At SEAS, the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are central to our mission to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment. Moreover, we believe that these principles are key to individual and societal success, educational excellence, and the advancement of knowledge.
October 5, 2016, marked the introduction of the University of Michigan’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan — a collective vision for change created through a campus-wide, grassroots process. With its implementation, we continue to build on our heritage of diversity, equity, and inclusion, with the understanding that we can make our greatest contribution to knowledge by building an environment in which all our community members can flourish.
Dorceta E. Taylor, Professor: So at SEAS, we have a very elaborate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion plan. We call it DEI. And the work we are doing is supported university-wide and our goal is to really try to infuse equity/diversity issues within the curriculum, within student activities, staff activities, faculty, teaching, research. And my role is to help facilitate that.
Joe Arvai, Professor: I think that diversity is really what makes a place like Michigan, but frankly any organization, be efficient, be rich with ideas, and frankly flourish over time.
Krutarth Jhaveri, MS/ESS ’18: Certainly, it's very clear that it's multicultural. There are people from so many different backgrounds, different races. It's like no one really cares where you're from. In fact, they embrace it. They want to know more about your culture. They want to know about your experiences.
Jim Gawron, MS/MBA ’19: You get perspectives from all different people and it's allowed me to think in different ways that I didn't see or areas that I hadn't thought of before.
Jessica Robinson, MS ’18: I was helping to coordinate the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program. It's a program to get students of color who are undergraduates and interested in conservation, to get them the research experience and the internship experience to really help them flourish. There are people from all cultural backgrounds who are passionate about the environment, who are passionate about these spaces that we grew up in. This is one space, like SEAS, that can really cultivate that interest. And I think it's also important for people of color to see each other in these fields.
Marwan Charara, MS ’18: The people that I'm meeting and being exposed to, I feel like it's such a loving and welcome community, and I'm very pleased and proud to belong to it.
Joe Arvai, Professor: We're doing well but we all want to be better across all aspects of DEI. So am I happy? Yes. Am I satisfied? No. Will I ever be satisfied? No. I think that we always have to keep that as a target that we aim for, and the good news is that all of us here are working in that direction.