The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan formed an Unlearning Racism in GEosciences (URGE) pod composed of six graduate students, three postdocs and eight faculty in the beginning of 2021. The department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts have been building in the preceding years. Our first DEI committee was formed in 2017 and increased its activity since initiation, hosting DEI discussions and initiatives with participation from students, postdocs, staff and faculty. Existing DEI activities include a Fall Preview event for prospective graduate students, DEI office hours and book discussions, adding DEI resources to the public-facing Department website, student grants for DEI related activities, and hosting workshops. The formation of an URGE pod provided new, focused energy to our DEI efforts and bolstered ongoing work by creating a bigger, critical mass of people who met regularly and were focused on action. The scope of URGE, the NSF support for it, and the interactions with other institutions that came from it, helped give our pod momentum, legitimacy, and contributed to broader departmental support for the recommendations that it produced. It also helped our department identify our most critical deficits on a DEI front and concrete ways that we will respond to them, which parallel needs articulated in a recent report from our college’s anti-racism task force, a major focus of our Dean. Actions emerging from the URGE pod include, but are not limited to, hiring a Wellness and Inclusion Advocate staff member, creation of field safety training and guidance, and building a workshop series to address issues centered on creating a culture of wellness and inclusion (anti-bias training, ally training, etc). The formation of our pod coincided with and complemented the finalization of our department’s self-study as part of a decadal strategic planning process. Many recommendations related to hiring, inclusive teaching, reporting, and deliberate mentoring practices that our URGE pod discussed were incorporated into our department’s strategic plan that was finalized in July 2021. We are eager to translate these recommendations for anti-racism work into actions, building on and contributing to the momentum and resources of the URGE community.