RISD Anti-Racism Coalition (risdARC) is dedicated to combating our institution’s prolonged history of anti-Blackness, marginalization, and discrimination along with the intersections of global systems of oppression affecting our community. We support and advocate for the needs of all students of color regardless of ethnicity, race, disability, gender, or sexuality.








Response of Ceramics Department

Date:
July 16 2020

Written By:
Katy Schimert, Department Head July, 2019 - June, 2020Lesley Baker Department Head July 2020 - June 2021Anina Major
Assistant Professor

Sent to:
RISD & Race Forum Speakers

Please find the Ceramics Departments’ response and plans to dismantle structural racism. Please let us know your thoughts. This is a working document that we plan to continuallu update and revise. The document was written by myself, Lesley Baker and Anina Major. I will be on leave next year. Lesley will be Department Head.

Thank you,
Katy Schimert


View PDF Document Here.



Date:
June 30 2020

Written By:
Katy Schimert, Department Head July, 2019 - June, 2020Lesley Baker Department Head July 2020 - June 2021 Anina Major
Assistant Professor

Sent to:
RISD & Race Forum Speakers

We hear you! Thank you for taking the initiative to bring this conversation back to center stage. Your experiences at RISD are unacceptable and I will do my best to change the toxic attitudes and curriculum in the Ceramics Department and the wider community at RISD. I fully concur that RISD does not have enough black and brown full-time faculty, technicians or administrators and therefore students of color are marginalized. Your identity is not reflected and not respected by the people in positions of power. The Department Heads have been asked to submit our proposals to combat institutional racism to the Dean of Fine Arts to review and locate common ground. Detailed proposals will then be forwarded to the BIPOC on July 15th.

The Ceramics Department is small, consisting of only two full time faculty members and to account for this, we have sought to be diverse with our visiting artists and faculty. However, we understand we must do more.  As a department, if we truly appreciate and celebrate a myriad of voices within our field, there is always room for improvement. Improvement that requires long term commitment and continuous accountability.

I will be on sabbatical this upcoming year, but my colleagues Lesley Baker will be Department Head and Anina Major will be returning in a full-time term position. As a group, we have discussed (and will continue to discuss) in detail plans to not only fully support our diverse student body within the department but other RISD students interested in taking ceramics courses. This includes but limited to de-colonizing our curriculum and developing an anti-racist approach to education by revising our Ceramics History, Material Science and Clay in Context courses. We will be evaluating the upcoming visiting artists schedule, to create opportunities that celebrate and value the work of BIPOC makers. And we also will be looking where we can incorporate more opportunities for inter-departmental work under this charge. This is just to start!

Lastly, in the spirit of open dialog and critical making, we encourage students from all majors to consider taking a ceramic course or attending our visiting artist series. We will hold space for all those interested in methods of learning and making that validate the contributions of BIPOC makers within our society.


Respectfully,

Katy Schimert, Department Head July, 2019 - June, 2020
Lesley Baker, Department Head July 2020 - June 2021
Anina Major, Assistant Professor