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You Don’t Belong Here: The Stories Our Systems Tell (and Why We Have to Disrupt Them)

January 17, 2023, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST

Many universities message extensively around their commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These institutional assertions are often called into question, though, by the stories of members of the higher education community who continue to face marginalization and othering within their professional and educational spaces. This session centers around an embodied case study depicting one woman’s reflections on her experiences of higher education and her interactions with a range of systems that sent a persistent message that she didn’t belong, that she would never truly be a part of her university community. Through session activities, participants will consider how these messages manifest and why they continue to occur despite the extensive labor of individuals sincerely committed to advancing equity.

In this session, participants will:

  • Consider the way that stories of non-belonging and exclusion are perpetuated in the U.S. education system
  • Unpack the differences between individual action and systems-level change
  • Brainstorm improvements at the systems level

The session length is 90 minutes. You Don’t Belong Here is offered only in a fully virtual, synchronous format.

**The theatrical portion of this session contains strong language. It includes explicit descriptions of racist and classist behaviors and the impact of systemic inequities on individuals and communities.

This workshop is designed for University of Michigan master’s students, doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows. For faculty and staff, please contact [email protected] to see if we can accommodate your attendance.

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.


January 17, 2023
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm EST
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Livestream / Virtual