Dear Future and Returning Michigan Housing Community Members,
There is no statement that can accurately capture the enormous amount of pain and trauma many of our community members, especially those part of the Black community, are experiencing in today’s national climate. From the COVID-19 pandemic, which has and continues to disproportionately impact marginalized communities across Michigan and the world, to the violence occurring against those exercising their right to protest antiquated and racist systems, we are living through an unprecedented time. We also know that these systems are not only racist, but also dehumanize individuals based on their gender, attractionality, religion, nationality, ability status, age and more. Community members bring these experiences, emotions, or hurt into all aspects of their lives, including our Housing spaces.
Our work is to support you in finding a community where you can express yourself and make lifelong connections. We know that Michigan Housing is a microcosm of the national climate, and it is our responsibility to position our resources and programs to push back against systems of oppression so that all of our community members can excel. Now more than ever, it is crucial that Michigan Housing continue to live into our values of inclusion and community building.
Recognizing that our staff members greatly impact your Michigan Housing experience, we dedicate time to train them on how to create inclusive communities through a semester-long course. There are continual opportunities for work around these topics throughout the year through meetings, workshops, and programming. This work is partially facilitated by embedded student staff whose sole focus is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programming and providing peer led education.
We also have worked to create a process where conflict is navigated through a restorative lens where we explore harm and focus on community healing. This is done through our Community Circle program, mediations between residents, and our response to community concerns.
These efforts are part of a larger picture, and we are committed to using this space to continue the conversation digitally so we can create an anti-racist environment where all members of our community can thrive. As you join or rejoin the Michigan Housing community, we encourage you to connect with our professional staff in the Diversity and Inclusion Office if there are ways that we can help you feel like You Belong Here.