Sarah St. Amie
A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning
Being your best DEI self: Think of a time when you were at your best at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. What happened? Who was there? Why did you feel at your best?
Launching and managing the peer mentorship program for my unit has been a time that I’ve felt most aligned and intentional in the efforts of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within my role. This program was designed with the needs of first-generation and underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students in mind. Several student participants who hold those identities have commented on how how they’ve benefited from being involved in the program. I felt my best because it shows that the program is serving its intended purpose and is providing these students with resources, guidance, and connections they otherwise may not have received, especially in light of the current pandemic and the remote nature of this academic year.
Wishes for the future: How would you imagine your environment needing to be for you to feel that you don’t have to do DEI work anymore?
I believe there will always be a need to work toward DEI, particularly the equity and inclusion pieces, that work will never be “complete.” In an ideal environment, various identities, backgrounds, and lived experiences are represented. Not only are they represented, but they’re respected, celebrated, and ALL people are valued. It would be an environment in which privilege and inherent advantages are acknowledged and a level playing field is achieved.
What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?
It’s an honor to be a recipient of an MLK Spirit Award. I haven’t engaged in any of the work I’m doing for awards or accolades but because I truly believe all students deserve support and equal opportunities to succeed. Nevertheless, it feels wonderful to have my efforts recognized.