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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are Core Institutional Values. The College for Creative Studies strives to make our campus a welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. CCS fosters a community of inclusion that is free from harassment and discriminatory practices built on a foundation of respect, empathy, and knowledge.

Statement of Commitment

We are dedicated to creating an environment that supports and advances a diverse and equitable campus culture. We value our rich campus diversity and strive to cultivate an environment where ideas and contributions can flourish. The Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion is committed to advancing efforts that enrich our campus community and build stronger communities.

Land Acknowledgment Statement

The College for Creative Studies respectfully acknowledges that we are on the traditional, contemporary, and ancestral homelands of the Anishinaabe – Council of Three Fires: the Ojibwe/Chippewa, Odawa/Ottawa, and Potawatomi/Bodéwadmi along with their neighbors the Seneca, Delaware, Fox, Shawnee, Loups, Miami and Wyandot who maintained, and continue to preserve lifeways along Detroit’s river banks and throughout the Great Lakes region. Through signing the Treaty of Detroit in 1807, Anishinaabek tribes ceded the land now occupied by the city we stand on.  We recognize Michigan is home to 12 federally recognized tribes who continue to steward this land, in remembrance of their ancestors and thinking of future generations.

The CCS Covenant: A Commitment to Civility

The College for Creative Studies nurtures the creativity that is vital to the enhancement of modern culture. This is best accomplished in an atmosphere of mutual respect and civility, self-restraint, concern for others, and academic integrity. By choosing to join this community, I accept the obligation to live by these common values and commit myself to the following principles:

As a CCS Student, Staff, or Faculty Member:

  • I will embrace the concept of a civil community that abhors violence, theft, and exploitation of others;
  • I will commit myself to the pursuit of knowledge, excellence in art & design with personal integrity, and academic honesty;
  • I will respect the sanctity of the learning environment and avoid disruptive and deceitful behavior toward other members of the campus community;
  • I will support a culture of diversity by respecting the rights of those who differ from myself;
  • I will contribute to the development of a caring community where compassion for others and freedom of thought and expression are valued;
  • I will honor, challenge and contribute to the scholarly heritage left by those who preceded me and work to leave this a better place for those who follow.

By endorsing these common principles, I accept a moral obligation to behave in ways that contribute to a civil campus environment and resolve to support this behavior in others. This commitment to civility is my promise to the College for Creative Studies community. 

Our Community

The College for Creative Studies represents a diverse community composed of individuals with many perspectives, personal experiences, values, identities, and worldviews that recognize differences of culture and circumstance. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are interlaced into our Mission, Vision, and Strategic Plan.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Advisory Group
Student Organizations
Community Arts Partnerships
Design Core Detroit
Kresge Arts In Detroit
Academic Departments
Policy On Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, And Sexual Misconduct (Including Title IX)
Community Resources During COVID-19

CCS Stands with HBCUs Against Violence and Intimidation

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) is deeply concerned about the appalling pattern of bomb threats against Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) this year. According to multiple reports, over 20 HBCUs were subject to a bomb scare between January 31 and February 1.

These threats, on the eve of Black History Month, should remind each of us to reflect on how systemic oppression and harm have often stood in the way of progress, justice, and the promotion of inclusive spaces for students, faculty, and staff.

All students have the right to contribute their best without their lives threatened; faculty and staff cannot fully engage while in fear of violent attacks.

We stand in solidarity with AICAD and all members of the educational community, remaining vigilant against future threats to those from historically marginalized communities. We must continue our critical work toward inclusive excellence, free from harassment and discriminatory practices.

This is especially important to us at CCS given our partnership with Pensole Design Academy to re-establish the former Lewis College of Business as the Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, the only HBCU in Michigan and the first to be re-opened nationally.

A Statement on Breonna Taylor from the Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion

Recently, our country received news regarding the grand jury’s indictment of one of the officers involved in the tragic death of Breonna Taylor. This is another incident that adds to the personal challenges and emotional toil many of us experience, especially those groups who have experienced being marginalized and oppressed. Though we cannot control specific legal proceedings, I have considered the areas that we can control. We can control how we respond as a community. We can continue to commit in practice, with scholarly focus and creativity, a commitment to building an inclusive college campus and call out injustice.

