Campus Reform | UMich spends over $300k on 'Center for Racial Justice'

UMich spends over $300k on 'Center for Racial Justice'

The University of Michigan is launching a 'Center for Racial Justice' that will feature speakers from Ivy League schools this fall.

The center's annual budget is $350,000, a university spokesperson confirmed to 'Campus Reform.'

The University of Michigan's new “Center for Racial Justice” at its Ford School of Public Policy will cost the school over $300,000 over the next year. 

Rick Fitzgerald, associate vice president for public affairs at the University told Campus Reform that "our dedication to academic excellence for the public good is inseparable from our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion."

As Campus Reform has previously reported, many schools launched racial justice centers following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. Among the first such programs in the United States is the Center for Antiracist Research, an initiative at Boston University led by critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi.

[RELATED: 'Public relations ploy': Yale faces criticism over new 'Center for Law and Racial Justice']

Fitzgerald also said that the new center's $350,000 annual budget for FY2022 does not come from "tuition dollars or state funding." 

"Funding for the Center for Racial Justice is provided by the U-M Office of the Provost and the Ford School," he stated. 

The center describes itself has having a mission to "seek to explore, analyze, and understand how public policies have undermined or advanced the goal of racial equity, illuminating evidence-based solutions and supporting the changemakers who advocate for sound, just, and fair public policies day in and day out."

[RELATED: UMich nixes 'Bias Response Teams' amid free speech lawsuit]

Celeste Watkins-Hayes, an associate dean at the Ford School, will be the center's director. She spoke to Michigan News last month about racial justice and public policy. 

"As we examine the fraught histories and consequences of some of our policies and the transformative power of others, we learn a valuable lesson: Effective and just public policy can only be achieved if we bring diverse perspectives to the table," Watkins-Hayes told the university outlet. 

The center has tapped scholars from Brown University, Columbia University, and the Ohio State University to deliver lectures this fall. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft