View this email in your browser
The Cloud: UMSI's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Newsletter - November Edition
What's in this Newsletter?
The Semester is (Almost) Over!
We know this has been a difficult semester to adjust to but we are finally close to the end! We wish all of you luck with your finals and hope that you have a safe and relaxing winter break! 
Happy Winter written on top of a snowy background


Last month we introduced some of the posters made for SI 320/520: Graphic Design taught by Elena Godin and Vadim Besprozvany. As a recap students were challenged to submit original creative pieces for the DEI Summit's online showcase. Students were also challenged to create their pieces inspired by the works of Luba Lukova, an American visual artist and designer, known for her thought-provoking images and expressive poster designs. 

Below are some of the works that students created. 
Poster depicts the words "Effort(Hate)>Effort(Love)" and "Teach Love" with a depiction of a family on a. green background.Sushmitha Rao, SI 520
This piece was inspired by a quote by Nelson Mandela in 1994 “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” The poster to me also seeks to understand that radical self-love(The radical decision to love every facet of ourselves) is necessary to be able to unlearn our hatred and to start young by teaching the younger generation to put the effort into loving each other. Inspired by Luba Lukova’s work called “Love”
American Flag with the stripes dripping off and handgs holding the stripes to show hands holding a prison bar. The accompanying text says "The New Jim Crow"
Ashley Thompson, SI 320
Bachelor of Science in Information
Black and White Poster depicting Breonna Taylor with tape over her mouth and the words "Your Silence is Deafening" above her.
Victoria Cope, SI 520
Master of Science in Information


What are office hours?

Office hours are opportunities for the UMSI community to connect with members of UMSI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office. We will continue to host office hours during this week and in the early weeks of January before school starts up again. 


So what kinds of topics can we discuss during office hours? 

  • If you are facing any issues that relate to diversity, equity, and/or inclusion, this includes topics like bias/racism or accessibility issues. 
  • You have concerns about the school climate
  • There is an exciting event or program you'd like to bring to UMSI that serves marginalized identities, highlights cross-cultural perspectives, and/or has a focus on equity. 
  • You'd like more information about the DEI Fund and assistance with the application process


Who has office hours?

  • Judy Lawson - Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Devon Keen - Director of Inclusion, Equity, and Outreach
  • Chris Kurien - Graduate Student Staff Assistant  


How can I sign up for office hours?

You can sign-up for office hours with Judy, Devon, or Chris by visiting our DEIO Appointment Calendar.


Do you want to host a DEI-related speaker, attend virtual conferences, seminars, workshops etc., or start a project at UMSI?  Well, these events could be funded by UMSI’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office and DEI Committee!

The UMSI DEI Funding may be used for:

  • Speaker or facilitator fees/honorariums (subject to the approval given current constraints on hiring external vendors)
  • Conference* or webinar attendance or other training opportunities to support individual learning and professional development 
  • Conference* attendance to support networking and career development focusing on members of underrepresented groups or identities
  • Refreshments or meals (when these become allowable given social distancing guidelines)
  • Supplies, materials, resources, or equipment
  • Other expenses that support the stated activity

* Regarding conference funding: due to University travel restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, we are only funding registration expenses related to participation in virtual conferences.


Request Process

Requests for funding should be made well in advance, ideally 4-6 weeks before your activity or event will take place. Funding requests will be reviewed and decided by Devon Keen, Chris Kurien, and Judy Schabel in consultation with the DEI Committee. The committee will provide an initial response within 7 days, and a decision within 14 days of receiving the request. 

If you have questions or concerns about your request, please email You can also visit our DEI Funding page to learn more.


Wow! It has been a challenging semester for all of us here at the School of Information. Here’s what your DEI committee did this semester: 

Our team formed several subcommittees to tackle multiple issues in our committee charge. The reading subcommittee met to curate and finalize an anti-racist reading list set to be released Wednesday, December 9th. We encourage you all to add a book or two to your monthly reading queue! 

Our antiracist curriculum subcommittee collected annotated syllabi from faculty here at the School of Information. Currently, this team is working to analyze these syllabi to generate some recommendations and best practices, soon to follow!

The education subcommittee has been meeting over the semester to acquire facilitators to begin leading workshops aiming at DEI training for our faculty, later extending to all those interested in our school’s population. 

Finally, our retention and recruitment subcommittee has begun planning to begin focus groups surrounding the challenges faced by marginalized members of our SI community! 

Here's How You Can Get Involved:
  • Drop-in on one of our scheduled meet and greets and community forums 
  • Email us 
  • Submit an anonymous feedback form 
  • Submit your pick for the DEI Reading List 
  • Follow the DEI newsletter 
What’s Next for the DEI Committee?
  • Focus groups are on track to begin the Winter term!
  • Starting next semester we will begin to offer more workshops for our faculty, staff, and students!
  • Our co-curriculum committee will begin work to redesign orientation and career development resources for incoming and current students!


If you are part of a group (formal or informal) that is interested in connecting with the DEI Committee directly, please reach out to the co-chairs or any DEI committee member to schedule a time to connect. Individuals may also reach out directly. Below is a potentially helpful structure for discussion preparation - though all comments are welcome.
  • Overview of the group who is speaking and goals
  • Summary of what’s worked well
  • Summary of key concerns
  • Guidelines/proposal for the committee
  • How involved might you want to be in follow up? What are your hopes and expectations? (just to let us know, or work with us, the opportunity to circle back, etc?)
To contact the co-chairs please email

Or you may reach out to the co-chairs individually at:


Each month the DEI Committee Chairs will be answering questions submitted by members of the UMSI Community in the Cloud. To submit any questions that you may have please fill out the DEI Committee's Anonymous Feedback Form


John Lewis Good Trouble Poster depicting John Lewis
Free Screening: John Lewis: Good Trouble. 
An intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’ life, legacy, and more than 60 years of extraordinary activism — from the bold teenager on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement to the legislative powerhouse he was throughout his career. 

To get your tickers register online at Events at Michigan. Once you register, you will be sent a viewing link which will be active for 72 hours upon first access. Viewing access available expires at midnight on 12/17/20. 
Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium 2021
Since 1986, the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives has coordinated the University of Michigan’s annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium — one of the largest celebrations of the life and legacy of MLK sponsored by colleges and universities in the nation.

OAMI is excited to announce that the 2021 Keynote Memorial Lecture will be shown via Zoom on Monday, January 18th at 10 am. Zoom Link will be available in January.

To learn more about all of the different events that will be hosted and to get involved please visit OAMI's MLK Symposium webpage


As a school with students from all around the world, we want to take the time to remember the many cultures and religions that have holidays this month. So here are some guides to learn more about some of the major cultural and religious holidays that people will be celebrating this year.  We know things may look a little different this year but we hope you find ways to celebrate - in familiar and new ways.


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
Copyright © 2021 UMSI, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp