The overarching objective of the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) is to contribute to the protection of Earth's resources and the achievement of a sustainable and just society. Through research, teaching, and outreach, faculty, staff, and students are devoted to generating knowledge and developing policies, techniques, and skills to help practitioners manage and conserve natural and environmental resources to meet the full range of human needs on a sustainable basis. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is central to our mission to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment, for we believe that diversity is key to individual and societal success, educational excellence, and the advancement of knowledge.
In service to our core values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we commit to the following.
- Coordinate and implement practices that are aligned with our commitment to promoting diversity and to advancing equity and inclusion as core school priorities;
- Provide opportunities for all members of the community to learn and develop in ways that are in keeping with the school's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion;
- Develop and refine processes that seek to increase the diversity of our faculty, students, and staff;
- Establish practices and policies that make visible, discourage, and restoratively respond to acts of discrimination, harassment, or personal abuse;
- Act on our commitment to contribute to a just and sustainable society and to affirm the humanity of all persons.
At SEAS, we believe in generating and enhancing the following:
REPRESENTATION: Address acute and systemic obstacles to full, equitable, and inclusive representation among SEAS faculty, staff, and students—especially with regard to racial and gender identity.
AWARENESS: Decolonize SEAS curricula, pedagogy, engagement, and professional learning, so that marginalized perspectives are featured, systemic oppression is not perpetuated, and no one is excluded from learning and collaborating by virtue of their identity.
RESEARCH: Align research processes, priorities and outputs with communities and stakeholders, to ensure that SEAS research centers equitable and positive social impact rather than academic prestige and extractive behavior.
SUPPORT: Develop mechanisms and norms for providing regular support—including physical, mental, and financial health—to all SEAS community members, acknowledging that everyone has different needs.
COMMUNICATION: Work to design transparent communication systems and foster dialogue in which everyone feels safe, biased language is not affirmed, and everyone feels comfortable sharing different understandings.
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