| Strategic Plan

Community Engagement

This Community Engagement page provides resources from community conversation sessions, organized by constituency group (i.e., student, faculty, or staff). This page provides resources from these sessions, organized by constituency group (i.e., student, faculty, or staff). The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) will share these resources with campus leadership (Deans, Directors) and encourage their use in informing unit-specific DEI Plans and central action items.

If you have any questions, please use our DEI Feedback Form.

At a Crossroads: Conversations about DEI, Continued…

As a continuation of the Fall 2020 “At a Crossroads: Conversations about DEI at U-M” conversations, Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer Robert M. Sellers met with students on March 15 and March 26 to discuss what DEI work means for all members of the campus community. Students were invited to attend this listening session to share their personal experiences or thoughts on priorities for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Adan Hussain, Program Director of First-Generation Initiatives in the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI), opened and closed each session. The discussions were facilitated on each day by two students–Ronnie Rios (doctoral student in higher education; both sessions), Travis Jones on Monday (masters student in health informatics), and Xalma Palomino on Friday (undergraduate student in LSA).

Student facilitators reviewed and posed questions to Dr. Sellers submitted through the RSVP form, and also invited participants to ask questions during each event. These interactive, student-facilitated conversations addressed topics such as: DEI training, understanding the white supremacist structures within the university, decolonizing academic courses, admissions & standardized testing, dealing with resistance to DEI work, improving mental health services for students of color, and how students can engage with DEI work.

Rob expressed interest in hearing students’ thoughts and ideas on what ODEI could and should be doing to improve the student experience, as well as what students perceived as their role in the change process.

A list of selected resources were shared with participants highlighting various opportunities for students to engage with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Student Life. We look forward to continuing the dialogue moving forward.

During the Fall 2020 semester, two virtual events were held on November 16 and November 19 called, “At a Crossroads: Conversations about DEI at U-M”. These sessions invited students to hear from and share their thoughts with Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Robert Sellers, and Vice President for Student Life, Martino Harmon. 

Will Sherry, Director of the Spectrum Center and Project Lead for Student Life, opened and closed each session. The discussions were facilitated on each day by two students–Ronnie Rios (doctoral student in higher education; both sessions), Ryan Perry on Monday (undergraduate student in Economics), and Xalma Palomino on Thursday (undergraduate student in LSA).

Student facilitators reviewed and posed questions to the speakers from the RSVP forms, and also asked for questions during each session. Topics of interest included campus policing, effective diversity initiatives, accountability expectations for university policies, and how students can engage with DEI work.

A list of selected Resources were shared with participants highlighting various opportunities for students to engage with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Student Life. We look forward to continuing the dialogue moving forward.


In 2019, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) held multiple Community Conversations between March and June which included nearly 900 students, faculty and staff from across the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. During these sessions, ODEI solicited input from these groups regarding their biggest and most bold ideas for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion at the University.

  • At the Student and Staff sessions, Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer Robert Sellers provided a 20-minute presentation about the campuswide DEI Plan implementation, followed by a facilitated crowdsourcing activity for participants to share their top ideas on how to move our DEI plan forward.
  • The Faculty session was co-hosted by the Faculty Senate’s Committee for an Inclusive University (CIU). After Robert Sellers’ presentation, participants engaged in two tabletop discussions in which facilitators briefly shared information about a DEI initiative, program, or office. Participants were asked to share a big DEI idea that U-M could focus on in the next year and questions they had about U-M’s current DEI initiatives or strategy.

This page provides resources from these sessions, organized by constituency group (i.e., student, faculty, or staff). ODEI will share these resources with campus leadership (Deans, Directors) and encourage their use in informing unit-specific DEI Plans and central action items.

During the DEI Summit month, a follow-up event, Community Conversation: DEI Progress Update, will be held on Wednesday, October 16 from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Michigan League Ballroom. The progress update will include a presentation from Robert Sellers, including an update on DEI Progress Update Flyer Interactive U-M’s DEI Strategic Plan and address highlights from the previous Community Conversations events.


To better develop a Universitywide DEI Strategic Plan, between January and March 2016, thousands of faculty, staff and students from across the Ann Arbor campus participated in more than 210 community engagement events and activities (focus groups, town halls, online forums, fireside chats, surveys, feedback bulletin boards, and more) in effort to provide feedback and guide the strategic planning process.

The community engagement efforts also included a number of campuswide activities:

  • More than 225 staff attended 4 campuswide staff town halls
  • Nearly 450 students participated in 6 campuswide student town halls and 17 Student Life engagement activities
  • More than 2,500 attended five public events at the Diversity Summit, including the Community Assembly 
  • Nearly 1000 ideas were contributed on comment cards at campuswide events, and via BeHeard and diversityplan@umich.edu

Themes from community engagement activities held during the planning year.


At a Crossroads: Conversations about DEI at U-M

  • November 16 & 19, 2020 – Virtual

MORE: Resources


Community Conversation

  • October 16, 2019 – Michigan League, Ballroom

MORE: Event Notes


Student Community Conversations

  • March 25, 2019 – Pierpont Commons, East Room
  • March 27, 2019 – Couzens Hall, Multipurpose Room
  • April 2, 2019 – Rackham Graduate School, Assembly Hall

MORE: Event Notes | Michigan Daily article


Faculty Community Conversation

April 29, 2019 – Palmer Commons, Great Lakes Room

MORE: Event Notes


Staff Community Conversations

  • June 20, 2019 – North Campus Research Complex, Research Auditorium
  • June 20, 2019 – Michigan League, Ballroom
  • June 21, 2019 – University Hospital, Ford Auditorium
  • June 21, 2019 – Kensington Hotel, Westminster Room

MORE: Event Notes


These notes record, without alteration or comment, the individual ideas and contributions received at the event. The inclusion of a contribution does not indicate endorsement of the individual view expressed.