During contract negotiations this year, the Graduate Employees’ Organization issued a proposal to create 23 paid, unionized graduate student positions dedicated to implementing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategic plans at the University of Michigan. This plan to create DEI Graduate Student Staff Assistants was developed by campus leaders involved in DEI organizing and represented a grassroots, bottom-up, initiative to align the University’s DEI values with real-world practice.
We are currently in the thick of March Madness, a time of year when it seems as though everyone is an expert in all things basketball. People are filling out brackets, making bets and anxiously watching as many games as they possibly can. This time, more than ever, I am reminded of one of the things that annoyed me most during my childhood, along with being the cause of a lot of anxiety and decreased self-esteem. When I met new people, usually adults, or saw family members whom I did not see on a regular basis, they would ask me, “Do you play any sports?” Now this in itself is harmless.
I began my freshman year the way most people do: completely unsure of what classes to take. I decided to take a class that would fulfill the Race and Ethnicity requirement so I would not have to take it again in my undergraduate career. I took a class on the history of Islam in South Asia because it fit my schedule. And though the class was informative overall as a history class, it had little to do with my experiences as a South Asian woman and nothing to do with inequities as they exist relating to ethnicity.
If you are worried that the dissemination of “alternative facts” is undermining intelligent discourse and threatening our democracy, we advise you to pay closer to attention to LSA’s attempts to eliminate and distort the history of Asian/Pacific Islander Americans at the University of Michigan.
When I was a kid, I loved American Girl dolls. They were just expensive dolls, but they were also a defining innovation of my entire upbringing. The historical dolls scene was the best — don’t argue. Felicity was my favorite, but Nellie was pretty cool and Molly was all right. Don’t talk to me about Samantha though. My best friend and I would spend hours at her house poring through magazine pages, picking out the dolls we wanted and the outfits we would put them in. We read all the books together, and made up our own stories once we finished the books.
Don't forget about Flint. People there still don’t have clean water.
I'm from Flint, lucky to have my water untainted and saddened by the hundreds of homes ruined, people poisoned and voices unheard.
We must never forget about Flint. The aftereffects of lead poisoning will continue to harm and haunt many for the years to come. May we learn from this negligence and work and speak so something like this will never happen again.
The following is a poem I wrote a year ago when the coverage of the crisis was just beginning: