Exhibited at the DEI Summit Community Recognition Festival on Monday, October 11

1987 | Building on student activism in the 1970s, Black Action Movements (BAM I & II) and BAM III/United Coalition Against Racism (UCAR) protest results in a six-point agreement with the U-M administration including officially recognizing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday at U-M, increasing the numbers of faculty, staff and students of color and establishing an Office of Minority Affairs and the position of Vice Provost for Minority Affairs.

Jesse Jackson and Harold Shapiro at a rally in Hill Auditorium, March 1987
Jesse Jackson and Harold Shapiro at a rally in Hill Auditorium, March 1987).

1988 | President James Duderstadt issues the Michigan Mandate: A Strategic Linking of Academic Excellence and Social Diversity report that becomes U-M’s plan to increase campus diversity and improve the campus climate.


1997–2003 | Ongoing litigation involving U-M’s admissions policies as related to recruiting and admitting students of color, Gratz v. Bollinger (Undergraduate – College of Literature, Science, and the Arts) and Grutter v. Bollinger (Law School), leads both cases to the United States Supreme Court. The court upholds affirmative action within parameters of holistic admissions and without quotas.

Protesters work to defend affirmative action in admissions in the State of Michigan
Protesters work to defend affirmative action in admissions in the State of Michigan

2003 | Supreme Court of the United States upholds the University of Michigan’s right to include race as one of many factors in admitting students to U-M (Grutter v. Bollinger) and at the time, reversed in part the U-M admissions policies involving U-M’s undergraduate school (Gratz v. Bollinger).

Supporters of Affirmative Action sit on the Lincoln Memorial to await the Supreme Court decision
Supporters of Affirmative Action sit on the Lincoln Memorial to await the Supreme Court decision

2006 | Proposition 2 passes, amending the Michigan Constitution to eliminate the use of race or gender in admission and hiring decisions at Michigan’s 15 public campuses.

A speech by U-M President Mary Sue Coleman after the vote passing Prop 2
A speech by U-M President Mary Sue Coleman after the vote passing Prop 2

2007 | The University of Michigan Diversity Blueprints Task Force issues a report providing some 168 recommendations in response to the passage of Proposition 2.

People protesting Prop 2
Protest of Prop 2, 2007

2013 | Building on U-M’s legacy of student activism, students launch Being Black at the University of Michigan (#BBUM), calling out the lack of diversity on campus and the university’s lack of corrective action.

Students contribute messages highlighting #BBUM
Students contribute messages highlighting #BBUM

2014 | Provost Martha Pollack charges a Committee on DEI to recommend high-priority actions to “build a climate of inclusion and address pipeline issues that impact enrollment.” The Committee, chaired by Robert M. Sellers, Professor and Chair of Psychology, includes faculty, staff and students and submits its recommendations in May.


2015 | Martha Pollack charges a Staff Committee on DEI, which reports its recommendations in July. Voices of the Staff celebrates 10 years of advocacy for staff across campus.

Group of people holding a banner supporting voices of the staff
Group of people holding a banner supporting voices of the staff

2015–16 | President Schlissel announces diversity, equity and inclusion a top priority, commissions a Five-Year DEI Strategic Plan. Robert M. Sellers is named the first Vice President for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer.

President Schlissel announces the DEI Five-Year Strategic Plan initiative
President Schlissel announces the DEI Five-Year Strategic Plan initiative

Trotter Multicultural Center Groundbreaking Ceremony
Trotter Multicultural Center Groundbreaking Ceremony

2016–17 (Year One) | Nearly 2,000 action items from 49 units’ DEI strategic plans move forward along with 34 university action items supporting the U-M Strategic Plan. A new Trotter Multicultural Center is built on Central Campus—a material and symbolic action.


2017–18 (Year Two) | DEI is embedded in administrative functions including student recruitment and retention, professional development and faculty and staff evaluation. Protesting campus bias incidents, student Dana Green kneels on the Diag for 20 hours.

U-M Student Dana Green leads campus protest against bias and hate
U-M Student Dana Green leads campus protest against bias and hate

2018–19 (Year Three) | The Office of DEI launches annual metrics reports for each unit with a DEI Strategic Plan to help track progress. The DEI Leads, comprising over 100 staff and faculty members, continue to guide DEI strategic plan implementation in schools, colleges and units campuswide.


2019–20 (Year Four) | Progress advances in college access, affordability and student success programs. DEI is a focal point in the campus COVID-19 response. The community reckons with anti-Asian hate, George Floyd’s murder and national unrest over police brutality and systemic racism.

The campus rock is painted to commemorate George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement
The campus rock is painted to commemorate George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement

2020–21 (Year Five) | Efforts across campus refocus on anti-racism and addressing the disparate impact of COVID-19. U-M leaders announce new anti-racism initiatives and schools, colleges and units campuswide begin to work toward becoming an anti-racist institution.

A community-contributed original artwork featured during the 2020 DEI Summit, Arts+Social Change
A community-contributed original artwork featured during the 2020 DEI Summit, Arts+Social Change

2021 And Beyond | Campus DEI efforts will continue unabated. We will continue to challenge ourselves to become an anti-racist, anti-ableist, anti-sexist campus that supports equity across all identities and their intersections. After a year of evaluation and one of planning, our next DEI Strategic Plan, DEI 2.0, will launch in 2023.



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