In 1970, a class boycott organized by the Black Action Movement (BAM), began a legacy of student activism at the University of Michigan. As a collective effort of several Black student organizations, the primary goal of BAM was to challenge the university’s lack of diversity and civil rights initiatives. The result of these efforts led the university to address many of the concerns around admissions, space, and support for Black students. Shortly after the Trotter House was created in 1971, the Ofﬁce of Special Services & Programs began as a central area for communities of color at UM. This new unit had staff advocates that served a variety of ethnic constituencies.
In 1977, the name changed to Minority Student Services to meet the needs of minority students and to promote the cultural diversity represented across the University. By 1995, the office changed its name to Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, and included the Trotter Multicultural Center. In 2014, MESA and Trotter became individual units working collaboratively to support students.
Mission & Values
Mission: Using the lens of race and ethnicity, MESA engages the campus community and transforms the student experience to build inclusive spaces and equitable opportunities for all.
Our values manifest in our workplace environment, define how we interact with each other in our organization, and declare how we value students, colleagues, and community.
Collective Community: We build relationships with and beyond our circles so that we can work collaboratively to positively impact our environment, wherever that may be
Fun: We hope to weave celebration, laughter, and joy into our environment
Integrity: We will be honest, authentic and transparent; our decisions, actions and words will match what and who we say we are
Intersectionality: While race/ethnicity is our foundation, we recognize that identities coexist to create a multi-dimensional person
Transformation: We believe social change starts with the individual. We are committed to creating experiences and spaces that grow knowledge and take us to our learning edge
Trust: We trust individual and collective narratives and experiences. Some narratives sit in complement and other in contrast. Each engagement is an opportunity to extend and preserve trust by actively listening and demonstrating empathy and compassion