APRIL 2018 DEI SPOTLIGHT
Name: Lutalo Sanifu
Preferred Pronoun: He/him/his
Taubman College Affiliation/Title (student/staff/faculty/alum): Graduate Student
Degree(s): Master in Urban Planning Candidate, 2018; BS in Urban Studies
Home Country: United States
Language(s) Spoken: English
Gender Identity: Male
Racial Identity: Black
Favorite food: Seafood Gumbo
What are other identities that you would like to share? Creole, Detroiter, Christian, Father, Revolutionary, Pan-African
Favorite book/author and why: Ta-Nehisi Coates is my favorite author. He speaks about the history and current struggles of my community in a voice quite similar to my own.
Favorite thing to do when not at TC: I am active with the University of Michigan Gospel Chorale and the Black Slate Inc. in Detroit. I enjoy both because they allow me to channel different sides of my personality.
DEI Contribution/Highlight: I am a leader for the Planning for Inclusion Initiative (PI2). In this role I have helped coordinate an effort to recruit students from the Atlanta University Center (a consortium of historically black colleges and universities (HBCU)). We helped to initiate more than 30 students’ interest in Taubman College and brought ten students to the college for a week of direct engagement.
Why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important to you? Being a child of the African Diaspora means that my experience is often that of a supplementary educator for my home community in Detroit and my cohort in Ann Arbor. I find these teaching moments allow me to bridge the gap between communities who would otherwise never engage each other, allowing us to find common ground. It is this common ground that will help us to grow as individuals and as a global community. I look forward to the day where higher education doesn’t need a DEI program, because diversity is commonplace.