On Friday, June 5, UMSocial brought together U-M students, faculty, and staff to show support and solidarity for the black community through a Constructive Conversation for Societal Change. This virtual town hall event included President Mark Schlissel and a distinguished panel of faculty, staff and students. The conversation served as a platform for addressing and discussing current events, the struggles that black Americans face, and the actions we can take to end systemic racism in society and within our own institution.

 

While these conversations are not the solution, nor our only response, they are a stepping-stone to creating greater and lasting change. The Conversations for Change student blog and podcast series is a continuation of this conversation and an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about ongoing issues in our society, from the perspective of U-M students. Learn how to combat racism in your daily lives by having productive conversations, using your voice, and engaging in advocacy through these episodes of Conversations for Change.

 

 

WE’RE ON THE SAME TEAM

Michigan senior and baseball player Isaiah Page shares his experience as a black student-athlete, talks about changes he hopes to see, and tells the story behind his inspirational TikTok. He discusses the need to have productive conversations and be able to continue respecting one another, despite disagreements.

 

 

STAYING TRUE TO YOURSELF

U-M Central Student Government Vice President Saveri Nandigama discusses her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus. She is working to create more actionable items that integrate DEI into every part of the university.

 

 

OUR STORIES ARE ALL VALUABLE

Michigan senior Jamilah Willis analyzes social inequities, privilege, and the constant fight for racial justice. She challenges everyone to make a change in this moment because right now, there is powerful momentum in the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

 

EXAMINING RACIAL DISPARITIES ONLINE

U-M doctoral candidate at the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education Gloryvee Fonseca-Bolorin examines race, social integrity, and cultural movements through the lens of social media. She discusses how these online tools are bringing about a new form of activism to increase social awareness.

 

 

USING MY VOICE

Michigan senior Quynh Tran describes her experience as an ally and minority student on campus. Through her classes and finding her sense of self, she has learned to use her voice to amplify those that have been marginalized.

 

 

FIGHTING FOR YOUR IDENTITIES

U-M senior and Speaker of the Black Student Union Thomas Vance emphasizes the importance of intersectionality and the difference between true allyship and performative allyship.