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ME/NA Box Knowledge Community


Counting Invisible Diversity at U-M: Middle Eastern and North African (ME/NA) Box Knowledge Community is a subgroup of the Islamophobia Working Group (IWG) on the University of Michigan (U-M) campus and seeks to focus on better serving ME/NA identifying faculty, staff, and students at U-M. This Knowledge Community builds on two years of faculty-staff-student collaboration in IWG and brings together the expertise and know-how of faculty and staff to translate historical and contemporary research into institutional best practices. Our work helps U-M anticipate the US Census adoption of ME/NA ethnicity and prepare for its eventual usage by the US Department of Education.

In particular, the ME/NA Box Knowledge Community aims to:

  1. Better understand how MENA ethnicity data at U-M is currently being collected or neglected, as well being how it is being used, omitted, or misused
  2. Create a set of best practices for ME/NA ethnicity data collection and usage, making the ME/NA box as standard as those for other categories for people of color.

Faculty-Staff Members

Contact Information

For more information, please contact the co-chairs Samer Ali, director of the Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies (CMENAS), and Nadia Bazzy, director of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA).


Want to learn more?

  1. 2020 Census: Reaching An Accurate Count” (Arab American Institute)
  2. Ian Haney Lopez, White By Law: The Legal Construction of Race, NYU Press, 2006.
  3. Resolution to recognize ME/NA as a racial category passes unanimously by CSG” (Michigan Daily)
  4. From The Daily: Support #WeExist” (Michigan Daily)
  5. #WeExist campaign calls for recognition at Regents meeting” (Michigan Daily)
  6. ME/NA identity boxes now included in Rackham Applications” (Michigan Daily)