About

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, we must do more than simply combat racism where we find it. We 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. Here we will add information about new commitments, track our progress and acknowledge work still to come.

Our commitment in action

Expanded Support for First-Generation Students

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

​Breaking with Convention

SEI Faculty Fellow Ernest A. Bryant III challenges students to find new meaning in the images that surround all of us.

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 Hire Promoting SEI

RISD launches a job search for no fewer than 10 new faculty members specializing in race, decolonization and cultural representation.

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.

Legacies of the Slave Trade

SEI Research Fellow Christopher Roberts examines Providence’s historical connections to slavery and colonialism and their impact on the present day.

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

↑23%

student financial aid (2020/21)

38%

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

42%

diverse faculty/staff candidate hires (2020)