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June Notes
Devon Keen and Judy Schabel are working on the annual DEI reporting process, which includes efforts from the DEI Committee and across UMSI and is submitted to the University in July. They will offer summer forums to share progress updates and seek input on our DEI efforts going forward. The UMSI DEI Progress Report will be shared with the community and added to the DEI web site in early fall, but learnings will be used before then to guide priorities and plans for the coming year.

This is the final issue of The Cloud for the 2020-21 academic year; the next issue will be in September. 


Juneteenth is a Black/African American celebration of family, freedom and liberation celebrated annually on the 19th of June. While the Emancipation Proclamation declared people who were enslaved to be free by January 1, 1863, many African Americans did not receive the news or its enforcement until June 19, 1865. The holiday has been officially recognized in Michigan since 2005 but gained national attention last year amid unrest over racism and the killings of Black Americans. Juneteenth is an excellent opportunity for us to celebrate as a community and honor the hard work and sacrifice of Black people who have been fighting for liberation for centuries. 

On Thursday June 18 President Joe Biden signed a bill making Juneteenth a national holiday. 

2021 Juneteenth Symposium: Celebrating Black Joy, Hope, and Healing
Monday, June 14 - Friday June 18, 2021, all day (Recordings available)

U-M’s inaugural campus-wide Juneteenth Symposium will explore the theme of “Celebrating Black Joy, Hope, and Healing.” A partnership between U-M and the Ann Arbor Branch of the NAACP, this Juneteenth observance aims to celebrate and recognize the liberation of all Black people from slavery, made official by the emancipation on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas. 

WCTF Juneteenth Celebration
Friday, June 18, 2021, 8:30 AM-1:30 PM

Join the Women of Color Task Force for its second annual Juneteenth observance event. This year’s theme is “Improving Intercultural Race Relations to Develop Intercultural Solidarity.” This program includes:

  • 9:00 AM - Panel 1: Learning from Cross-Cultural Experiences: A Global Perspective
  • 10:30 AM - Panel 2: Toward a Culturally Inclusive Workplace
  • 12:00 PM - Keynote Program: Improving Intercultural Race Relations to Develop Intercultural Solidarity 

University of Michigan Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Juneteenth Celebration
Friday, June 18, 2021, 1 - 2 PM

U-M Electrical Engineering and Computer Science invites you to its second Juneteenth celebration, which will include:

  • Performance of the Black National Anthem
  • Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Recognition of Dr. Willie Hobbs Moore, the first Black woman at Michigan to earn a BS and MS in electrical engineering (‘58 and ‘61), and the first Black woman in the country to earn a PhD in physics
  • Panel discussion on the representation of Black students in STEM

20 Things Everyone Should Know About Slavery
Friday, June 18, 2- 3:30 PM
Sponsored by the Center for Social Solutions

Panelists will seek to generate a discussion about how historical knowledge might contribute solutions to the problems of contemporary expressions of human slavery and offer new pathways to democracy and freedom.

Black and Free: Exploring Liberation and Freedom in the 21st Century
Friday, June 25, 12-1:30 PM
Sponsored by the National Center for Institutional Diversity

Throughout history, people of African descent have fought to not only be free, but to thrive in liberation. The Diaspora’s diversity, then, brings to the table numerous perspectives and ways of imagining and working towards a free and liberated world for Black people. Can this world be known in the 21st century? Can freedom and liberation coexist? What obstacles remain to be dismantled and removed? Are we already free, and how can this be?


With all of the discussion surrounding Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the news, we thought it would be helpful to provide our UMSI community with a better understanding of what exactly CRT is. This following definition is from the American Bar Association.

"Critical Race Theory (CRT) is not a diversity and inclusion “training” but a practice of interrogating the role of race and racism in society that emerged in the legal academy and spread to other fields of scholarship. Crenshaw—who coined the term “CRT”—notes that CRT is not a noun, but a verb. It cannot be confined to a static and narrow definition but is considered to be an evolving and malleable practice. It critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers. CRT also recognizes that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality, gender identity, and others. CRT recognizes that racism is not a bygone relic of the past. Instead, it acknowledges that the legacy of slavery, segregation, and the imposition of second-class citizenship on Black Americans and other people of color continue to permeate the social fabric of this nation" (American Bar Association)

For those interested in applying CRT to Information Science, UMSI's very own Ihudiya Finda Williams and Kentaro Toyama have authored a paper entitled "Critical Race theory for HCI".

