Diversity Next! is an arts-inspired series of conversations convened by the Center for World Performance Studies (CWPS) that seeks to broaden the horizons of diversity deliberations on the U-M campus and beyond.

In light of ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts across campus, the Center for World Performance Studies seeks to engage the community in conversations through the theoretical framework of Performance Studies and experiences in the arts. The focus of will be important topics that tend to be marginalized in prevailing diversity discourse, and for which artistic performance may offer new insights.

Following are several themes to be explored in the Diversity Next! series:

  • “Black Music Matters” celebrates the extraordinary tools African American music offers to 21st century musical navigation and cross-cultural understanding, and also critiques the marginalized place of black music in music and overall educational curricula. 
  • “Improvisatory Ecologies” examines the dynamic relationship between performers, ensemble, audience, and surroundings in peak jazz performance as a template for heightened understanding of and approaches to environmental issues. 
  • “Art and Consciousness” explores arts-driven perspectives on consciousness/spirituality that transcend, yet do not reject, denominational and culture-bound boundaries in the quest for common ground.
  • “Diverse Story Tellers” looks into the often complex factors that determine who participates in and leads diversity conversations, the obstacles they confront, and who tends to be excluded from these conversations. 
  • “Art, Diversity, and Conflict Resolution” examines the arts as agent for peace and dissolution of political, ideological, and multi-national tensions. 
  • “Diversity Paradigms” uses the arts as a lens through which overarching patterns in diversity discourse may be viewed in efforts toward a more critically and self-critically robust deliberations.