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U-M Arts Initiative Signature

Anti-Racism Design Challenge

In addition to an initial round of pilot project grants, the Arts Initiative has sought out other creative collaborations with the wider University of Michigan campus - find out more about those efforts here.

This semester-long design challenge was co-sponsored by the Arts Initiative, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the U-M Center for Socially Engaged Design and the U-M Center for Academic Innovation’s XR initiative.

More than 60 students representing 17 of the Ann Arbor campus’ 19 schools and colleges and UM-Dearborn worked to answer a series of questions - How do you imagine a future world that is anti-racist? How do you envision the community you want to build? What societal impact do you want to make?

Seven teams shared their projects and three student teams received $1,000 awards related to their work addressing anti-racism during the Center for Socially Engaged Design annual Innovation in Action awards showcase on April 9. The winning teams were:

  • Plucky Comics, a web application that tells the story of Black queer historical figures through the medium of comics. It was created by Nathan Alston of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and Daniella Gennaro of the Ross School and School of Education.
  • Shift, a personalized platform dedicated to helping individuals become more aware of ways to be anti-racist. It was created by Amoolya Kumar of UM-Dearborn’s College of Engineering and Computer Science; Gabriela Chen of the School of Public Health and Rackham Graduate School; Kelly Chan of the School of Education; and Robin Kocher of the School of Information.
  • Designing Access, a resource that promotes creation of events that are inclusive and welcoming to all. It was created by five students from the School of Social Work: Sofie Aaron, Amy Belfer, Flavio Di Stefano, Hannah Lefton and Callie Torkelson.

The full write-up is featured on Arts & Culture Michigan here.