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Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI)

Rethinking Advocacy: Organizing and Racial Justice Work in Higher Education

Rethinking Advocacy: Organizing and Racial Justice Work in Higher Education

I am reminded of my first day of college when I think about Dr. Edward A. Bouchet’s experiences as the first African American person to earn a Ph.D. in the U.S., from Yale University, and the importance of advocacy when thinking about addressing racial disparities in enrollment and retention. I remember after my first day, one of my best friends (who was white) asked me, “Austin, how did it feel to be on a campus where you weren’t around your own, like in high school?” The question stunned me—partly because we did not always talk about race so explicitly, and partly because he recognized the few numbers of black students before I did.


The views expressed in this post are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of Rackham Graduate School or the University of Michigan.

“Studenting” While Black and Immigrant

“America will make you and break you my child. Be vigilant, and walk good,” exclaimed my mother during a phone conversation. Immediately, she reminded me how the fault lines of race, gender, ethnicity, and citizenship status have shaped the Jamaican immigrant routes that formed our entrance into American society. We spoke about the series of racialized violence happening on college campuses. Her words clung like honey to the thick of my black skin, reminding me of the ever-present tensions of being a student while being both black and immigrant, and the challenges and possibilities that often evolve.


The views expressed in this post are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of Rackham Graduate School or the University of Michigan.

Rackham Graduate School Offers New Certificate Program for Developing Student DEI Skills

As a central part of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Strategic Plan, the Rackham Graduate School now offers a graduate student DEI Professional Development Certificate that is designed to prepare students to work in a diverse environment while fostering a climate of inclusiveness. The program, which was designed in response to student feedback, recognizes a relatively new and rapidly growing movement among employers, both within and outside of the academy, to require job applicants to demonstrate a commitment to diversity.

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