into the 1980s when University President James Duderstadt introduced the Michigan Mandate, which aimed to increase the representation of underrepresented groups among students, faculty and staff. Throughout the early 2000s, U-M defended the necessity for race-conscious admissions through Affirmative Action and Gratz v. Bollinger (2003).
This history, our history, indicates that we must continue to challenge ourselves and listen to those who challenge us to be better. If we are to become the best version of ourselves – we must remain committed to eliminating systemic barriers and creating education opportunities.
The launch of the University’s next diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan, DEI 2.0, reconfirms a commitment to what our community has asked of us, and what we expect from ourselves – that in order to be excellent, we must be diverse in the broadest sense of the word.
The University of Michigan’s initial five-year DEI strategic plan (DEI 1.0) was a substantial moment in our history, where progress was identified by addressing more than 2,700 action items that supported our goal to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive University.
We’ve made significant strides as a community, but we also know that only sustained efforts lead to long-lasting, impactful change.
As part of our effort to support the next chapter in our journey, diversity.umich.edu has been completely redesigned from the ground up. The site highlights our past, identifies our present, and assists in creating a roadmap for our future. This space also serves as an informational tool and resource hub, providing insight into our DEI efforts.
Throughout the site, you will find opportunities for engagement, learn about our progress, and identify resources that will benefit the University community, including our faculty, staff and students.
This digital space serves as a vital component that contributes to creating a more inclusive, equitable and diverse campus. Your ideas, suggestions and feedback are valued and appreciated as we move forward, both in developing this site, and DEI at the University of Michigan.
Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Professor of Education and Psychology