On Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, students and faculty at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor gathered for a worthy cause. What started out as a campus campaign rapidly expanded into a 12-hour overnight protest. The United Coalition for Racial Justice at the university hosted a speak out event from 8pm Tuesday evening until 8am Wednesday morning to protest low enrollment of underrepresented groups and the poor racial climate for students of color on campus.
“We want a program that is going to aim at hiring more faculty and staff of color, and also attracting more students of color,” says organizer Austin McCoy.
This radical movement garnered a tremendous amount of support with 1,000 people in attendance. Students have grown weary of administration’s lip service and is demanding more diverse presence on campus.
“If you look at Latino students and Native American students, the enrollment numbers are, you know, it’s a poor representation of what it should be,” says graduate student Kyera Singleton.
The event gave people an opportunity to speak out about their experiences on campus and to create a plan for progress moving forward. The students acknowledged that the experiences of people of color are impacted by more than just race alone, they addressed issues around the intersections of race in regards to class, gender, sexuality and ability.