Project Background

In the past year, the national conversation about efforts to further diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education has been dominated by critics who portray these initiatives as harmful, often without offering evidence.

In contrast, U-M President Santa Ono explains that the belief “that racial diversity is one of the many important components of a broadly diverse student body and an intellectually and culturally rich campus community” is well-founded:

We believe racial diversity benefits the exchange and development of ideas by increasing students’ variety of perspectives, promoting cross-racial understanding and dispelling racial stereotypes. It helps prepare students to be leaders in a global marketplace and increasingly multicultural society. This belief is supported by a robust body of social science and educational research evidence.

The NCID supports members of the U-M community in articulating the importance and value of diversity, equity, and inclusion to national audiences.

"Write to Change the World" Workshop

The NCID is offering 10 faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in the “Write to Change the World” workshop organized and facilitated by the OpEd Project — a think tank and leadership organization that accelerates the ideas and impact of underrepresented voices with stunning results.

The workshops, which take place virtually in two three and a half hour sessions over two days, bring together participants with an enormous range of identities, voices, and ideas. Several workshops are offered each month to accommodate different schedules.

Their workshops are based on time-tested models of transformational learning, designed to unlock knowledge in powerful and unexpected ways. Games, high stakes scenarios, and live experiments challenge you to think in new and bigger ways. You will explore the source of credibility; the patterns and elements of persuasion; the difference between being “right” and being effective; and how to think bigger about what you know — to have more impact in the world. You will emerge with concrete results (op-ed drafts and more) and access to resources, including a national network of journalist mentors for individual follow-up.

The NCID will pay the registration expense for those selected for the workshop. We will also arrange for several follow-up sessions to provide participants with feedback on topics, drafts, and placement choices post-workshop. Participants agree to:

  1. Attend a Write to Change the World workshop
  2. Submit at least one op-ed about the importance and/or value of DEI in higher education for publication
  3. Share their pieces with the NCID

Some examples of topics you might address in your writing for public audiences include (but are not limited to):

  • How you have seen diversity and/or DEI initiatives affect students in higher education
  • Summaries or explanations of empirical research about the value of diversity and/or DEI initiatives in higher education
  • How more inclusive histories might change conceptions of the past and deepen understanding of the present in higher education
  • How efforts toward inclusion in higher education benefit society
  • The importance of academic freedom to teach topics that some find troubling in K–12 and higher education
  • Descriptions of successful initiatives or programs in higher education that help reduce bias, including anti-racist efforts.

To be considered, please complete this Google form with the following information:

  • Your background and contact information, including your position and institutional affiliation
  • A brief paragraph on topic you are interested in writing about and how it will make a difference
  • Attestation that you are able to attend one of the OpEd Project’s Write to Change the World workshops and agree to do so within six months. The schedule is available here.

Don't see a date that works for you? You can sign up here for updates on new dates as they become available.

The strongest applications include:

  • Idea(s) for an op-ed with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education
  • A strong point point of view
  • A large potential impact for diversity equity and inclusion in higher education
  • A defined audience
  • A clear call to action

Apply by 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 12.



The National Center for Institutional Diversity produces, catalyzes, and elevates diversity research and scholarship. To achieve this, we seek to build intergenerational communities of scholars and leaders to address contemporary issues that affect society.