During the spring and summer months at CCS, we launched several Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives including Ignite: A Week of Social Justice Activism, Celebrate Diversity at CCS Blog, and our Virtual Sharing Circles. I was encouraged to witness our campus community actively engage during the Defamation Experience workshop and our Faculty Day of Training which focused on creating a more inclusive college environment. Teaming up with Harriet Speaks on equity and inclusion training and working across CCS departments, we are making strides towards advancing the college’s aspiration to be an inclusive and diverse place to learn. Some action steps have been implemented in these few months, but much more work needs to be done.

As we continue to process these events, I encourage our campus community to take time to reflect and explore equity, social justice and inclusivity through our newly launched DEI LibGuide: Overview – Diversity & Inclusion Resources, review the section dedicated to Voting in Federal & Local Elections and view Your Vote Matters video by Amy Lazet (Library) and Madie Graham (Communication Design Student and OIEI Work-Study).

To that end, I would like to invite you to join me during the Candlelight Vigil honoring the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others over the course of our history who fell victim to unspeakably tragic and untimely deaths. This Candlelight Vigil is open for any member of the CCS community.

Please know there are available campus resources including the Wellness Center, the Office of Institutional Equity & Inclusion (OIEI), HR, Student Affairs leaders and staff, and others that can offer support. Connecting with others can be powerful and healing.

Let us work together!


Dr. Deirdre D. Young
Assistant Dean
Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion

A Time for Healing, Coming Together and Action: A Message on the Memory of George Floyd from President Tuski

Dear CCS Community: 

You recently received a statement from our new Assistant Dean in the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Deirdre Young, about the tragic death of George Floyd. The College for Creative Studies condemns all forms of racism and bigotry.  I also want to reinforce how important it is that we reach out to our students, faculty, staff and alumni of color in support. During times like this, it is critical that we all work together to make positive improvements in society and work alongside community members and organizations that advocate for equity and social justice for historically marginalized groups, including people of color and especially African American men and boys.

Although we promote a sense of community to advance equitable outcomes, for many, we are far from that reality. We must work to cultivate a sense of community where we acknowledge inequities due to race and power. In 2020, the coronavirus has illuminated areas where our country remains both politically and racially divided and our quickness to blame others. What we need instead is more understanding, a space for sharing and a willingness to work across differences.  

Unfortunately, there is a long history in the United States of violence against people of color, especially by law enforcement. Artists and designers of all backgrounds have a long history of calling out injustices against all people. CCS has a responsibility to act more effectively to shed light on police brutality and social injustice. We recognize there are police officers who thoughtfully engage in community building. We need to identify these individuals and departments, hold them up as positive examples, and work with them to change the future.

In the coming weeks, Dr. Young has planned community conversations to provide space for CCS community members to process their feelings and identify ways to be agents for change. Details are forthcoming and will be communicated via the CCS website and Blackboard.

Take care,

Statement on George Floyd from the Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion

Dear CCS Community,

This week our city and nation were shaken by the tragic death of yet another unarmed Black man, George Floyd. In demonstrations in Atlanta, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles and Detroit, people call for justice and an end to police brutality.  Our college recognizes the pain, fear, fury, and bleakness many in our CCS community are experiencing. The College for Creative Studies along with the Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion stand firmly in our core institutional values of diversity, equity and inclusion and denounce all forms of prejudice and discrimination.  My heart goes out to George Floyd’s family and to everyone who is feeling the pain due to social injustice.   We join in mourning with our city and the world over the death of George Floyd and with all who stand against anti-Black racism, police brutality, and injustice.

