For Students

Mission & History

A legacy of service born out of student activism

OAMI celebrates over 35 years of championing multiculturalism and enriching students' lives. The office began as the Office of Minority Affairs as a direct result of student activism and engagement. We continue this tradition of supporting the university community, working to create a more inclusive, welcoming, and diverse campus.


Our Mission

A champion for multiculturalism and underrepresented students

The primary commitment of OAMI is to serve students through a variety of programs, research, and strategic planning activities that:

  • Provide supplemental resources to enhance the academic achievement levels of all students
  • Enhance the leadership skills and competencies of undergraduate student leaders and student organizations
  • Develop an understanding of multiculturalism, cultural diversity, and student development through the undergraduate experience and beyond
  • Improve the overall campus climate to support the activities and culture of our diverse campus community
  • Highlight the educational and societal value of campus diversity experiences – helping prepare students for the challenges they will face as citizens in a global community

Our Values

Work grounded in respect for everyone we engage with

In carrying out our mission, we are guided by our commitment to the connection between academics and multiculturalism and rely upon the following principles:

  • The belief that multiculturalism and diversity are synonymous with excellence, growth, and academic achievement
  • Appreciation of the importance and richness of multiculturalism at the University of Michigan
  • Respect and appreciation for each student, faculty, staff, and community member
  • Unwavering commitment to the belief that all students can achieve and thrive at the University
  • Understanding the need for collaboration and relationship building with students, faculty, staff, and external constituencies as we initiate our work

Our History

Part of the ongoing struggle for a more inclusive university

In January of 1987, Black students came together to combat and protest racist events on campus and demand the university support their specific needs. Two groups emerged - the United Coalition Against Racism (UCAR) and the third Black Action Movement (BAM III). BAM III presented a list of demands specific to Black students, including the uncompromised ratification of UCAR's demands -- one of those demands was the creation of an Office of Minority Affairs.

After difficult negotiations led by Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jr., administrators agreed to six concessions, including the creation of an Office of Minority Affairs tasked with recruiting and retaining minority students, faculty, and staff.

Less than a decade later, the Office of Minority Affairs would change its name to the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives.

Be a part of the OAMI family

OAMI is dedicated to supporting the University of Michigan in its ongoing commitment to create and foster an intellectually and culturally diverse campus community. Be a part of our mission. Help us to holistically develop students and encourage them to be the leaders of today and tomorrow.