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A Statement on Breonna Taylor from the Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion Read Now

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are Core Institutional Values. The College for Creative Studies strives to make our campus a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. CCS fosters a community of inclusion that is free from harassment and discriminatory practices built on a foundation of respect, empathy, and knowledge.

Recently, our country received news regarding the grand jury’s indictment of one of the officers involved in the tragic death of Breonna Taylor. This is another incident that adds to the personal challenges and emotional toil many of us experience, especially those groups who have experienced being marginalized and oppressed. Though we cannot control specific legal proceedings, I have considered the areas that we can control. We can control how we respond as a community. We can continue to commit in practice, with scholarly focus and creativity, a commitment to building an inclusive college campus and call out injustice.

During the spring and summer months at CCS, we launched several Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives including Ignite: A Week of Social Justice Activism, Celebrate Diversity at CCS Blog, and our Virtual Sharing Circles. I was encouraged to witness our campus community actively engage during the Defamation Experience workshop and our Faculty Day of Training which focused on creating a more inclusive college environment. Teaming up with Harriet Speaks on equity and inclusion training and working across CCS departments, we are making strides towards advancing the college’s aspiration to be an inclusive and diverse place to learn. Some action steps have been implemented in these few months, but much more work needs to be done.

As we continue to process these events, I encourage our campus community to take time to reflect and explore equity, social justice and inclusivity through our newly launched DEI LibGuide: Overview - Diversity & Inclusion Resources, review the section dedicated to Voting in Federal & Local Elections and view Your Vote Matters video by Amy Lazet (Library) and Madie Graham (Communication Design Student and OIEI Work-Study).

To that end, I would like to invite you to join me during the Candlelight Vigil honoring the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others over the course of our history who fell victim to unspeakably tragic and untimely deaths. This Candlelight Vigil is open for any member of the CCS community.

Please know there are available campus resources including the Wellness Center, the Office of Institutional Equity & Inclusion (OIEI), HR, Student Affairs leaders and staff, and others that can offer support. Connecting with others can be powerful and healing.

Let us work together!

Sincerely,

Dr. Deirdre D. Young
Assistant Dean
Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion

Dear CCS Community: 

You recently received a statement from our new Assistant Dean in the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Deirdre Young, about the tragic death of George Floyd. The College for Creative Studies condemns all forms of racism and bigotry.  I also want to reinforce how important it is that we reach out to our students, faculty, staff and alumni of color in support. During times like this, it is critical that we all work together to make positive improvements in society and work alongside community members and organizations that advocate for equity and social justice for historically marginalized groups, including people of color and especially African American men and boys.

Although we promote a sense of community to advance equitable outcomes, for many, we are far from that reality. We must work to cultivate a sense of community where we acknowledge inequities due to race and power. In 2020, the coronavirus has illuminated areas where our country remains both politically and racially divided and our quickness to blame others. What we need instead is more understanding, a space for sharing and a willingness to work across differences.  

Unfortunately, there is a long history in the United States of violence against people of color, especially by law enforcement. Artists and designers of all backgrounds have a long history of calling out injustices against all people. CCS has a responsibility to act more effectively to shed light on police brutality and social injustice. We recognize there are police officers who thoughtfully engage in community building. We need to identify these individuals and departments, hold them up as positive examples, and work with them to change the future.

In the coming weeks, Dr. Young has planned community conversations to provide space for CCS community members to process their feelings and identify ways to be agents for change. Details are forthcoming and will be communicated via the CCS website and Blackboard.

Take care,
Don

Dear CCS Community, 

This week our city and nation were shaken by the tragic death of yet another unarmed Black man, George Floyd. In demonstrations in Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and Detroit, people call for justice and an end to police brutality.  Our college recognizes the pain, fear, fury, and bleakness many in our CCS community are experiencing. The College for Creative Studies along with the Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion stand firmly in our core institutional values of diversity, equity and inclusion and denounce all forms of prejudice and discrimination.  My heart goes out to George Floyd’s family and to everyone who is feeling the pain due to social injustice.   We join in mourning with our city and the world over the death of George Floyd and with all who stand against anti-Black racism, police brutality, and injustice.  

It is truly heartbreaking to witness egregious acts that continue to exist in our country.  In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 

I stand with college leaders across the country and all our national leaders who quickly called out the injustice in Mr. Floyd’s death. Despite our shared feelings of hopelessness and despair, let’s come together as a community to take action and confront social injustice while striving to create an environment that supports and advances a diverse and equitable campus culture. We are dedicated to cultivating an environment where ideas and contributions can flourish to advance efforts that build stronger communities. I challenge us to ask what ways we can use our artistic gifts and talents to help our community move forward. I personally commit to actively working alongside our Leadership Team, the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Advisory Council, CCS departments, and community stakeholders to promote a more equitable campus community.

