In order to create a more racially just RISD, must be proactively anti-racist in principle and practice, and make consequential, scaled changes throughout the institution. What follows is a record of accountability to commitments announced by President Somerson on July 15, 2020, which build upon our 2017 Social Equity and Inclusion Plan.
Last update on progress: May 12, 2021
Our commitment in action
Institutional Advancement wraps up the second-best fundraising year in the history of the institution and recognizes growing alumni engagement.
Full-time faculty members to join RISD in fall 2021 as a result of the “Race in Art & Design” cluster hire initiative.
RISD’s Continuing Education division partners with multiple nonprofits to support BIPOC youth interested in pursuing careers in art and design.
Three rising museum professionals help to make the RISD Museum a place where everyone feels welcome and represented.
RISD’s Center for Complexity designs a suite of solutions intended to advance health equity and reduce adverse medical outcomes for patients of color.
An interactive on-campus exhibition brings to life the civil rights movement and ongoing struggle against racism and segregation in the US.
New RISD First-Generation to College Pre-Orientation Program will offer a multifaceted experience for incoming students.
SEI Fellow Jane’a Johnson studies violence, visual culture and how race is reflected in archives and museums.
Faculty, curators and librarians come together for a semester-long seminar on decolonization that builds on the institution’s commitment to advancing social equity and inclusion.
Since August 2019 RISD has raised $15 million to fund a new program that recruits and supports outstanding graduate students.
Director John W. Smith announces deaccession of Head of a King (Oba) and plans to bring needed focus to Native American art and design via New Americas Research Initiative.
New Executive Director of Integrated Health and Wellness Bob Samuels is building a culture that values physical and mental well-being.
Increasing diversity on campus
student financial aid (2020/21)
incoming student diversity (undergraduate and graduate, 2020/21)
diverse faculty/staff candidate hires (2020)