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Mon February 10, 2014
Students to hold all-night event to discuss race on UM campus
University of Michigan students are holding an all-night event later this month to discuss race on campus.
The event, billed as a "Speak Out," is being organized by the United Coalition for Racial Justice, a student organization consisting of students and faculty members.
The event will build on momentum gained by the university's Black Student Union to make the campus more inclusive and diverse.
Efforts by the Black Student Union have included the #BBUM Twitter campaign – Being Black at the University of Michigan – launched last November, and a series of demands to university administrators to improve campus life for minority students.
Jennifer Alzate, a PhD student and a member of the United Coalition for Racial Justice, says the event will give more students the opportunity to talk about what she calls the university's "poor racial climate."
"This is such a big university and it's so hard to really capture the voices of all of its students, which is something that (the #BBUM campaign) did really effectively," she said. "We're trying to attract that same kind of crowd, pulling from different pockets of the university."
She added that the event is an opportunity for other to add to the conversation about race.
"Many students of color feel alienated, marginalized, tokenized and a whole series of other feelings revolving around the university," she said.
The event will be held at the university's Shapiro Undergraduate Library and will include a series of lectures and artistic performances.
– Jacob Axelrad, Michigan Radio Newsroom