We strive to create learning spaces that affirm the dignity of all people. We are committed to continuously educating ourselves and our students about the privileges and oppressions that people are subjected to, based on their race, class, age, disability, gender expression, nationality and religion. Honoring the voice of Audre Lorde in her essay "The Transformation of Silence into Action," we support our students and, remind ourselves, to have the courage to move from silence into action. We recognize that members of our community might experience rage, anxiety and grief that come from present day and ancestral trauma and we commit to holding space as allies and anti-racist educators. We commit to critical teaching that aims to understand the historical forces, root causes and conditions that make our present moment, personal experiences and worldviews possible. We commit to being vigilant about our biases as we question dominant narratives, ways of seeing and ways of being.


Student Recruitment and Wellbeing

  • Actively participate in ongoing efforts of the university to increase the recruitment and retention of first-generation students, BIPOC students, students from racially concentrated areas of poverty
  • Actively accommodate disabled students in our classes by developing a more proactive relationship with disability services.
  • Connect students with the Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS) for additional application, mentoring and support services.
  • We will join our discipline’s diversity mentoring and recruitment programs and feature diversity resources and findings on our website.
  • Work with Financial Aid to advocate for scholarships for students who want to study fine arts.


  • We will continue to review faculty and staff hiring practices so that they are aligned with our values for recruiting and retaining.
  • We will actively seek opportunities to promote diverse faculty and graduate students for university awards, scholarships, and other forms of recognition.


  • Support the research required of graduate students and faculty in order to teach new curricula.
  • We will teach from the perspective that there are many art worlds, not one.

Engagement / Programming

  • Support student-initiated activities that invite participation from BIPOC artists and creative professionals.
  • Pursue intercultural competency training for faculty, staff, and students.

Evaluation Accountability

  • We commit to regular reviews of our program, reporting on faculty and student diversity within the university at large and, in comparison with similar programs in peer institutions.
  • We acknowledge that our education system is fraught with inherent biases and inequalities. There is much unlearning to do.
  • Collaborate with the office of Data and Reporting Research to collect data that accurately represents the demographics served by UMass Amherst Department of Arts.