On the Election and What We Can Do

Added on by SCOR UMich.

Dear SCOR Family,

Last Tuesday, hate and bigotry won a major victory in the election of Donald Trump as President-Elect. While many were surprised at this outcome, it only served to further validate the voices of millions of Americans who warned of the power that White supremacy and systemic racism still have at every level of our society.

The ramifications of this election have been immediate and extreme. Following the results, there have been a barrage of attacks - both verbal and physical - against marginalized groups and communities of color across the country. The University of Michigan has been no different; over the past week, "Kill em all" was painted alongside democratic and republican symbols on the rock, a student was forced to remove her hijab under the threat of being lit on fire, another student was pushed down a hill after being accosted over religion, and White nationalist flyers and graffiti continue to appear across campus.

In short, marginalized communities are in danger, both at U of M and around the country. This is not the time to “wait and see” what may happen under a Trump administration, because acts of oppression have already begun; since the election, Trump has reiterated his promises of mass deportations, closing borders, a labeling system for Muslims, and tapped Steve Bannon, a White nationalist, as his Chief Strategist. We need to act, we need to act now, and we need to act courageously in opposition to further acts of intolerance.


What you can do:


  • Walk out. Participate in a school-wide walk-out today, November 16th, at 3pm. RSVP here and spread the word far and wide.

  • Sign the petition. Sign and distribute this letter to President Schlissel urging him to support DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), as well as this letter requesting that U of M become a sanctuary campus, to help protect immigrant and undocumented students.

  • Report hate. Report incidents of discrimination and violence to the Bias Response Team website. The administration needs to know the extent of the hate happening on and around campus.

  • Contact your Senator. Call Michigan Senators Gary Peters (202-224-6221) and Debbie Stabenow (202-224-4822) and ask them to denounce the appointment of Steve Bannon, a White nationalist, as Donald Trump’s Chief Strategist.  

  • Protect yourselves and each other. Share and take advantage of public safety resources and strategies. For example, the MSA (Muslim Students’ Association) has instituted a buddy system for students traveling across campus, U of M’s SafeRide provides students with safe transportation home, and the Ann Arbor Alliance for Black Lives is holding a self-defense class this Saturday, November 19th and Sunday November 20th.



  • Know your legislators. Review these links to find your state representatives and local elected officials. The quickest and one of the most effective way to speak out against current and upcoming problematic legislature is through collective calling and town hall attendance.

  • Know your resources. Save this list of public safety, security, and self-care resources for both personal use and to distribute to those who may need them.

  • Stay informed. Keep up with the SCOR and Rackham Student Government newsletters and social media for updates on relevant school events, petitions, and protests.


A big thank you to everyone who helped compile these resources. Be sure to stay in touch with us about your own updates, suggestions, and calls to action. We have a community and we are not alone. Although these heinous acts continue to traumatize and oppress, there is still a need to surround ourselves with hope and light. Neither these acts nor this presidency will defeat us. We are grounded by the lineage of revolutionaries who dared to oppose the status quo. It has been and it continues to be our turn.

In the words of Assata Shakur, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."


In support and solidarity,

Michael Medina, SCOR President

Asya Harrison, SCOR Vice President

Rosalyn Kent, SCOR Treasurer

Channing Mathews, SCOR Rackham Liaison

Gordon Palmer, SCOR Secretary

Raissa Barros de Carvalho, SCOR Marketing Chair

Bithia Ratnasamy, SCOR Political Action Co-Chair

Teona Williams, SCOR Political Action Co-Chair

Josi Banales, SCOR Community Outreach Chair

Ashley Jackson, SCOR Symposium Chair

Naomi Wilson, RSG Vice President

Orlando Solidarity Statement

Added on by SCOR UMich.

SCOR (Students of Color of Rackham) stand in solidarity with the Queer, Latinx, Black, and Muslim communities following the tragedy in Orlando. We are joined in our solidarity statement by the Multicultural Leadership Council, which is comprised of over one dozen other student organizations at the University of Michigan, including SCOR.

In Peace and Love, 


"We, the Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC), extend our strength and our solidarity to the Queer, Latinx, Black, and Muslim communities affected by the horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. This attack was one of targeted hate, intended to further oppress and persecute Queer people and people of color. While the inhumanity of this attack is staggering, we realize it was many decades in the making, as it was guided by institutionalized and pervasive forms of homophobia, transphobia, and racism built into the fabric of American society. 

