Studio Arts DEI & Anti-Racism

Department Statement

As faculty and staff of the LMU Studio Arts Department, we acknowledge and are committed to dismantling systems of oppression and inequity. We are engaging in a process of reimagining what and how we teach and create. Our hope is to move towards repairing a broken system and preventing further injustice by engaging in equitable and anti-racist practice.

Actions We Are Engaged In

Our goal is to create a departmental ethos centered on anti-racist and inclusive practices that serve as a guideline as we move forward in our work as artists, designers and educators. This includes:

  • Re-examining our curriculum with the goal of decentering whiteness and providing our students with a diverse range of arts and cultural practices and heritages.
  • Spotlighting BIPOC voices in our programming, including KaleidoLA.
  • Spotlighting BIPOC artistic and cultural activities and alumni in our departmental communication, including our newsletter.
  • Continuing to examine creative resources and studio practices which decenter whiteness and make space for marginalized identities.
  • Addressing how anti-racism, anti-oppression, and diversity, equity and inclusivity become centered in changes to our departmental mission.

Current Projects

Listening Sessions. We have begun to hold listening sessions to open up dialogue and center BIPOC voices in the Studio Arts community. Our first Student Town Hall was held on October 5th, 2020 to make space for student and alumni voices. Our second Town Hall is being planned for March 18th, 2021 at 6pm. If you are part of the Studio Arts community (as a major, minor or having taken one of our clases), we welcome you to join us. Please register here.

KaleidoLA Series. Our artist speaker series KaleidoLA has shifted to centering BIPOC artists. You can see the recent and upcoming speakers here.

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge the Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and southern Channel Islands) and are grateful to have the opportunity to work in this place.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Anti-Racist Pedagogy Definitions

Anti-Racist
The policy or practice of opposing racism and promoting racial tolerance.

Diversity
Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another. It is all-inclusive and recognizes everyone and every group as part of the diversity that should be valued. A broad definition includes not only race, ethnicity, and gender — the groups that most often come to mind when the term "diversity" is used — but also age, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, marital status, language, and physical appearance. It also involves different ideas, perspectives, and values.

Equality
Treating people similarly.

Equity
The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that fairness regarding these unbalanced conditions is needed to assist equality in the provision of effective opportunities to all groups.

Inclusion
A practice of ensuring that people feel a sense of belonging. People feel comfortable and supported as their unique selves.

Definitions provided by Prof. Jennifer Williams, and the Office of Intercultural Affairs (see more here).