There will be more opportunities to discuss CRT in the upcoming academic school year. 


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as "Gay Pride Day," but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation the "day" soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally (Library of Congress)

As part of U-M's celebration, Queer Advocacy Coalition, in collaboration with Rackham Graduate School and the Spectrum Center, will be hosting Pride on the Diag this June 26th from 1-3pm on The Diag! At the event, you’ll find performances from local queer musicians, poets, and drag performers, as well as interactive tables from campus and community organizations providing resources about the LGBTQIA+ community and LGBTQIA+ safe sex practices. There will be games and cute photo booth opportunities, so grab your friends and family, and come out to celebrate! 🏳️‍🌈
Pride on the Diag 2021 - June 26th from 1-3 on the Diag. This event is presented by the Queer Advocacy Coalition, Rackham Graduate School, and Spectrum Center


From June 7th to June 11th we held our 5th annual Community College Summer Institute (CCSI) completely online. CCSI is UMSI's landmark outreach program that has reached 151 community college students since 2017. This year's institute invited CCSI fellows to experience virtual life as a UMSI student with MUMSI, the UMSI mascot as their guide. They earned acorns (points) by engaging in activities throughout the week. Many thanks to our colleagues at the CDO, ELO, OASA, as well as UMSI faculty and students who helped make CCSI a success.  You can see this year's full agenda on the CCSI Website.

This year:
  • 50% of fellows were Pell Grant recipients
  • 63% of fellows were women
  • 53% of fellows were from underrepresented communities
  • We had fellows coming from:
    • Grand Rapids Community College
    • Lansing Community College
    • Oakland Community College
    • Washtenaw Community College


Portrait of Sandra Lopez, UMSI's new Outreach CoordinatorWe are pleased to welcome a new colleague, Sandra Lopez, who is joining the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office as an Outreach Coordinator. In this role, Sandra will support K-14 outreach programming designed to spread broader awareness of the field of Information Science and promote college-going culture - especially among underserved students. Sandra's first day was Monday, June 7!

Sandra brings many skills and a wealth of knowledge from her experience as a secondary school college counselor and administrator. She founded the counseling department of IDEA College Preparatory Alamo and established operational systems that fulfilled the organization’s mission of 100% college matriculation. Most recently, she served as a college counselor at Romulus High School. 

She has worked closely with underserved students throughout her career and has a passion for educational access and equity. We are excited to have her join the UMSI community. Please join us in welcoming Sandra by sending her a message at!


DEI@UMSI Summer Reading List - Undermining Racial Justice: How One University Embraced Inclusion and Inequality by Matthew Johnson


Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee Graduate Student Staff Assistant - The GSSA will work on a variety of projects, to include some or all of the following: advising students and student groups on DEI issues, activities and funding requests; developing and implementing programs on issues including anti-racism, disabilities, and sexual misconduct prevention; assisting with community college or K-12 outreach efforts, publishing the UMSI DEI Newsletter, and organizing community gatherings with facilitated discussion. The GSSA will be an integral part of the Dean’s office operations focusing on implementing the DEI strategic plan. Applications are due Friday, July 2, 2021
Graduate Student Staff Assistant for UMSI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office - As one of two Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Graduate Student Services Assistants (DEI GSSA), the DEI Committee GSSA will assist in the development and advancement of UMSI's anti-racist curriculum, co-curriculm, pedagogy, and education efforts in partnership with the DEI Committee. The GSSA will work on a variety of projects, to include some or all of the following: Conducting interviews and data collection, categorizing and review of UMSI syllabi, event coordination, benchmarking and research related to anti-racist curriculum and co-curriculum efforts and other duties as assigned. Applications are due Friday, July 2, 2021


For Students
For Faculty + Staff
Resources + Guides for Everyone


Have a story or event that you would like to be featured in The Cloud? Have feedback or suggestions on our content? If so, email Chris Kurien, the DEI Graduate Student Staff Assistant at

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