The University of Michigan will roll out its new campuswide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategic plan during a daylong launch on Thursday, Oct. 6.

U-M President Mark Schlissel spoke enthusiastically about the launch at Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting.

“The plan is the result of more than a year of hard work by many members of our community. I thank them and all of the faculty, staff and students who provided input throughout the planning process,” he said.

The launch will begin with a 9 a.m. opening session on Oct. 6 at the Power Center for Performing Arts, located on central campus. It will be hosted by Vice Provost Rob Sellers, with remarks from Schlissel and Provost Martha Pollack. During the session, the three will highlight the overall DE&I goals of the university as it moves from planning into the implementation phase of the five-year plan from units across campus.

On the same stage, immediately following the opening session, Laurita Thomas, associate vice president for human resources, will host a 45-minute conversation among planning leads. The group will highlight key parts of the planning process and discuss how their plans came together and how they will continue to evolve based on the input of the university community.

Over the past year, the university – including the 19 schools and colleges, 30 units and the health system – has supported more than 210 community engagement opportunities for students, staff and faculty to provide feedback on their visions for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus environment. During that time, the units crafted 49 unique plans that reflect the feedback of their constituents.

When the discussion concludes, the lobby of the Power Center will become the stage for a community poster session, which will allow for several units to share a deeper look at their respective plans.

The university’s central plan drew on the overarching goals of the 49 unit plans and will serve as a representative of the unified and ongoing commitment to creating a campus in which people from many backgrounds experience a sense of belonging and have the opportunity not only to be heard, but also to contribute and excel.

Programming will continue at 4 p.m. in the Michigan Union Ballroom when Student Life hosts an event called Live Talk: DE&I Plans and Student Action. The interactive program will allow participants the opportunity to shape the event’s discussion around the DE&I topic.

The day will conclude back at the Power Center, where the nationally known issues of diversity, inclusion and cultural competence speaker Steve Robbins will deliver a keynote address titled “It’s personal…even when it’s not,” a message centered on how diversity, equity and inclusion impacts campuses and communities. Robbins, who earned a Ph.D. in communications from Michigan State University, has worked with companies including Microsoft, Toyota, Pepsi and NASA to help implement practices that make workplaces more diverse and inclusive.

Oct. 6 will serve as the kickoff for a number of DE&I-related events that will happen all year long. For more information about other DE&I events visit

Oct. 6 Launch Event Schedule

9-9:45am, Power Center
Introducing the U-M Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategic Plan
Hosted by Vice Provost Robert Sellers, with remarks from Provost Martha E. Pollack and President Mark Schlissel, the event is open to the entire university community.

9:45-10:30, Power Center
A Conversation Among Planning Leads
This panel discussion of DE&I unit planning leads will be hosted by Associate VP for Human Resources Laurita Thomas.

10:40-Noon, Power Center Lobby
DE&I Poster Session
This poster session is open to the campus community and highlights some of U-M’s 49 diversity, equity and inclusion unit plans.

4-5:45pm, Michigan Union Ballroom
Live Talk: DE&I Plans and Student Action
Students are invited to join this interactive program about the university and Student Life diversity, equity and inclusion plans.

6:15-7:30pm, Power Center
It’s Personal…Even When It’s Not
Hear thought leader Steve Robbins on diversity, equity and inclusion at this engaging presentation, open to the entire university community.