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Our Mission:

Our mission at the William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center is to build on our historical heritage of strengthening relationships and generating collective power that disrupts patterns of inequity, restores and celebrates cultural heritages, and cultivates racial healing within student experiences.

Our Collective Vision:

We envision the Trotter Multicultural Center as a space where equity, liberation, and cultural innovation are standard in the experiences of all.


Our Core Work:

Identity Development & Engagement: We provide space to help students develop and demonstrate an ability to navigate and engage cultural similarities and differences while celebrating our individual and collective heritages. 

Education & Leadership Development: We provide opportunities for students to gain exposure to courses, training and leadership programs that equip them with tools to recognize and dismantle/transform patterns of inequity within the world.

Racial Healing & Well-being: We provide opportunities for students to learn about the historical and present impact of racial trauma and systemic injustices while exposing them to racial healing and cultural practices that foster agency, learning and restore community.

Our Commitments:

  • Centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)- We are committed to centering the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our efforts to achieve intersectional liberation and promote healing-centered engagement for all members of our community.
  • Empowering student voice- We are committed to creating and maintaining space for students to amplify their voices to: 1. Contribute to developing and capturing collective narratives about student experiences and 2. Co-create new values within our community as we move towards equity.
  • Intergenerational learning and healing- We are committed to acknowledging the historical and contemporary impact of racial trauma, epistemic violence, and systemic inequities in higher education, thus we embrace Sankofa (a word in the Twi language of Ghana meaning “go back and get”) and Ubuntu (an ancient African word meaning “I am because we are”) as guideposts for generative learning, building mutual understanding, and restoring community.


Our Core Values:

Our values are rooted in the blending of collective group membership and individual leadership. Shared values, beliefs, and goals link us as we honor and acknowledge collective histories and move to create an equitable future. Our four value pairings are: 


Creativity & Collaboration

Our students thrive and draw inspiration from one another when they feel part of the community.  Therefore, we encourage mutual understanding and genuine connection through the sharing of ideas, identification of common purpose and the harnessing of shared power within reciprocal partnerships in and outside of the university community. Through cooperation, teamwork and respect we demonstrate the power of Sankofa and Ubuntu.

Courage & Discernment

We encourage and model behaviors that inspire individuals and communities to demonstrate courage in adversity and perpetuate a hope-intention throughout all endeavors. We value a commitment to critically evaluating individual feelings, motivations, beliefs, and desires for collective impact.  Through firmness of mind and a commitment to equity in the face of challenge and adversity, we encourage our students to acknowledge their choice and agency to liberate a sense of purpose that informs social change.

Dignity & Compassion

We embrace a culture of leadership that standardizes integrity, transparency, and accountability as the foundation for building mutual understanding.  We expect all who participate in our community to promote and protect the dignity of self and others and to express compassion for others at all times.

Equity & Excellence

We consistently challenge the status quo and disrupt deficit-thinking to foster a culture of expression, reflection, and discovery.  In this dynamic and innovative posture, we champion positive change and intersectional liberation. Through our programs, policies, and practices, we seek to recognize and disrupt patterns of inequity and disenfranchisement. In acknowledgement of the injustices of the past and present we seek to adopt and create best practices for equitable access and the cultivation of opportunities for development, representation, power, and voice.  This is our affirmation of the possibilities of the future we create together. 



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, International Studies Librarian, University Library
  • Stephen Ward, Director, Semester in Detroit; Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies and Associate Professor in the Residential College, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts

Related Contents:

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


Our History

The Trotter Multicultural Center, as it is known today, began as Trotter House, a Black Student Cultural Center. It is part of a long legacy of activism brought on by African American students united under the Black Action Movement (BAM)-- a legacy that connects other departments and centers including but not limited to; the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS), Multi-ethnic Student Affairs (MESA), the Comprehensive Studies Program (CSP), The Diversity Peer Educators Program and Multicultural Lounges, and the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI).

Trotter Multicultural Center featured as U-M DEI Signature Initiative

DEI title Logo

University of Michigan’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Planning Toolkit is a online resource highlights information and insights from U-M’s DEI Strategic Planning and Implementation process. The Trotter Multicultural Center is highlighted as a "Signature Initiative" in the toolkit among other important initiatives and resources across campus.

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 Trotter 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 William Monroe Trotter himself.