Inclusive History Project

The Inclusive History Project is designed to study, document, and engage the U-M community in understanding the university’s history with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion, with an initial focus on the history of race and racism.

Feedback

To solicit thoughts and ideas about the Inclusive History Project, the co-chairs are asking for feedback from the public. The information collected from the feedback form will help plan, shape and inform the framing and design committee’s work this semester and beyond.

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.

The Inclusive History Project is, in part, an outgrowth of the university’s 2017 bicentennial commemoration and other efforts that have previously explored elements of the university’s past including: the Stumbling Blocks exhibit as part of the Presidential Bicentennial Colloquia Series; the Bentley Historical Library’s recent project to create a complete census of all African American students to 1970; and the more recent process that was put in place for reviewing historical names on buildings in response to community requests.

It will build 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.

This comprehensive project will require several phases of work lasting several years.


Event: Confronting an Institution’s Pasts

Inclusive History Project + Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies Symposium
Feb. 10, 2023
12:00pm – 2:00pm
Michigan League – Ballroom

In-person registration (closing Feb. 1) »

Zoom webinar »

Learn more about the symposium »


Leading the initial phase will be two leading scholars:

This committee will be responsible for determining the necessary historical and benchmarking analyses – in close partnership with the Bentley Historical Library – to map the scope and next steps of the project. That will include creating a process for robust and broad community outreach and engagement.

U-M’s approach to reviewing historical names has highlighted the challenges of reckoning with the past through a focus on individual names on buildings, discrete periods of time and events, and without the benefit of a comprehensive approach and community engagement across diverse groups of stakeholders.  Such an effort can be particularly difficult and only partially effective without a larger historical context.

The committee’s work will be intentionally independent of the university administration to mitigate any real or perceived notions that the scope and analyses were constrained by campus leaders.

The overall goal is to lead our community to a shared understanding of our past, how it has led to the challenges of today, and a defined trajectory for a more inclusive and equitable future.

Keisha Blevins, chief of staff and senior adviser to the chancellor, and chief diversity and inclusion officer, UM-Dearborn.

Jay Cook, professor of American Culture and professor of History, LSA.

Luis deBaca, lecturer I and visiting professor of law, Law School.

Manan Desai, associate professor of American culture and director of the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program, LSA.

Angela Dillard, Richard A. Meisler Collegiate Professor of Afroamerican and African studies and in the Residential College, professor of Afroamerican and African studies and of history, LSA.

Paul Erickson, Randolph G. Adams Director of the William L. Clements Library.

Fatma Müge Göçek, professor of sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies, LSA.

Thomas Henthorn, Dorothea E. Wyatt Professor of United States History and associate professor of history, College of Arts and Sciences, UM-Flint.

Morela Hernandez, Ligia Ramirez de Reynolds Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; and professor of management and organizations, Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Georgina Hickey, professor of history, College of Arts, Sciences and Letters, UM-Dearborn.

Joel Howell, Elizabeth Farrand Collegiate Professor of Medical History and professor of internal medicine, Medical School; professor of history, LSA; and professor of health management and policy, School of Public Health.

Vincent Hutchings, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor, Hanes Walton Jr. Collegiate Professor of Political Science and Afroamerican and African Studies, and professor of political science, LSA; and research professor, Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research.

Nancy Love, JoAnn Silverstein Distinguished University Professor of Environmental Engineering, Borchardt and Glysson Collegiate Professor, and professor of civil and environmental engineering, College of Engineering.

David Luke, chief diversity officer, UM-Flint.

David Porter, professor of English language and literature, and of comparative literature, LSA.

Emily Prifogle, assistant professor of law, Law School; and assistant professor of history, LSA.

Denise Sekaquaptewa, University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor and professor of psychology, LSA; and faculty associate, Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research.

Trina Shanks, Harold R. Johnson Collegiate Professor of Social Work, and professor of social work, School of Social Work.

Marie Ting, assistant vice provost, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

Sydney Tunstall, Ph.D. candidate in English and women’s and gender studies, LSA.

Bennett Walling, undergraduate student, LSA.

Stephen Ward, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; associate professor of Afroamerican and African studies and in the Residential College, LSA.

We envision a range of possible outcomes from this project including:

  • 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.