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Focuses on anti-racism within the context of Southeast Michigan. 

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The creators of this guide acknowledge the university’s origins in a land grant from the Anishinaabeg and Wyandot, when in 1817, the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Bodewadami Nations made the largest single land transfer to the University of Michigan.  This was offered ceremonially as a gift through the Treaty at the Foot of the Rapids so that their children could be educated. We further acknowledge that our university stands, like almost all property in the United States, on lands obtained, generally in unconscionable ways, from indigenous peoples. Through these words of acknowledgment, their contemporary and ancestral ties to the land and their contributions to the University are renewed and reaffirmed. Knowing where we are changes neither the past nor the present. However, through scholarship and pedagogy we work to create a future in which the past is understood and the present supports justice while enacting an ethic of care and compassion. (adapted from statements by La Casa and American Culture)


“...since our activities are shared digitally to the internet, let’s also take a moment to consider the legacy of colonization embedded within the technologies, structures, and ways of thinking we use every day. We are using equipment and high speed internet not available in many indigenous communities. Even the technologies that are central to much of the art we [make] leaves significant carbon footprints, contributing to changing climates that disproportionately affect indigenous peoples worldwide. I invite you to join me in acknowledging all this as well as our shared responsibility: to make good of this time, and for each of us to consider our roles in reconciliation, decolonization, and allyship.” - Adrienne Wong of SpiderWebShow 

Anti-Racism Guide Introduction

This research guide focuses on anti-racism within the context of Southeast Michigan. It is curated and maintained by a group of U-M Library staff committed to anti-racism work. We are reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic, where we saw Black communities disproportionately affected by the disease because of disparities in access to resources, healthcare, and even water. It is also important to recognize that this research guide comes at a time when this country is having more open conversations about police brutality which disproportionately impacts Black and Brown people. Although these seem unrelated, they are both symptoms of broader structures of racial inequality. These are national issues and local issues.

This guide was created to fill a void, and we felt we needed an anti-racism resource specific to the history and context here at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and the greater Metro-Detroit region of Southeast Michigan. This is especially important at predominantly and historically white institutions with long histories of systemic racism towards Black and Brown communities. The University of Michigan, as an institution, has struggled to address this in its policies, practices, and culture, and we acknowledge that publishing this research guide does not atone for violences that BIPOC students, faculty, staff, and community members have suffered or may continue to suffer.

Additionally, we also understand that libraries themselves are not always inclusive spaces, and that they can also uphold and perpetuate white supremacy. The authors of this guide commit to working to dismantle the white supremacy ingrained in our institutional culture.

How to use this guide

This guide is intended for self-directed learning and to supplement course materials provided by faculty. Our hope is to alleviate the pressure on BIPOC faculty and staff who are often overburdened with the work of caring and supporting their communities, in addition to their work as instructors, researchers, and administrators. It includes information and resources specific to current dialogues within the University of Michigan community. The resources listed here are not exhaustive; they are tools for you to make use of in the process of your own anti-racist education. There is much work to be done outside of this guide, but the work of dismantling white supremacy is difficult, ongoing, and part of that work is a commitment to continued learning and growth. 

A Note About Library Search

U-M Library Search is a search interface that allows you to search across several information categories curated by the Library. You use this interface to find items that the Library owns or subscribes to, such as:

  • books
  • journals and magazines
  • articles
  • dissertations
  • audio and video recordings
  • indexing databases
  • archival material
  • data sets, and
  • Library web pages

Many of the Library's online resources are discoverable and accessible through Library Search.

Screen shot of Library Search,

Image of Library Search,

The starting point is the Everything search, which allows you to input search terms in a single search box and to display a small number of results from:

You can switch categories of information for specific results by clicking the category name below the main search box either before you start your search or by clicking on a specific category box once results display. Note: Library Search works best with current versions of Safari, Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers.

Finding Resources in the U-M Library Catalog

To find resources in the U-M Library Catalog you should start with the LIBRARY SEARCH BOX IN THE MIDDLE OF THE


A screenshot of the search box and surrounding area of the University of Michigan Library. Behind the search box is a multi-colored collection of anti-racist circular pinback buttons from the Labadie collection.

Search Terms and LOC Subject Headings To Use When Searching


Search Terms

Subject Headings


The members of the Library's Anti-Racism LibGuide group, which developed this research guide include the following (in alphabetical order): Sigrid Anderson, Naomi Binnie, Allyssa Bruce, Anne Cong-Huyen, Jesus Espinoza, Helen Look, Caitlin Pollock, Miranda Marraccini, Shannon Moreno, Charles Ransom, Stephanie Rosen, Justin Schell, Maura Seale.

Special thanks to our colleagues at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, Gurpreet Rana, Judith Smith, and Jean Song; the Bentley Historical Library, Aprille McKay and Brian Williams; Wayne State University's Walter P. Reuther Library, Kristen Chinery and Alexandra Sarkozy; and the United Way of Washtenaw County, for sharing materials related to the university and local region. Additional thanks to Meghan Sitar, Laurie Alexander, Doreen Bradley, the U-M Library Diversity Council for support and guidance.

If you have feedback, suggestions, or questions, please reach out to the group at