dear school of art family, friEnds, and community,
This time of national unrest in marked by the conflict between what American claims to stand for and historically what it has delivered. The vicious murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, are stark reminders that justice is not color blind and that the black community continues to suffer from America's 40-year legacy of malignant discrimination.
We want you to know that we are here to learn, to have real conversations, and to understand how our own actions can maintain systemic racism when we want to instead create a world of equality, justice, and anti-racism. As leaders, we have a greater responsibility to speak out and be a part of the solution. As artists, designers, educators, and historians we have the unique ability to see complex problems differently and have the drive to work towards positive change.
The School of Art is committed to the goal of eradicating racism and being more intentional in our efforts:
_Prioritize implementing the SoArt's Equity, Diversity, Inclusion plan
_Create a 2 Million Dollar endowment to support diversity, inclusion, and equity
_Establish specific scholarships for diversity to support graduate and undergraduate students
_Plan a townhall meeting for School of Art students, we want to hear from you
_Provide faculty and staff funding for training and books related to diversity, inclusion, and equity
_Set diversity goals for recruiting faculty and students
_Update our mission and values statements to reflect the EDI plan
_Add a senior diversity leadership position to the School of Art
_Continue to highlight faculty, student and the SoArt's work addressing EDI issues
_Convene a SoArt Advisory Group for Diversity and Inclusion that includes faculty, students, staff, and outside academia
These action items are not a comprehensive list, but a reflection of what is currently under way as the School of Art navigates its way towards a more inclusive and equitable world.
As we work towards these goals, we embrace the critical role of listening to better understand the diverse range of views in the school. We want to speak out loud for this desire for change but to measure progress by what has been achieved.
We look forward to learning more, sharing more, and continuing the conversation as we work together for change.
The Studio Art MFA program at the University of Arkansas provides an intensive studio
environment for committed individuals planning careers as practicing artists.
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