Mid-Year Update on Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Efforts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dear Graham Stakeholders:

The Graham Diversity Planning Team is actively implementing 7 of the 31 action steps outlined in our 5-year plan to change policies and engage staff and students.

Sample activities include:

  • Diversity Workshop with Allan Johnson designed for Graham staff, scheduled for May 22nd. This workshop will focus on assessing the current climate, understanding the risks for inactivity, identifying resources needed, and determining strategies to implement change.
  • The Eco Equity Roundtable hosted by students for students on February 23rd, connected leaders and identified opportunities. See the News Brief and the Michigan Daily Article.
  • Gathering qualitative and quantitative data. For instance, all scholarship and grant applicants are required to address DE&I in their application materials. While specific responses are held confidential, themes were identified across the fellowship applicant pool. Some fellows will incorporate current or previous DE&I experience into their project work in the coming year. Others will benefit from working collaboratively with other fellows on an interdisciplinary team project and engaging stakeholders in developing practical sustainability solutions.
  • Education program leaders will continue to encourage students to think critically about and form connections between diversity, equity, inclusion, and sustainability through engaged research projects, diverse input, and community involvement.

As most of you know, the broader U-M DE&I plan and the Graham Institute DE&I plan contains activities focused on recruitment and retention, skill development and education, and promoting an inclusive climate. In response to these action items, some policies at the Graham Institute have changed, including:

  • All professional (job), scholarship, and grant opportunities are now distributed to a broader, more diverse audience.
  • Each job or funding opportunity now includes clear language about Graham’s commitment to DE&I.
  • Hiring and selection guidelines have been updated.
  • Additional training and skill development opportunities for staff and supervisors will be held throughout the next 5-years.
  • All job applicants will address a DE&I question during the interview process.

The continued engagement and input from staff and students is critical to creating a diverse and welcoming place to work and learn. The Graham team will follow a continuous cycle of planning, implementing, evaluating and improving. The process depends on regular feedback, input, and ideas from each of you.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to making long-term progress toward our DE&I goals. Thank you for your continued engagement in our efforts to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community. If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or our implementation team GrahamDPG@umich.edu.


Drew Horning
Graham Sustainability Institute Interim Director
ahorning@umich.edu / 734-764-2519