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How Do We Begin: A Historical Reckoning with Anti-Black Racism at U-M

November 18, 2022, 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST

Written by guest playwright and U-M alumnx Jordan Harris, this short series of plays illuminates U-M’s complicated relationship to elitism and racial inequity. Using Matthew Johnson’s book Undermining Racial Justice (a historical analysis of the admissions processes at U-M) as an entry point, the play examines how American colleges and universities—and U-M specifically—have perpetuated anti-Blackness while simultaneously benefiting from their association with inclusive values. Through a series of facilitated discussion and activities, participants will wrestle with a central question: with an understanding of our inequitable past and present, how will we imagine and pursue a racially just future?

The session length is two hours. How Do We Begin is currently offered in a fully virtual, synchronous format.

**The theatrical portion of this session deals directly with anti-Black racism in the academy and its disproportionate impacts.

In this session, participants will:

  • Reflect on their experience, agency, and accountability within this history/present.
  • Unpack crucial disconnects between institutional rhetoric and action.
  • Practice brainstorming ways to disrupt anti-Black racism in their professional practice.

Registration is required at

We want to ensure full and equitable participation in our events. If an accommodation would promote your full participation in this event, please follow the registration link to indicate your accommodation requirements. Please let us know as soon as possible in order to have adequate time, preferably one week, to arrange for your requested accommodations or an effective alternative.


November 18, 2022
1:00 pm to 3:00 pm EST
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Livestream / Virtual