A new multicultural center will be built in the heart of campus. Inspired by the advocacy of the Black Student Union, and with the enthusiastic support of campus leadership, this facility will serve as a venue for student programs and activities that develop cultural learning and skills for collaborative engagement. In addition to providing event and meeting space for student organizations, the Trotter Multicultural Center (TMC) will serve as a center for campus conversations on and programming to improve climate, student support and diversity, equity and inclusion at the University of Michigan.

Year Four Progress

Since its grand re-opening in April, 2019, the new Trotter Multicultural Center (TMC) has become a hub for community engagement and intercultural development. In year four, TMC was the site for 11 wide-ranging academic courses as well as an array of innovative special events centered on collaborative thinking, interactive social action, leadership, transformation, and interfaith education and exploration.

Following the TMC’s re-opening, U-M Student Life has utilized the Center in a host of creative ways and, in the process, has deepened relationships with students, strengthened academic partnerships, and implemented new and refreshed programming. The Center represents a successful outcome on many fronts, made possible by DEI Student Advisory Boards (SABs) and a dynamic team of staff members dedicated to honoring the Trotter legacy and engaging the campus community.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, TMC was a highly utilized space, with a total of 1,900 room reservations. It was also the site for drop-in weekly support services and for 11 academic courses on topics ranging from Black World Studies and Native American Peoples to Literature of the Undocumented, Japanese Civilization, and Diversity and Social Justice in Social Work. In addition, a new DEI Student Advisory Board, launched with the help of Student Life, planned and hosted a Collaborative Thinking Event and an Inclusive Leadership Panel for students as part of the 2019 Diversity Summit Week.

Building on U-M’s rich history of faith-based and interfaith initiatives, and spurred by feedback from students, the Center focused efforts on supporting current interfaith initiatives and developing additional student-facing programs. During year four, Trotter worked in partnership with Student Life and various academic units to engage 736 participants across 15 interfaith-focused events and gatherings.  Working closely with the Interfaith Advisory Group, TMC will focus on religious, spiritual, and secular (RSS) worldview education; establishment of a campus advisory group and facilitation of student programming; faculty/staff development; and strategic planning. 

Going forward, the Center will continue to serve as a crucial campus resource, providing intensely needed opportunities for student support, learning, growth, and community care. A particular area of focus in year five will be Social Justice Education and Intercultural Development Initiatives. The Center will also enlarge its role as a robust space for dialogue, coalition building, and social action by deepening partnerships with the Program on Intergroup Relations, the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, the International Center, and the Ginsberg Center for Service Learning. 

Responsibility: Division of Student Life