The Inclusive History Project (IHP) is designed to study and document a comprehensive history of the University of Michigan that is attentive to diversity, equity, and inclusion and stretches across the university’s three campuses, including Michigan Medicine. In embarking on this journey of institutional self-discovery, U-M commits to changing our conception of the past and to taking action that enables us to build a truly inclusive present and future.
To solicit thoughts and ideas about the Inclusive History Project, the co-chairs are asking for feedback. The information collected from the feedback form will help plan, shape, and inform the IHP’s work as it continues.
The Inclusive History Project was first announced in June 2022. It is, in part, an outgrowth of the university’s 2017 bicentennial commemoration and other wide-ranging efforts to study and reckon with U-M’s history that are already underway on our campuses, including: the Stumbling Blocks exhibit as part of the Presidential Bicentennial Colloquia Series; the Bentley Historical Library’s African American Student Project, which aims to create a complete census of African American students who attended the university to 1970; and the process that was put in place for reviewing historical names on buildings in response to community requests.
The IHP also builds upon other U-M efforts, including our first five-year DEI strategic plan and transition to DEI 2.0, current anti-racism initiatives, and the culture journey to establish shared values.
A Design for the Inclusive History Project
The academic year 2022–23 was designated as a planning year for the IHP. That planning was led by a Framing & Design Committee, co-chaired by Elizabeth Cole and Earl Lewis and with 22 faculty, staff, and students drawn from across the university’s campuses. The committee was tasked with charting the scope and phasing of the project, planning for how various stakeholders will be engaged throughout the project’s duration, and identifying leadership and an organizational structure that will advance the project’s goals and mission.
The committee has released a design for the IHP’s next five years, including a research plan and priorities and recommendations for additional project activities, products, and processes. Also included is an articulation of the values and commitments that must govern the IHP’s work.
This plan is meant to serve as scaffolding for the work to come, with the acknowledgment that as the work progresses, it may build out in new directions.
Leading the IHP are two distinguished scholars:
The IHP’s work is intentionally independent of the university administration to mitigate any real or perceived notions that its scope and analyses are constrained by campus leaders. It is housed in the National Center for Institutional Diversity.
Call for Applications for IHP Teaching Fund
As part of its mission to produce an inclusive and wide-ranging history of the University of Michigan, the Inclusive History Project (IHP) seeks to fund compelling, innovative undergraduate and graduate teaching that advances both the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the university’s past with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Funding is designed to support the efforts of instructional faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students in classrooms across our campuses to study and better understand the shifting boundaries of diversity, equity, and inclusion in relation to U-M’s 200+ year history.
Course Development Grants up to $5K are available to fund the design and implementation of new courses that explore the university’s history in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion across a wide range of contexts and topics.
Course Redesign Grants up to $3K are available to support the redesign of existing courses to integrate a significant focus on the university’s history into the content and pedagogical aims of the course through the development and implementation of new course components.
Proposals from all disciplines and on a wide range of topics about the university’s history as related to diversity, equity, and inclusion are welcome. Proposed courses in this funding cycle must first be offered in the Fall 2024 or Winter 2025 terms.
Applications are due by Friday, January 19, 2024, by 11:59 p.m.
As A Design for the Inclusive History Project outlines, the range of possible outcomes from this project include:
- The development of new scholarship, research and courses.
- New expressions of a more inclusive and accurate institutional narrative such as exhibits, campus tours, websites, updated ceremonies and other forms of institutional storytelling.
- New and revitalized community relationships and partnerships.
- Changes in our institutional landscape and physical environment such as new kinds of monuments and public art.
- New and revised building and space names.
- New institutional programs and policies that address the contemporary effects of historical and systemic racism and other forms of discrimination and exclusion on our community, including but not limited to actions as permitted by law in areas such as admissions, financial aid, and faculty and staff hiring, promotion and compensation.
- Many other tangible ideas that will emerge from a thoughtful and engaged process.
Record: Work begins on U-M’s Inclusive History Project (November 2022)
Michigan Impact: Leadership Q&A: Inclusive History Project (February 2023)
Inclusive History Project Community Forums, April 2023
Near the end of the winter term, the IHP hosted in-person forums on each of the university’s three campuses and a virtual forum open to all campuses. The forums provided participants with an opportunity to learn about the IHP and share feedback through small group discussions.
Confronting an Institution’s Pasts, February 10, 2023
Inclusive History Project + Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies Symposium
Over the past twenty years, scores of universities have committed themselves to uncovering and reckoning with their ties to slavery as well as broader histories of exclusion and discrimination at their institutions. As the University of Michigan embarks on its own Inclusive History Project, this symposium explored what it means for universities to undertake this work and what the future of these efforts might be. Panelists representing projects from Brown University, Harvard University, the University of Virginia, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison discussed the principles that have guided their projects, the processes that have shaped them, the communities that have partnered with them, and the outcomes they have produced, including reparative measures.