UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
DESIGN JUSTICE ACTIONS
A statement from the students, student organizations, and alumni of University of Michigan Taubman College to Taubman Leadership and Faculty...
Following the 2020 Juneteenth celebration, and at a time of collective mobilizations joining the long struggle of the Black community, we the students of A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning have found it necessary to address the racism that is deep-seated in the planning and design disciplines. The existing pedagogies, curriculum, and general instruction of these disciplines were bred out of outdated social, cultural, and economic structures and have failed to fully evolve with society. Our education impacts our ability to seek justice in our professions and the communities we shape. For Taubman College to promote public good through academic excellence and ‘build tomorrow,’ we must first rebuild our foundations from within.
We call upon the leadership and administration of Taubman College to acknowledge and proactively work to dismantle the racist structures embedded in our institution. The actions listed below aim to actively institutionalize anti-racism, advancing ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. It is with a sense of urgency that we call for your immediate attention and response, taking action to improve our teaching and learning practices. We envision our path forward beginning with the following actions ︎︎︎
WHO WE ARE ︎︎︎
FULL LETTER ︎︎︎
OFFICIAL RESPONSE FROM LEADERSHIP ︎︎︎
SIGN THE LETTER ︎︎︎
VIEW SIGNATURES ︎︎︎
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ︎︎︎
MLK SPIRIT AWARD RECIPIENT!!
The Design Justice Actions was awarded the 2021 North Campus Deans’ MLK Spirit Award for our commitment to decolonizing architecture and urban planning educations at Taubman College. We are incredibly honored to be recognized. Thank you to everyone who has helped advace the DJA initiative. For more information on the award and to see the other recipients and nominees, visit https://artsengine.engin.umich.edu/nc-mlk-spirit-awards/
Dark Matter University x Design Justice Actions
This event brought together Dark Matter University with the University of Michigan Taubman College’s Design Justice Actions student group to discuss racial justice in the architecture discipline. Dark Matter University is a democratic network with its actions guided by the principle that we cannot survive and thrive without immediate change toward an anti-racist model of design education and practice. The organization was founded to work inside and outside of existing systems to challenge, inform, and reshape our present world toward a better future.
Dark Matter’s Lisa Henry Benham and Jelisa Blumberg provide deeper insights into the organization’s work and agenda, and explored the alignment with the racial justice needs and initiatives that DJA is championing here at Taubman College.
PANNEL DISCUSSION W/MARC NORMAN, SMITH GROUP, + THE ANN ARBOR HOUSING COMMISSION
The DJA Community Engagement working group is hosting a pannel discussion on housing affordability in Ann Arbor and potential opportunties for engagement with Taubman College’s Marc Norman, Alex Huff and Ujijji Davis from SmithGroup, and Jennifer Hall from the AA Housing Commission.
‘NEW GROUNDS FOR DESIGN EDUCATION’
MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The DJA is excited to announce that we will be a part of the ‘New Grounds for Design Education’ discussion hosted by the New York Review of Architecture on July 30th. Serena Brewer and Emily Ebersol will be representing the DJA among a group of student organizers who have headed letter-wrinting campaigns at architecture schools across the country. Taubman alumni Asya Shine will also be a panelist representing Ohio State and the BIPOC Knowlton Coalition.
RSVP at nyra.nyc/rsvp
OUR FIRST INSTALLMENT OF RACISM REVIEW
JOIN THE DJA!!
We need college-wide involvement in the DJA if we want to improve the education and culture at Taubman College. If you are interested in further engagement and support of the Design Justice Actions initiative, please review the Actions outlined on our website and let us know how you'd like to be involved by filling out the Qualtrics form here.