University of Michigan Students Organize All-Night ‘Speak Out’ Protesting Lack of Racial Diversity

Kellie Woodhouse, Michigan Live, February 9, 2014

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.”

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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.

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