Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
We create art, teach, learn, curate, research, write, and support all these activities with a shared commitment to generate a positive difference in society. We acknowledge that excellence and equity are natural products of embracing our diversity and learning from all of our different life experiences and points of view. Therefore, the Department of Art and Art History is committed to creating a caring and welcoming community that embraces diversity and empowers everyone to learn, work, and do their very best. Our community shares values that include belonging, acceptance, integrity, and a respect for a diversity of races, colors, gender identities and expressions, parental statuses, sexual orientations, religions, veteran status, physical abilities, economic backgrounds, body types, citizenship status, age, and/or nationalities. Our community rejects white supremacy, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, and other dogmas of hate, intolerance, prejudice, and exclusion.
Because our past is an undeniable part of our present, we acknowledge and encourage reflection upon the fact that we inhabit the ancestral lands of the Chickasaw indigenous people, and we are keenly aware that we study and work at a campus founded on colonized land and was originally constructed using the labor of enslaved people. Our community of openness believes that many present inequities stem from our institution’s problematic history and its inequitable power paradigms, and we are committed to correcting them and the biases – implicit and explicit – that have been inherited from our past.
Our community of openness prepares students to become vigorous contributors to globally responsible art-making and art-historical practices that share and advance these values.