On Friday, June 5, at 3:30 pm, the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion (OIEI) and President Don Tuski will host a virtual sharing circle for any members of the CCS community to process their feelings and experiences in relation to this topic.

RSVP: Check your CCS calendar for the meeting invite.  Zoom Details will be forwarded to confirmed attendees.

During these uncertain times, there are several resources available to CCS community members, including the Employee Assistance Program-Ulliance, Telehealth Services, and other Community Resources.  In addition to our virtual sharing circle, the OIEI is also available to talk one on one.  As always, please report any incidences of discrimination at CCS to (students) or (employees).

Collectively, let us continue to work together for a more just, equitable society in our service, pedagogy, and collaborative community efforts. This should be our commitment to ourselves and to each other.  

Sincerely,

Dr. Deirdre D. Young
Assistant Dean
Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion

CCS Community, 

I hope this message finds you in the best of health and spirits. On June 17th, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation declaring June 19th as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan. 

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the legal end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was effective on January 1, 1863, it took 2 and a half additional years for the men, women, and children who were enslaved in Galveston, Texas to have their legal right to be free honored. Acting as the date of emancipation, June 19th also became a long-standing day of celebration, meant to honor African-American resilience and the end of slavery. More information on this can also be found here

“Juneteenth is a crucial day in our nation’s history to remember how far we have come and recognize how far we still have to go,” said Governor Whitmer. “During a time when communities of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and when the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have shone a light on the systemic racism Black Americans face every day, we must work together to build a more equitable and just Michigan. I’m proud to declare June 19, 2020 as Juneteenth Celebration Day, and will continue to work tirelessly to create a state that is equal for all.” View the full proclamation here

For those who were not able to join in the community conversation on June 5th and June 12th, the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion will be hosting our Virtual Sharing Circle with the CCS Alumni Council Executive Board and the Office of the President on June 26th at 3:30 p.m. Please click here to RSVP

As we collectively work to advance equitable outcomes, we encourage our community to take time to reflect, take action, celebrate (progress and resilience), honor, and observe this historical day, and to set personal goals on how you can continue to contribute to our collective equity work at CCS. Interested in learning more, please click here for Juneteenth events in our area. Let us continue to cultivate an organization together that focuses on inclusivity and solidarity across all lines of difference in our world. 

Onward, Dr. Deirdre Young
Assistant Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion

Statement of Commitment

We are dedicated to creating an environment that supports and advances a diverse and equitable campus culture. We value our rich campus diversity and strive to cultivate an environment where ideas and contributions can flourish. The Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion is committed to advancing efforts that enrich our campus community and build stronger communities.

Our Community

The College for Creative Studies represents a diverse community composed of individuals with many perspectives, personal experiences, values, identities, and worldviews that recognize differences of culture and circumstance. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are interlaced into our Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan.

Community Resources

Celebrating Diversity Blog

sunset with words modeling respect, equality and peace in your relationships is #1thing you can do to help end domestic violence

Featured News: September 30 2020

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 1 marks the start of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and has done so since 1981. Domestic Violence, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of abusive behaviors intended to gain, maintain, or regain power and control within a relationship. These abusive behaviors can include physical, sexual, or psychological tactics intended to hurt, humiliate, control, manipulate, terrorize, or even kill current or former intimate partners.

READ FULL ARTICLE

Women's Equality Day

Featured News: August 26 2020

Women's Equality Day - Voting History

August 26 is National Women’s Equality Day, and this year marks the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This was the provision that allowed women to vote - previously, only men could vote - by stating that “the rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” (1). Voting has a long and storied history throughout the United States; in order to understand the importance of Women’s Equality Day and the significance of the right to vote, a brief recounting of the history of voting in the United States of America is necessary.

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Two students smiling and holding up attendance tickets in a car

Featured News: July 08 2020

A Student Perspective: Between Friends - A Conversation about Race, Inclusion and Understanding

Yasmin Ali and Madie Graham met in their first week of college, the second day of orientation, when both attended the trip to Belle Isle. Upon their first exchange, they hit it off immediately and recall discussing “the two things you should never talk about at the dinner table: religion and politics,” as they walked along the beach. Two years later, both have maintained a close friendship through the ebb and flow of their college days whether it’s watching romantic comedies on Valentine's Day or spending hours doing homework on the 8th floor.

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Contact Information

Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion
Taubman Center - 9th Floor 
T. 313.664.1487
F. 313.664.1490

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Assistant Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion
Deirdre D. Young, DDS, MHSA
T. 313.664.1489