Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs

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As a unit in Student Life, the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) uses the lens of race and ethnicity to engage the campus community and transform the student experience to build inclusive spaces and equitable opportunities for all.  We strive to achieve our vision of a diverse and vibrant campus community where all members are embraced, nurtured, and free to achieve their definition of success.  

MESA is grounded in theory, engages both the individual and collective, promotes cross-collaboration, builds intercultural and leadership skills, and empowers students to address social justice issues. We manifest this across four areas of core work:

  • Programs and Outreach: MESA coordinates campus-wide programming to offer educational content that enriches our community and amplifies diverse voices and experiences.  

  • Student Engagement: In partnership with student organizations, we create supportive systems for students to ensure a smooth and positive transition to college in their first year and throughout their time on campus.  

  • Education and Training: We offer educational programs for students that increase the knowledge and awareness of identity and its impact on self, others and communities.  Using a social justice framework, we help students grow the skills needed to navigate diverse environments.

  • Leadership for Social Change: In order for students to contribute meaningfully to a just society, we develop the leadership skills needed to lead diverse groups. Our goal is to develop culturally competent individuals who positively influence their organizations and communities.

The University of Michigan has developed a five-year strategic plan for creating a vibrant, diverse and inclusive campus.  MESA’s mission and core work areas are key elements of the University of Michigan’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).  Our department exists to reduce barriers and perceived obstacles for students’ academic and social lives by offering advocacy, adjustment support and enrichment programs.  In addition, we offer programs and initiatives to build the leadership skills needed to lead in a multicultural society.