Message from President Mark Schlissel and Vice Provost Robert Sellers

Michigan Photography, Scott Soderberg

To All Members of the Campus Community:

As we take a break from the daily rhythm of classes and work to gather with loved ones this week, some of you also may be struggling with emotions surrounding the recent trials for those found responsible for the death of Ahmaud Arbery, and for Kyle Rittenhouse who was found not guilty of all charges in the shooting of three men, two of whom died. This comes at the same time we are learning more about the recent deaths and injuries at a Wisconsin holiday parade.

We want to take a moment to voice our sorrow for all of those who lost their lives in these instances. They are family and friends, colleagues and community members – human beings who might otherwise have been spending time observing holiday traditions this week.  We are tragically reminded that acts of violence and systemic racism continue to afflict our nation, taking from all of us our ability to live in true freedom and without fear.

Despite such tremendous loss, we hope you can savor the gift of togetherness during this season. For many, this is the first time gathering with family or friends for a holiday in a long time. Should you or someone you know want support now or in the coming weeks, our university resources are listed below.

As we continue to deal with the outcomes and effects of events that have racial implications and senseless acts of violence, we urge our campus community to be empathetic, compassionate and supportive to those who may be struggling.

We know there is much work to be done to achieve true justice, to eliminate the scourge of white supremacy and to correct a flawed justice system.

It is difficult to so often be confronted by such verdicts and acts of violence, at a university where so many students, faculty and staff work tirelessly and passionately for social justice.

But let us use this as an opportunity to recommit ourselves – as an institution and as individuals – to our core values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Our efforts around anti-racism and DEI are an ongoing journey.

We must remain committed to ensuring our environment is one that celebrates the diversity within our community. Let us unite in our shared commitments and values and continue to vigorously pursue racial equity and social justice on campus and everywhere in our world.

Thank you for your passion, your dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and your compassion for one another.

Mark S. Schlissel

Robert M. Sellers
Charles D. Moody Collegiate Professor of Psychology and
Vice Provost for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer

Resources for students

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) mental health professionals provide support to individuals from a wide array of identities, including traditionally marginalized or disenfranchised groups. CAPS continually offers confidential, culturally-informed services and provides support for navigating national/world events impacting psychological well-being.

Dean of Students Office (DOS) staff provide direct support and assistance to students who are encountering anything that is interrupting their Michigan experience, and can also make referrals to other services, including Campus Climate Support and restorative pathways through the Office of Student Conflict Resolution.

Center for Campus Involvement (CCI) recognizes a diverse body of student organizations where students may find community, support, and dialogue with peers. To find a student organization that meets your interests and needs, browse Maize Pages or make an Involvement Drop-In Appointment with a staff member.

Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI) is available to meet, counsel or coach any students in need by making an appointment with a staff member.

Resources for faculty and staff

Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office
(734) 936-8660 or

Michigan Medicine Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience
(734) 763-5409 or

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