Akima Brackeen

Graduate Student, Architecture

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?

The work that I do with the Equity and Architectural Education Consortium at Taubman College, allows me the agency to provide opportunities for many students of color to engage, feel supported and heard in ways that I wish that I had as a high – school, undergrad and graduate student. I feel at my best when I am doing administrative work, meeting/ mentoring students and working with a team to create programming based on the needs of the community.

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?

DEI work is in response to centuries of unequal rights of people of color in this country that continues to be perpetual in today’s time. I honestly, can’t imagine an environment without this work, however I believe that there will be ways in which it evolves and manifests.

What does it mean to you to be a recipient of the MLK Spirit Awards?

The work that I do to advance equity in the architecture is not glamorous but is extremely necessary. I never envisioned being recognized for it, so for my contributions to be a mentioned in conversation with the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, I would be honored.