It is impossible to be a higher education leader in 2023 without being painfully aware of the multiple attacks on diversity and inclusion work—ranging from legislation in 20 states to the pending Supreme Court decision on the consideration of race in admissions. A recent Washington Post headline perfectly summed up the national mood: “DEI Is Dead,” the State of Virginia’s chief diversity officer said in remarks at Virginia Military Institute.
Last week we saw a Black man’s life snuffed out, horrifically. And we can’t “unsee” it.
I sat at the water’s edge here in northern Michigan this morning at dawn, reflecting on all that has happened over the course of the past few days. “How can I help?”, I thought to myself. “What can I do or do better? What part can I play in meaningful, positive change?”
Reflections for university leaders and their communities
Photo credit: University of Virginia Today
The violent neo-Nazi and white supremacist marches in Charlottesville and on the University of Virginia campus last weekend unleashed a torrent of hate-filled animosity beyond anything we have witnessed in several decades. Across the country, leaders are speaking out, social media is ablaze and citizens are challenging the abhorrent racism and bigotry on such sickening display.
University of Michigan historian Martha Jones and her colleagues had a vision: As part of the university’s bicentennial celebration this year, Michigan would confront some of the institution’s most challenging issues and difficult moments.
The result is last week’s dramatic pop-up art exhibit called “Stumbling Blocks,” featuring seven installations marking less visible – and sometimes deeply troubling –U-M stories one might not expect to find during a 200-year anniversary party. Continue reading →