It is truly heartbreaking to witness egregious acts that continue to exist in our country.  In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

I stand with college leaders across the country and all our national leaders who quickly called out the injustice in Mr. Floyd’s death. Despite our shared feelings of hopelessness and despair, let’s come together as a community to take action and confront social injustice while striving to create an environment that supports and advances a diverse and equitable campus culture. We are dedicated to cultivating an environment where ideas and contributions can flourish to advance efforts that build stronger communities. I challenge us to ask what ways we can use our artistic gifts and talents to help our community move forward. I personally commit to actively working alongside our Leadership Team, the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Advisory Council, CCS departments, and community stakeholders to promote a more equitable campus community.

On Friday, June 5, at 3:30 pm, the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion (OIEI) and President Don Tuski will host a virtual sharing circle for any members of the CCS community to process their feelings and experiences in relation to this topic.

RSVP: Check your CCS calendar for the meeting invite.  Zoom Details will be forwarded to confirmed attendees.

During these uncertain times, there are several resources available to CCS community members, including the Employee Assistance Program-UllianceTelehealth Services, and other Community Resources.  In addition to our virtual sharing circle, the OIEI is also available to talk one on one.  As always, please report any incidences of discrimination at CCS to  (students) or  (employees).

Collectively, let us continue to work together for a more just, equitable society in our service, pedagogy, and collaborative community efforts. This should be our commitment to ourselves and to each other.


Dr. Deirdre D. Young
Assistant Dean
Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion


CCS Community,

I hope this message finds you in the best of health and spirits. On June 17th, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation declaring June 19th as Juneteenth Celebration Day in Michigan.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the legal end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was effective on January 1, 1863, it took 2 and a half additional years for the men, women, and children who were enslaved in Galveston, Texas to have their legal right to be free honored. Acting as the date of emancipation, June 19th also became a long-standing day of celebration, meant to honor African-American resilience and the end of slavery. More information on this can also be found here.

“Juneteenth is a crucial day in our nation’s history to remember how far we have come and recognize how far we still have to go,” said Governor Whitmer. “During a time when communities of color are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and when the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have shone a light on the systemic racism Black Americans face every day, we must work together to build a more equitable and just Michigan. I’m proud to declare June 19, 2020 as Juneteenth Celebration Day, and will continue to work tirelessly to create a state that is equal for all.” View the full proclamation here.

For those who were not able to join in the community conversation on June 5th and June 12th, the Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion will be hosting our Virtual Sharing Circle with the CCS Alumni Council Executive Board and the Office of the President on June 26th at 3:30 p.m. Please click here to RSVP.

As we collectively work to advance equitable outcomes, we encourage our community to take time to reflect, take action, celebrate (progress and resilience), honor, and observe this historical day, and to set personal goals on how you can continue to contribute to our collective equity work at CCS. Interested in learning more, please click here for Juneteenth events in our area. Let us continue to cultivate an organization together that focuses on inclusivity and solidarity across all lines of difference in our world.

Onward, Dr. Deirdre Young
Assistant Dean for Institutional Equity and Inclusion

Community Resources

Celebrating Diversity Blog

DEI Blog – The Pervasiveness of Sizeism

DEI Blog – The Pervasiveness of Sizeism

Known as sizeism, fatphobia, fat shaming, or weight stigma, this pervasive form of bias involves discriminating against people because of their body size. According to psychologist Rebecca Puhl, PhD, “Sizeism is one of the most deeply entrenched stigmas in today’s society, partly because of sociocultural ideals tying thinness to core American values such as hard work and individualism.”1 Because this form of bias is often directed towards women and others with marginalized identities, including people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community, sizeism is an intersectional issue.

Office for Institutional Equity and Inclusion
Taubman Center – 9th Floor
T. 313.664.1487
F. 313.664.1490
[email protected]

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Deirdre D. Young, DDS, MHSA
Chief Diversity Officer, Assistant Dean
Institutional Equity and Inclusion
T. 313.664.1489

Jess Ettell Irvine, EdM
Title IX and Equity Services Coordinator
Institutional Equity & Inclusion

[email protected]

Evan Lockhart, MFA
Outreach Manager
Institutional Equity & Inclusion
[email protected]