CFPA DEI Task Force Charge

The disparities and inequities to communities of color that exist due to systemic racism across all sectors of American institutions, must be challenged and eradicated. We are committed to this effort.  We will work with students, staff, and faculty of color to ensure that they feel safe; to change practices and policies that create inequity; and to explore new approaches to systems that previously perpetuated inequity.

To date, each of the departments in the CFPA has implemented procedures by which to begin the task of identifying, foregrounding, and addressing issues related to systemic racism in the College as well as the University.  These efforts have engaged students, faculty and staff in conversations about the lingering effects of racism, overt or systemic, that unfortunately still impinge on our ability to fairly and justly provide all of our students avenues to success in their chosen arts or design disciplines.  We know from experience that when we do alter a process or procedure with the intent of enhancing diversity within the College, we can succeed in doing so.

For example, the percentage of Art, Design and Performance BIPOC students at entry to the University has increased from 17.8% in academic year 2015-16, to 25.2% in 2019-20.  Much of this increase is attributable to changes instituted to provide more targeted and active recruitment of BIPOC students beginning in 2016.  While commendable, as a college we are still behind the University as whole, which admitted 28.5% of BIPOC students in 2019-20.  We need to better understand how to cultivate long term relationships with communities of color, relationships founded on a willingness to reach out, listen intently, and alter the means by which we are unintentionally creating roadblocks and barriers to prospective BIPOC students.

We also need to implement a process by which the entire College, as an entity, will mimic the conversations and discovery currently happening at the department and programmatic level. It is critical that we make inclusion, equity and diversity a college-wide priority.  While prominent in both the University and CFPA strategic plans, we have yet to identify and implement a cohesive set of actions to permanently create and support a culture of inclusion.  We need a roadmap to guide us forward in both the short and long-term.