University of Michigan Housing’s Commitment to Creating a Sense of Belonging through Intentional Inclusive Spaces

In 2015, the Diversity and Inclusion Office in University of Michigan Housing made a commitment to students and the campus community to renovate all of its 16 multicultural lounges, together comprising the largest and oldest multicultural lounge program in the United States. An often overlooked but powerful component of diversity and inclusion work is the physical on-campus space where students learn, study, and live. When students share their need to feel included, to “see” themselves on campus, they are often talking about whether physical spaces exist: places that aren’t just labeled “safe” but feel safe, that speak to their culture, that make them feel welcome. Building on more than 50 years of student activism, the multicultural lounge program at the University of Michigan reflects the commitment to renovate and preserve each space for future generations of students. 

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  • Amanda McLittle

    Amanda L. McLittle, has served as the director of diversity & inclusion in Michigan Housing at the University of Michigan since 2014. In her role, McLittle and her team lead diversity and inclusion initiatives for student life, including courses focused on deepening understanding across differences and building inclusive communities. Her department supervises the nationally recognized diversity peer educator program, which was the first of its kind. McLittle also provides leadership on the design, programming, and coordination of 18 multicultural lounges. In addition, she presents and consults on designing and creating inclusive spaces and freedom of speech policies within a housing environment. She can be contacted at

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  • Elizabeth Beckett

    Elizabeth Beckett, serves as the senior program manager for Inclusive Spaces in Diversity & Inclusion - Michigan Housing at the University of Michigan. In her role, Beckett manages the Multicultural Lounge Program, born out of the Black Action Movement on the University of Michigan campus in the 1970s. Beckett supports the renovations of the multicultural lounges, including researching, writing, and gathering feedback from students, alumni, and campus stakeholders. As part of the development of the Multicultural Lounge Program, Beckett is building multicultural lounge curricula which will be accessible for students and instructors at the university and in classrooms and individuals beyond campus. She can be contacted at

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