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November 2020 DEI Spotlight - DJA (Design Justice Actions)


Organization Name: DJA - Design Justice Actions 

DJA Committees:  Co-Founders: Emily Ebersol and Serena Brewer;  Community Engagement: Mitch Deans and Torri Smith;  DEI Strategic Plan: Charlene Hobbs and Jamie Lee;  Review Culture: Abby Incontro;  Seminar Planning: Serena Brewer and Jared Freedman;  Syllabi Review and Curricular Reform: Olivia Raisanen and Madison Rogers (Architecture), Anna Thompson (Urban and Regional Planning)

About DJA: The Design Justice Actions is a student-led campaign that acknowledges and proactively works to dismantle the racist structures embedded in Taubman College in partnership with faculty, staff, and administrators. Guided by the twelve Design Justice Actions, the DJA Committee’s objective is to see these changes through by advancing the ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into our institutional culture. The initiative builds upon the work of NOMAS and other BIPOC colleagues at Taubman who have laid the groundwork for conversations surrounding racial equity in design education and professional practice.

Faculty Advisor: Entirely student-led 

Group Achievements: 

  1. Dissemination of DJA Letter Campaign
  2. Since it’s dissemination, the DJA has formed a student-committee of 20+ students cutting across design disciplines responsible for seeing the 12 actions through, solicited college-wide engagement in DJA working-groups, and held sessions to discuss topics including the decolonization of our design education, review culture in architecture schools, community engagement efforts at the college, DEI strategic plan, and racial equity seminar requirements.
  3. Held Anti-Racist syllabi reviews for all core architecture courses at Taubman
  4. Hosted panel discussions to engage the larger community including Alex Huff (Smith Group), Ujijji Davis (SmithGroup), Jennifer Hall (AA Housing Commission), Ceara O’Leary (DCDC) 
  5. Secured additional funding for U.Mich NOMAS Chapter
  6. 12 Actions embedded fully into the existing DEI Strategic Plans
  7. New Grounds for Design Education participants
  8. DJAxDark Matter University Panel Discussion

DEI Contribution/Highlight: The DJA has helped lay the framework to envision an anit-racist future for our architecture education at Taubman College.

Why is diversity, equity, and inclusion important to you? DEI is central to our work within DJA because our design education directly impacts our ability to seek justice in our professions and the communities we shape.


Additional November 2020 Featured "I Am Taubman" Spotlights: 

Jamie Lee.  Nathan McBurnett.  Wendy Rampson.  Tejashrii Shankarraman.  

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