New Websites Promote DEI Programs, Accessibility Improvements

December 6, 2022

With the launch of several new websites under the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) in 2022, updated resources with improved accessibility are now available to the University of Michigan’s student, staff and faculty communities in support of DEI initiatives. Learn more about these programs and initiatives to connect with this ongoing work at U-M.

Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI)

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion relaunched its website, odei.umich.edu, in fall 2022, which serves as the home base for major DEI initiatives across the University of Michigan campus, including the implementation of the University’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan. In tandem with the diversity.umich.edu website, ODEI promotes many of the internal operations driving DEI work forward. Information available through the site includes the DEI Strategic Plan, which is currently evaluating the impacts of DEI 1.0 as DEI 2.0 prepares to launch in fall 2023; the Center for Educational Outreach; Wolverine Pathways; and the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives.

Additionally, the website redesign process placed a greater emphasis on web accessibility, aiming to create a more efficient and accessible web resource. The site also features news updates, initiative information, program and award information, and point-of-contact resources related to the work of ODEI. 

FirstGen

The First Generation student program is a collaborative initiative supported by ODEI and the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI). The site was relaunched at the end of summer 2022 with an increased focus on web accessibility and an improved user interface. U-M’s FirstGen website provides students with resources, insight, inspiration and community. In particular, the FirstGen Gateway (a physical space within OAMI) provides opportunities for FirstGen students and allies to meet and connect. The newly-designed website provides additional resources, including news and stories about what it’s like to be a FirstGen student. 

U-M received designation as a First Forward institution, a national recognition, that “acknowledges our leadership and dedication to first-generation student support,” according to former First-Generation Project Manager Adan Hussain. “As an advisory institution, we are part of a network of institutions, all of which are innovating their efforts to foster first-generation student success across the nation.” Learn more by visiting firstgen.umich.edu.

first-gen students holding t-shirts

Affiliate Websites

Beginning in 2022, ODEI began the sponsorship of affiliate groups. ODEI affiliates are University of Michigan groups or organizations that receive sponsorship status from the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion but are not official units of the office. These affiliates include the Women of Color in the Academy Project (WOCAP), the Black Employee Association at the University of Michigan (BEAM) and the Women of Color Task Force (WCTF). Information about these organizations can now be found on the ODEI website.

The Women of Color in the Academy Project aims to achieve a university where all women of color faculty experience success, leadership, visibility and representation at all levels of governance. They provide professional development opportunities, including writing retreats, weekly writing sessions and bi-annual dinners, in addition to hosting the Shirley Verrett Award, which recognizes a faculty member whose work supports the success of female artists from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds. Looking to get involved? Email wocapinfo@umich.edu

Founded in 1979 as a staff organization, the Women in Color Taskforce provides professional development, networking and training opportunities, focusing on the needs of women of color staff. Their general meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month, and on March 3, 2023, they will host the 41st Annual Career Conference. 

“The Black Employee Association at the University of Michigan (BEAM) website is a hub for black employees. The website is designed to share campus resources, BEAM meetings, sign up for the weekly newsletter, and highlight campus resources,” according to Nichole Burnside, BEAM president. The organization formerly known as the Association of Black Professionals, Faculty, Administrators, and Staff, BEAM has provided a forum dedicated to creating a work environment that allows black employees to flourish for more than 30 years. Information, resources, and dates for their upcoming 2023 meetings are available at beam.umich.edu.