The University of Michigan is committed to transforming our students’ education by extending academic excellence from the classroom into real-world experiences that develop a global purview and a creative, entrepreneurial mindset.
The Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) mission is to promote student development and empower the campus community around issues of diversity and social justice through the lens of race and ethnicity. MESA provides support to all students by developing programming and strives to meet the multicultural needs of students.
Everyone is welcome and supported in MESA. In order to accomplish our vital work, they focus on three core areas:
- Community Engagement: MESA engages students both within and across personal differences to support the development of their individual and collective communities. They do this via: peer mentorship programs, heritage month celebrations, and lunch series.
- Leadership Development: They develop the inclusive leadership skills needed to serve diverse groups. Their goal is to develop culturally competent individuals who positively influence their organizations. This takes place in: diversity programming funding, student organization advising & consulting, and heritage month committees.
- Social Justice Education: Using a social justice framework, they aim to increase knowledge, awareness, and skills on topics of race, ethnicity, and the intersection of all identities. This occurs via the following initiatives: growing allies retreats, the growing allies cohort, and race & ethnicity workshops.
Each semester, MESA conducts a variety of programs, including coordinating the Growing Allies retreat, which trains students to explore what it means to be a social justice ally through interactive activities and dialogue. These students are committed to creating a safer and more inclusive environment at the University of Michigan and beyond. MESA also partners with student organizations from across campus to provide grants for diversity programming. These grants are awarded to organizations who demonstrate programs which will help advance MESA’s mission and focus on cultural education or awareness, cross-cultural initiatives, community building, or identity exploration.
In addition to providing job and internship search guidance to students, MESA is the primary sponsor and supporter of four mentorship programs. Hundreds of students receive guidance from MESA leadership through A/PIA (Asian Pacific Islander American) Mentorship Program also commonly known by “AMP,” Arise Mentorship Program - South Asian Awareness Network, Assisting Latinos to Maximize Achievement (ALMA) Program, and Support for Incoming Black Students (S.I.B.S.).
Mentorship Program Support
Arise Mentorship Program - South Asian Awareness Network
Assisting Latinos to Maximize Achievement (ALMA) Program
Support for Incoming Black Students (S.I.B.S.)
- Single Program: $100,000 endowed/$5,000 annually
- All Programs: $400,000 endowed/$20,000 annually
- New Community Expansion: $50,000 endowed/$2,500 annually
MESA provides four mentorship programs which help ensure students adjust well to their new campus communities as well as supporting students in these groups to maximize their student experience. From the AMP and Arise programs—which are dedicated to first-year students and explore issues and topics impacting these backgrounds—to ALMA and S.I.B.S.—which focus on exploring identities and retention/success of its members—these programs play a critical role in advancing MESA’s core work. MESA seeks funding for all four of these existing programs as well as to expand mentorship into a new community in order to remain a higher education leader in promoting student development around multi-ethnic content.
Mentorship Student Leader Fellowships
- Fellowship: $25,000 endowed/$1,000 annually
- Program: $400,000 endowed/$20,000 annually
MESA seeks to establish scholarships for 20 student leaders who will be tasked with enhancing the participant experience in one or more of the four MESA-sponsored mentorship programs. In order to plan and execute robust programing to benefit hundreds of first-year students, this expanded and culturally competent trained group of student leaders will be key in leveraging all of MESA’s resources around personal, academic, and professional development opportunities.
Undergraduate and Graduate Internship Support
- Each Undergraduate: $100,000 endowed/$5,000 annually
- Each Graduate: $200,000 endowed/$10,000 annually
- Program: $1.5 million endowed/$60,000 annually
MESA offers unique learning opportunities for all current students and seeks to offer internship support to eight undergraduates and four graduate students who will help advance the overall mission of MESA. Adding internship support to its office and allowing current students the time and space to bring forward innovative ideas opens the possibility to create more programs, workshops, and trainings focused on the U-M campus as it works toward a more inclusive environment.
Heritage Month Performance Series
- Per Heritage Month: $50,000 endowed/$2,500 annually
- Program: $250,000 endowed/$12,500 annually
In our increasingly global world, MESA aims to educate the campus community around cultural diversity by executing five annual heritage month celebrations: LatinX Heritage Month; Native American Heritage Month; Black History Month; Arab American Heritage Month; and Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month. MESA seeks to expand the impact of these celebrations to reach a larger campus audience as well as the opportunity to host new culturally-based performances, such as the Black History Month Keynote Lecture or a poetry series.
Student Organization Community Programming
- $100,000 endowed/$5,000 annually
Multicultural organizations from across the University of Michigan who focus on diversity and social justice programming utilize MESA as a resource for featuring their work in addition to learning how to be promote justice, advocate for peace, and empower their fellow student populations in an inclusive manner. As the need for more culturally-centered programming grows, MESA seeks additional funding to cover costs for expanding resources and programs available to over a hundred student organizations.
Learn more about MESA!