MiC Drop: Let’s talk about race
The Michigan Daily
The Campus Newspaper of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Rima Fadlallah, Michigan in Color Editor
Jerusaliem Gebreziabher, Michigan in Color Editor
Kayla Upadhyaya, Michigan in Color Editor
MiC check 1, 2. 1, 2. Can you hear us? Because we’re here.
We are Michigan in Color, the Daily’s first opinion section designated as a space for and by students of color at the University of Michigan. Welcome! MiC is a place for people of color to voice their opinions and share experiences that are overshadowed by dominant narratives — or the history, stories and perspectives that privilege conformity and make it into the mainstream, marginalizing all other narratives in the process. We hope MiC will elevate conversations on race, identity, liberation and social justice while engaging specifically with communities of color on campus.
Race is a topic that can elicit several different emotions; from shame, pride, anger, confusion, love, discomfort, or all of the above, this space is here to explore it all. We want to unearth “taboos.” We want the topics that feel a bit too coarse to talk about in a crowded coffee shop to roll right off your tongue in this safe space. We want to challenge the historical whiteness of The Michigan Daily by creating this long-needed space that will hopefully lead to a more inclusive newsroom and a better informed campus.
To kick off this exciting new project, we will start at the roots of MiC: What exactly does “person of color” mean?…
…As the founding editors of Michigan in Color, this project means a lot to us. We’re excited; we’re ready.
I’m Jerusaliem Gebreziabher, and I’m here because as a victim of internalized racism (sometimes self-inflicted) I needed this space four years ago. As a first generation American with parents hailing from Ethiopia and heavy strains of Italian blood in my veins, I struggled to identify with anyone and was afraid of being stigmatized if I did.
Although I know myself to be more than my race (ironically I’m often mistaken for being everything but Black), I found it hard to find my place on this campus for fear of being lumped into another category. Throughout my life, I’ve felt waves of shame and pride for who I am, where I’ve come from, or the undeniable evidence my physical features reveal about my identity. MiC is a space where I hope to reconcile some of this conflict and connect to those with shared experiences.
I’m Kayla Upadhyaya, and I’m here because I can still recall the overwhelming sense of affirmation and safety I felt the first time I found myself in a room of only other people of color here at the University. With a father who immigrated from India and a white mother, racial identity is oftentimes a source of confusion for me. But over time, my mixed racial background has become as important to who I am and my writing as is my identity as a feminist, and MiC is a space where I can not only explore those parts of my identity but also connect with other PoCs and write about the issues that truly matter to me…
Read the entire article here.