We stand with the Queer Latinx community, who was directly targeted by violence at Pulse nightclub’s Latin night -- a space presumed to be safe for those at the intersection of these identities. The victims of the attack were Queer people of color, folks of Puerto Rican descent, undocumented and working class -- marginalized groups already subject to structural and state violence.

We oppose any attempt to reframe this tragedy through a lens of Islamophobia. We stand with the Muslim community and recognize the harm that the current media framing causes to Queer Muslims specifically.

We amplify the voices of Queer, Trans, Latinx, Muslim, Black, and Brown individuals, who face continued erasure by the news media, public officials, and those attempting to co-opt this tragedy for their own misguided political agendas. We are against using this attack to justify more violence; further militarizing the police, increasing access to guns, and escalating the “war on terror” only causes more harm to communities of color and fails to honor those who lost their lives in Orlando.

We recognize that the  communities directly affected by the shooting have a long history of organized resistance against the systems of oppression that made the attack in Orlando possible. We understand that hate crimes disproportionately affect target Queer and transgender people, particularly those from communities of color. We share their demands to end transphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and racism.

We honor the 49 lives that were lost that night by listening and learning from the communities they come from and by following their lead in our shared struggle for the right to safety and human dignity. The MLC reaffirms its commitment to stand alongside Queer communities of color united in our efforts for equity and inclusion on campus, and for human rights and safety on campus and beyond. We will not let the 49 lives lost in Orlando be forgotten, and we fight together to ensure that Queer, Latinx, Brown, Black, and other marginalized communities can be safe whether in a club, church, or classroom. Everyone has a right to thrive in this country.  

We encourage all those in need to seek support. There is strength in reaching out and talking to friends and family during times of uncertainty. The University of Michigan also offers a number of resources and safe spaces that are highly relevant during this time, including the Spectrum Center, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Dean of Students Office (DOS), the Program on Intergroup Relations (IGR), the Office of Multi-ethnic Student Affairs (MESA), and the Trotter Multicultural Center. Contact information for these organizations are below.

In solidarity,

The Multicultural Leadership Council
Multi Ethnic Information Exchange (MIX)
Students of Color of Rackham
The Network for SPhDiversity at the School of Public Health
Females Excelling More in Math, Engineering, and the Sciences (FEMMES)
Black Student Psychological Association
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)"


University of Michigan Resources:

Spectrum Center
3200 Michigan Union
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Counseling and Psychological Services
3100 Michigan Union
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Dean of Students Office
3000 Michigan Union
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Program on Intergroup Relations
1214 S. University Ave, 2nd Floor, Suite B
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs
2202 Michigan Union
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Trotter Multicultural Center
1443 Washtenaw Ave
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.


Save the Date: Monday, March 28th MLC Meeting

Added on by SCOR UMich.


MLC Meeting #3, Winter (but really Spring) 2016

MONDAY, March 28th, 2016

5:30pm to 7pm

Rackham 1st Floor Executive Board Room

Kindly RSVP by emailing Aliza in a separate email, with your name/others who are attending, and your org name.

In the meeting we will review responses to the letter we sent to DEI last week - we have information that a 'coordinated response' to us being organized right now, on top of several direct responses to me via email. Secondly we will consult SCOR on its proposal for a graduate student advisory board to DEI by looking at a draft that the SCOR e-board is working on right now in preparation for Monday. Through discussion and working time, we are hoping to plan an efficient and inclusive follow-up to the response to our letter to DEI, and facilitate the MLC's input for the SAB idea. 

Hope to see you there/then!

Best wishes

Save the Date: January 28th MLC Meeting

Added on by SCOR UMich.

Welcome back, everyone!

Looking forward to meeting later this month for our January MLC convening:

Date: Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Time: 5.30pm to 7pm

Location: 1st Floor Executive Board Room, Rackham

RSVP Date: Thursday, January 21st, 2016

*by emailing Aliza in a separate email with the name of the org and who will be attending*

Please feel free to reference the last meeting's notes for current action items/to start thinking about our discussion for this meeting - on institutional change.

Please also feel free to pass this invite along to other student leaders, and encourage them to email me if they would like to be added to the list serv.


Best wishes

Recap of SCOR Political Action last semester

Added on by SCOR UMich.

Many of you took time out of your busy schedules to play a defining role in a more inclusive SCOR thus far this academic year. We can’t thank you enough for joining us as we strive to reignite the multiethnic, intersectional and grassroots student activist roots of our organization.

