The University of Michigan is set to begin a multifaceted, years-long project to study, document and better understand the university’s history with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion — with the history of race and racism at U-M as its first major focus.

President Mary Sue Coleman said the project will be designed to engage the present and future U-M communities in a way that brings forth tangible and thought-provoking discussions, ideas and actions.

“As our country undergoes a long-overdue reckoning about race and the treatment of African Americans and people of color, it is critical for the university to also hold up a mirror to itself. Our history is remarkable yet also flawed,” Coleman said.

“With the Inclusive History Project, we pledge to develop a more truthful and inclusive narrative about our institution’s past. Only then can we move forward as a genuinely equitable community that acknowledges and celebrates all its members.”

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Two leading university scholars will chair the first phase of the project: Elizabeth Cole, professor of women’s and gender studies, psychology, and Afroamerican and African studies; and Earl Lewis, the Thomas C. Holt Distinguished University Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies and Public Policy. They will co-chair the project’s framing and design committee.

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“For years, the University of Michigan has been engaged in efforts to help us become more diverse, equitable and inclusive,” said Robert Sellers, vice provost for equity and inclusion, chief diversity officer and professor of education and psychology.

“Having a more inclusive understanding of our history is foundational to building a more inclusive present and future for the university. Thus, it is appropriate that the Inclusive History Project and DEI 2.0 will occur in tandem with each other.”

Read the full article in The University Record