SEI Accountability

SEI student work by Erick Medel, MFA 18 Photography

We commit to an anti-racist, equitable and inclusive RISD

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

You Belong Here

Three rising museum professionals help to make the RISD Museum a place where everyone feels welcome and represented.

Closing the Healthcare Gap

RISD’s Center for Complexity designs a suite of solutions intended to advance health equity and reduce adverse medical outcomes for patients of color.

Echoes of Jim Crow

An interactive on-campus exhibition brings to life the civil rights movement and ongoing struggle against racism and segregation in the US.

Expanded Support for First-Generation Students

New RISD First-Generation to College Pre-Orientation Program will offer a multifaceted experience for incoming students.​

Recasting the Dutch Golden Age

SEI Fellow Jane’a Johnson studies violence, visual culture and how race is reflected in archives and museums.

Decolonizing Pedagogies at RISD

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.

Society of Presidential Fellows Takes Flight

Since August 2019 RISD has raised $15 million to fund a new program that recruits and supports outstanding graduate students.

RISD Museum Effecting Change

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.

A Record Year of Engagement

The RISD community offers record-setting support for the college and its mission.

Promoting Wellness at RISD

New Executive Director of Integrated Health and Wellness Bob Samuels is building a culture that values physical and mental well-being.

RISD Launches “Race in Art & Design” Cluster Hire Search

As part of its commitment to address institutional racism and advance social equity, RISD is hiring 10 new faculty as part of a cluster hire initiative focused on race and decolonization in art and design.

RISD Promotes Social Equity

The Boston Globe reports on RISD’s efforts to respond to activism, hire new faculty, boost diversity and return looted artifacts.

Increasing diversity on campus


student financial aid (2020/21)


incoming student diversity (undergraduate and graduate, 2020/21)


diverse faculty/staff candidate hires (2020)