People have asked us to recap the PAC’s main event within SCOR - the November Workshop on Race and Social Justice Organizing.

To sum up the event: We started the day with an opportunity to engage with a panel of organizers from diverse backgrounds who expressed the value of intersectionality within organizing and the corresponding balance between scholar and activist identities. With limited time, attendees used breakout sessions to uncover issues that galvanize them to act - on campus and beyond - around areas like education, police brutality/hate violence, the environment and more.

A few takeaways:

  1. People desire more time to develop tangible, actionable strategies and tactics to collaborate around desired outcomes, including continuing to glean resources not on campus or in Ann Arbor.

*Shout-out to Urban Planning and Natural Resources and the Environment students for beginning an exchange of tactics to promote greater diversity and inclusion in your respective departments!*

  1. We were thrilled to see people, who did not previously know each other, come together so quickly and with such determination to fulfill the underlying goal of the Workshop: to be student-driven and reflective of true organizing.  People want to also spend time getting to know each other and strengthening our relationships as a community of students of color and others dedicated to social justice.

  2. People expressed interest in a follow-up event this semester.

Goals Moving Forward

We hope to carry the momentum of last semester through to this semester and beyond by continuing to build a sense of community as well as collective agency. In the process, we hope to support SCOR’s overall goal to reach more, diverse POC.


As we start the Winter semester, we welcome any immediate support to ensure more inclusive and efficient planning and work!  Please see this Tracker for initial details on our current priorities.  Other PAC documents we have begun to compile (all in the same Google Folder) include a clearinghouse for organizing tactics and strategies as well as a Form for people who want to get involved in the abovementioned priorities listed in the Tracker.


If you have any questions or are interested in taking an active role with the PAC, please reach out to Aliza (alikaz@umich.edu) with the Subject line ‘Interest in SCOR PAC’!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

― Margaret Mead


Bithia, Christine, Teona and Aliza

*active* SCOR PAC

SCOR Stands in Solidarity with the University of Missouri

Added on by SCOR UMich.

November 11th, 2015

We, the Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR) of the University of Michigan stand in solidarity with the students and faculty of the University of Missouri in their efforts to eradicate racism and hate from their campus community.

Over the past few weeks we have seen members of the community at the University of Missouri and the #ConcernedStudent1950 movement inspire the nation with their powerful demonstrations and effective campus organizing and we admire the work that has been done.

We have also seen the hostile and violent reactions of those that do not wish to see progress and to that we express our greatest concern.

Hatred based on race, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation or any other form of oppression have no place on a college campus or anywhere else. We uplift the assertion that students have a right to organize and create institutional and cultural change in order to defend and sustain a healthy educational experience.However, It is the duty of university officials who have been charged with guiding the direction of higher education to foster an environment that is welcoming while ensuring safety to people of all backgrounds.

The students of the University of Missouri have shown tremendous leadership in the face of hate and we send this message of solidarity to the entire University of Missouri community that we are in this movement together as one.

#FromMichigantoMizzou #WeareSCOR

Multicultural Leaderhsip Council

Added on by SCOR UMich.

Dear all,

I am a current E Board member of the Students of Color of Rackham and am working to update the current members and leaders of the Multicultural Leadership Council.

Please take a few minutes to respond to this Form. It will help us maximize success with our upcoming first meeting of the year! In this meeting we will re-introduce the leaders of your organizations, of the graduate student of color community. We will also dialogue about how to use the MLC space this academic year.

Thank you and I look forward to receiving your responses soon!

Best wishes
Aliza Kazmi
Political Action and Service Learning Chair
Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR)

  You can view or submit this form, if you fill it out in Google Forms.

From the Political Action Committee

Added on by SCOR UMich.

Are you interested in a chance to engage in service and/or activism? SCOR needs you! Here are a couple of ways for you to participate in and even lead political action through our organization:

  1. Please respond to this Google Form about an upcoming Graduate Students of Color Workshop on Scholar-Activism (working title) that the SCOR Political Action Committee is coordinating with Ann Arbor to Ferguson and Take on Hate! This is a really exciting program we are pulling together and we can't maximize our efforts without getting your thoughts first. We would really appreciate your input, so please take a few minutes to respond at your earliest convenience. Thanks.
  2. Please also indicate your availability here if you are at all interested (not necessarily committing!) in supporting the Political Action Committee for the organization. 

Email Political Action Chair Aliza Kazmi (alikaz@umich.edu) with any questions.