The Michigan Department of Education launched Cohort 3 of Phase 1 of The African American Student Initiative (TAASI): A Journey of Cultural Proficiency and Personal Transformation. Schools are invited to participate in this 6-session professional learning opportunity.

Cultural proficiency is about learning to respect our own and other’s identities, celebrating cultural differences, mitigating marginalization, disparities, and disproportionality, while systemically integrating behavior that establishes standards for practice that promote cultural diversity, equity and inclusion.

Outcomes for Phase 1:

    • Increased human capital as it relates to equity for students, their families, and educators.
    • Increased social capital through the development of a learning community.
  • Increased decisional capital through the creation of an action plan for transformational change in the school community.
  • Increased staff cultural competence through pre- and post- surveys.
  • Increased trust through improved cross-cultural communication skills.


  • Who: School level teams of three or four people (i.e., building leadership, teacher/teacher leader, counselor, nurse, parent/family liaison, etc.). Please note that superintendent support is required at time of application.
  • Cost: Registration is free for schools that are one of the listed as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI), Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) or Additional Targeted Support (ATS). All other registrants will be required to pay a fee of $20 per person per session.

Upcoming locations, dates & topics

East Michigan location

VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College, 18600 Haggerty Road, Livonia, MI 48152
All sessions will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; lunch is included.

  • January 29: Assessing Culture; Valuing Diversity
  • February 19: Manage Dynamics of Difference; Adapt to Diversity
  • March 19: Institutionalize Cultural Knowledge

West Michigan location

Battle Creek Math & Science Center, 171 Michigan Avenue, Battle Creek, MI 49017
All sessions will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; lunch is included.

  • November 29: Systems of Oppression; Race and Privilege; Unconscious Bias
  • January 31: Assessing Culture; Valuing Diversity
  • February 21: Manage Dynamics of Difference; Adapt to Diversity
  • March 21: Institutionalize Cultural Knowledge

For more information, contact Dr. Theresa Saunders via email or at (517) 241-9566 or Dr. Jill Griffin via email or at (517) 335-3064. Click here to download a flier.