Dubbed our “Year of Outreach”, this has certainly been a year of learning and listening. As part of my strategy for creating systems and spaces to uplift community and student voice to state-level policy engagement, I turned to you! I spent the first 100 days of my role listening to legislators, state departments, higher education policy stakeholders, funders, and community leaders across the state to identify the best ways to move forward in achieving this goal. The recurring themes of my conversations, which have guided all of our work this year, were:
- Equitable engagement of community leaders across the state
- Education and training on advocacy and policy engagement in MI
- Easy to understand data, research, resources, and tools for MI higher ed policy
- Elevation of student advocates and student engagement
- Real-time issue resolution and uplift in policy priority focuses.
Together, we created a more inclusive policy community, expanded opportunities to learn about policy, conducted research and designed resources to better meet community needs, raised the voices of organizations committed to student centered policies, trained 10 students to work alongside us throughout the next year, and got a majority of our community’s priorities included in the most recent state budget. While this is only a snapshot of TICAS MI highlights in 2022-23, we are excited about the continual growth of our community and the effect of our efforts with your support. We thank you for your constant engagement, feedback, and continual presence that actualizes a much-needed new approach to policy in MI.