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Welcome Back!
As this semester kicks off in full gear we want to take some time to welcome you all back! Our office (DEIO) and the DEI Committee have a lot of exciting events and programs planned for this year and we are looking forward to connecting with you all at some of them!
Gif of baby yoda jumping up and down in snow


The DEI Committee is excited to share the date and time of our first Anti-Racism Education Workshop. The workshop, "How to Talk About Race" with Dr. Anu Taranath is scheduled for Friday, February 12 from 1:00-3:00 PM*.

The workshop is designed
 to help ground the School of Information community on how to talk about race and how to navigate difficult conversations and "mistakes" in the classroom or outside environments. This event is open to all UMSI students, staff, and faculty. Please save the date! 

Faculty will be emailed with additional sessions focused on curriculum and teaching.

* This event is open only to the UMSI community. 


Podcast cover for Break Away depicting a paper airplane flying separately than other paper airplanes

The Break Away podcast presented by the Michigan Leadership Collaborative offers an anthology that magnifies and reinforces the challenges that leaders face today in developing healthy habits that fuel the mind and body. Each of the episodes will focus on various aspects of leadership from a diverse set of voices and perspectives while fostering both a sound mind and body.

Break Away's latest episode features UMSI's very own Robin Brewer and Devon Keen as they discuss leadership and accessibility.

You can listen to their episode on AnchorSpotify, and iTunes.


A key priority for the CDO is focused on educating and empowering students to advocate for themselves in the recruiting/hiring process, and in the workplace.  We are doing this through resource development, programs/workshops, as well as through employer education.  

Programs & Workshops

The CDO (in partnership with alumni relations and the DEI Office) is hosting, Carrie Sawyer, UMSI alum and CEO & Founder of Diversity by Design, to speak to the UMSI community on Feb.17th on How to Find a Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Company Culture.

The session titled, Aligning Values | How to Find a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Company Culture, will be held February 17th from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm remotely. To learn more about the event and to register please visit our Aligning Values Event Page.

In addition to this DEI event, the CDO will be conducting a student workshop on Salary Negotiations: Getting Your Worth on Tuesday, 2/9, noon-1:30pm. To register for this event please visit iTrack.

Resource Development

The CDO offers many resources to help students with their career development needs. We have developed many helpful DEI-focused resources, as well as workshops (recordings & slides) that are available to all UMSI students through the CDO Canvas Site


As we kick off this new year, we are continuing to work on improving the various programs and processes that UMSI has in place for DEI. However, one of our goals as we continue this work is to have conversations with different students, faculty, and staff to understand what you all think are ways that we can grow our efforts. These conversations don't have to center around completely reworking something or adding a new program, it can be around minor changes or improvements that you believe will make an impact on the experience that someone can have at UMSI. 

One of the best ways to start these conversations is by coming to our office hours. DEIO staff host office hours weekly with the hopes of connecting with students, staff, and faculty, so if you have anything you want to discuss do not hesitate to connect with us! Office hours are booked on an individual basis, so no one else will be present at your time slot. 

Who can I talk to?

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


When can I talk to Judy, Devon, and Chris?

You can see our availability for office hours by visiting our DEIO Office Hours Calendar. If these times do not work for you please send us an appointment request via email. 


As a reminder the UMSI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office (DEIO) together with the UMSI DEI Committee offer funding to support individual and group DEI efforts. UMSI DEI Funding is intended to support activities, events, programs, or professional development that further our collective understanding of and attention to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The conferences below are some of the many different types of events that you could submit a request for. To learn more about our funding process please visit our DEI funding page
Women in Data Science (WiDS) Worldwide conference - ​The Women in Data Science (WiDS) initiative aims to inspire and educate data scientists worldwide, regardless of gender, and to support women in the field. WiDS started as a one-day technical conference at Stanford in November 2015. Five years later, WiDS is a global movement that includes a number of worldwide initiatives.
WeCode -The Harvard WECode (Women Engineers Code) Conference is organized by undergraduate women at Harvard University and is an initiative of Harvard Women in CS ( WECode runs the largest student-run women in tech conference in the world. Our mission is to cultivate the next generation of technical leaders, foster a network and community among collegiate engineers, and promote more female representation in the technical industry.


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


Friday, January 29th - Good Trouble Community Discussion

(TODAY) Friday, January 29th - Good Trouble Community Discussion

Join us on Friday, Jan. 29 at 2:30 pm in Virtual Space 2435 to discuss the documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble, a film chronicling the life of Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis. You are invited to view the film at your convenience and join the community discussion afterward. 

Instructions on how to access the movie and community discussion were sent out as an email and a calendar invitation but if you need any help please contact us at You can also visit our Good Trouble event page for more information. 

Tuesday, February 2nd - Smash the Mainframe - The Collision Between Civil Rights and Computing
Tuesday, February 2nd - Smash the Mainframe - The Collision Between Civil Rights and Computing

Charlton will explore how “smashing the mainframe” became the way to articulate and demonstrate the clash between civil rights and computing in the 1960s. Moreover, his talk will address what that moment in history can teach us about how to fight back against today’s technological threats to racial justice. To learn more about the event please visit our Smash the Mainframe Event Page. 


Portrait of LaTosha Brown
Monday, February 1st - A Conversation with thought leader LaTosha Brown

For Black History Month, MESA is proud to present, "A Conversation with Thought Leader and Change maker LaTosha Brown!"

Ms. Brown is an award-winning thought leader, social strategist, philanthropic consultant, jazz singer, and catalyst for change. As co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund, Ms. Brown is dedicated to increasing the political power of Black people. She has more than twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on issues related to political empowerment, social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation, and civil rights. 

To register for this event please visit Sessions at Michigan
Racial Justice & DEI Community Fireside Chat Poster depicting keynote speakers ieutenant Governor of Michigan, Garlin Gilchrist II, Michigan State Representative Ranjeev Puri, U-M Professor Angela Ocampo, and Rackham Graduate School Assistant Dean & DEI Implementation Lead, Ethriam Brammer.
Thursday, February 4th - Racial Justice & DEI Community Fireside Chat 

Join Student Government for an engaging dialogue with the Lieutenant Governor of Michigan, Garlin Gilchrist II, Michigan State Representative Ranjeev Puri, U-M Professor Angela Ocampo, and Rackham Graduate School Assistant Dean & DEI Implementation Lead, Ethriam Brammer. Hear from this panel of experts and experienced professionals on how we can continue to advance toward racial justice and ways in which we can ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus here at the University of Michigan.

To register for this event please visit Events at Michigan
Newspaper headline "Michigan Students Protest Campus Clubs' Indian Relics"
Thursday, February 4th - A Primer for Student Activists

What are the secrets for effective student activism? How do student activists leverage their experiences with activism on campus in their personal and professional lives, after graduation?

Join eight members of the Students of Color Coalition twenty years after their takeover of the Michigan Union tower on Feb. 6, 2000, a sit-in to protest the appropriation of Native American culture by elite campus club and “secret society” Michigamua. Their protest lasted for 37 days and impacted their lives during and after their careers at Michigan while bringing greater awareness of systemic racism to campus and in the greater community. Come learn about their experiences during the strike and how campus activists shape meaningful lives and careers when their days of campus activism are behind them.

To register for this event please visit Events at Michigan


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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