Trotter Multicultural Center

Trotter Multicultural Center's Mission

As a national leader in promoting an inclusive campus climate, the Trotter Multicultural Center serves as a campus facilitator, convener, and coordinator of intercultural engagement and inclusive leadership education initiatives for University of Michigan students.

Trotter Multicultural Center's Vision

The Trotter Multicultural Center serves as an iconic and programmatic symbol for all students, as an open and inclusive facility that fosters intercultural engagement and strengthens connections between and among communities, as a supportive home and environment to those committed to social justice and diversity, and as a space that celebrates the tradition and history of the Trotter Multicultural Center and the activism of students.

History of the Trotter Multicultural Center

The Trotter Multicultural Center, as it is known today, began as Trotter House, a Black Student Cultural Center. African American students united under the Black Action Movement (BAM), to help students who experienced obstacles within their educational process. Trotter House was birthed out of this movement, founded at a rambling old house on the corner of South and East University Street, and named in honor of William Monroe Trotter (1872-1934). Trotter House opened for operation on November 15, 1971 and offered workshops for art students led by African American artists; sociology and psychology classes; orientation meetings for incoming students; academic and career counseling; a chess clinic; parties and dances; and a heavily attended weekly luncheon.

The Trotter Multicultural Center was established on Washtenaw Avenue in 1972 after the Trotter House was damaged by a fire.

The Trotter Multicultural Center continued to grow, and in 1981, expanded its focus to become a multicultural student center. Today, the Trotter Multicultural Center works to enhance multicultural awareness across campus and a place where U–M students, faculty, staff, and alumni can hold meetings and events.

From LSA Magazine, Spring 2013: Trotter House Origins: How the battle for a bricks-and-mortar structure was really about moving racial integration from rhetoric to reality

The Trotter Multicultural Center opened to its new location on State Street on April 11, 2019 - click here to learn more.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Advisory Board

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Advisory Board have the goal of providing consistent student engagement on campus climate efforts including the Trotter Multicultural Center. There DEI Student Advisory Board is comprised of undergraduate and graduate/professional students consisting of approximately 20 board members. Collectively, these board members represent each of the 19 schools and colleges, and also share a wide range of social identities, backgrounds, and perspectives.

Trotter Multicultural Center Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Advisory Board

The Faculty, Staff, and Alumni Advisory Board serves as a thought partner to advance the mission and goals of the Trotter Multicultural Center.

  • Mary Boyce, Assistant Vice Provost, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Ethriam Brammer, Assistant Dean, Rackham Graduate School
  • Maria Cotera, Associate Professor of American Culture and Associate Professor of Women's Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Lumas Helaire, Associate Director, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives
  • Matthew Stiffler, Lecturer, Department of American Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Marie Ting, Associate Director, National Center for Institutional Diversity 
  • Stephen Ward, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies; Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies and Associate Professor in the Residential College, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Amber Williams, Assistant Director and Lecturer, Community Action and Social Change, School of Social Work

Trotter Multicultural Center History Project Team 

Along with ongoing efforts to honor and celebrate the history of the Trotter Multicultural Center, the History Project Team is developing a multi-modal narrative of the history of the Trotter Multicultural Center and William Monroe Trotter.  

  • Elizabeth James, Program Associate, Department for Afroamerican and African Studies, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
  • Charles Ransom, Multicultural Studies Librarian, University Library
  • Edras Rodriguez-Torres, Resident Librarian for International Studies, University Library
  • Stephen Ward, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies; Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies and Associate Professor in the Residential College, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Timeline of William Monroe Trotter's Life

Over the years, curiosity about the man for whom the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center takes its name, peaked among faculty, staff, and students. Indeed, those with some sense of the center’s history—those, in fact, who knew that the multicultural center emerged in the aftermath of the black student protest movement of the 1970s—and those with little-to-no knowledge of any of this social movement history, all began to wonder about Trotter himself.



Trotter Grand Opening Extravaganza

During the month of April 2019, a variety of engaging events to celebrate the grand opening of Trotter on State Street building were held. The Opening Extravaganza events are listed on this page.

Trotter Grand Opening Extravaganza

Trotter on State - A Timeline of Events

Interested in learning more about Trotter Multicultural Center's move to State Street? Click here to learn more about the events leading up to the construction of the new building.