University of Michigan students are organizing an overnight speak out this month [tonight — Editor], protesting the school’s low underrepresented minority enrollment and what organizers call “a poor racial climate for students of color.”
The event is an extension of a campaign begun this year by the Black Student Union, which has specifically criticized U-M’s low black enrollment and demanded a series of changes on campus.
The “Speak Out” event is scheduled to begin 8 p.m., Feb. 18, and end 8 a.m. Feb 19. It’s hosted by U-M’s United Coalition for Racial Justice, a group comprised of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.
The group hopes to attract 1,000 people to the event, said organizer Austin McCoy, a U-M graduate student.
“We’re just trying to contribute to all the anti-racist activism that’s going on on campus,” McCoy said. “The large and the ultimate goal of this event is to try to get the president to make diversity a top priority.”
The event will begin with a open mic session for students, and will also feature a teach-in, performance art and strategy sessions focused on confronting racial inequities on campus.