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DEI @ LSA: Celebrate & Inform the Future of DEI in LSA

ASL interpreters and captioning will both be present at this event

2:00 p.m.

Opening Remarks

Dean Anne Curzan and Associate Dean for DEI Isis Settles

2:10 p.m.

Presentations begin

Reflect on the messages of featured keynote speakers from our
community discussing their DEI work. 

Phimmasone Owens
Ashley Bates
Kevin Riviera and Raz Jugovic
Dr. Jessica Walker 

3:05 p.m. 

Second half begins

Provide your input on the next five years of DEI @ LSA at interactive stations.

Food and beverages available
Feedback stations, swag, and photobooth available

4:00 p.m. 

Event ends

Phimmasone Kym Owens, LSA senior in General Studies

Refugee Garden Initiatives

Conversations about having culturally appropriate foods for refugees accessible so that there is equity in food. My participation in and winning the optiMize challenge. Introducing my nonprofit Refugee Garden Initiatives going forward into the future and the continuation of the Refugee Garden I leave behind as my legacy after I graduate.

Ashley Bates, Program Manager at the Helen Zell Writers' Program

The 2019 Disability Inclusion Panel: Advancing DEI From the Staff Position

In July of 2019, Ashley Wiseman (Associate Director of the Global Scholars Program) and Ashley Bates (Program Manager of the Helen Zell Writers' Program) co-organized what was originally envisioned as a disability inclusion workshop with an expected attendance of up to 100 UM faculty, students, and staff. Their workshop was inspired by their own frustrations with disability inclusion at UM and their desire to help facilitate concrete solutions. About 600 people ultimately RSVPed to attend the grassroots workshop, which was then moved to a much larger space (Rackham Auditorium) and reimagined to account for the groundwell of interest. The resulting Disability Inclusion Panel-- which centered the experiences of staff, students, and faculty with different visible and invisible disabilities-- raised significant awareness and ultimately launched college-wide discussions on how LSA could better support individuals with disabilities. (Here is the video of the panel.) Notably, "the Two Ashleys" mobilized these discussions outside of their core job responsibilities. Their efforts serve as an example of how staff can advocate for and lead change within the college. 

Video Link to 2019 panel: Disability Inclusion Panel: Making UM Events More Welcoming & Accessible

Kevin Rivera and Raz Jugovic, graduate students in the Department of Chemistry

Fostering DEI: Empowering Students Promotes Inclusivity

From left to right: Timothy “Raz” Jugovic, Kevin E. Rivera Cruz, and Paul Zimmerman

As a highly collaborative physical/computational chemistry research group, our work interfaces with diverse students and researchers from across disciplines at the University of Michigan and beyond. For us, it is imperative to learn how to best interact with coworkers, colleagues and collaborators who bring unique perspectives to the table. Our goal is to create a work environment where everyone's ideas and identities feel welcomed. This presentation will describe our student-led DEI initiative and related commitments, which promote awareness of each other’s perspective and ideas.

Dr. Jessica Walker, Assistant Professor, Afro-American and African Studies, American Culture

What is American Food?: Making Race Through Food

This talk will explore a few ways race attaches itself to food throughout American history. We will discuss how in attempting to answer a seemingly straightforward question in 'What is American Food?' we can reveal a lot about who we consider to belong, who is exotic and what we consider familiar in our everyday foodscapes.