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.

Demands from the Undergraduate Printmaking Department

July 10 2020

Written By:
Class of 2021 BFA Printmaking

Sent to:
RISD Printmaking Faculty & Students
Dear RISD Printmaking Faculty and Students,

As members of this institution, and both witnesses and victims to its violence, the Printmaking Class of 2021 recognizes our complacency in waiting to break our silence. We need to be more alert and proactive so that Black, Indigenous, and non-Black people of color, who are already vulnerable to systemic oppression, aren’t forced to speak out at their own risk. We are grateful for the students advocating for BIPOC through the RISD & Race Forum, RISD Anti-Racism Coalition, BlackAtRisd, and all other organizations challenging institutional racism. We will continue to support their work and demand transparency and action from our specific department in addition to RISD as a whole. Attached is our group statement which proposes a number of solutions, both short term and long term, with the intention of supporting our BIPOC faculty and students as well as addressing departmental ailments.

Statement of Intent:

Given the lackluster departmental response, in essence shifting much blame to lack of funding and bureaucratic difficulties, we, the undergraduate Class of 2021, would like to work towards facilitating departmental longevity and remedy a number of issues that currently ail our institutional experience, specifically with the aim of prioritizing BIPOC voices and their involvement. The following contains a short list of potential initiatives, some of which require zero funding and simply the continued effort of faculty. However, others will take real time, work, and reallocation of funds. We must reflect on the ways in which we have harmed Black people and act by redistributing the resources, power, and security that privilege has rewarded us. We expect and require continued transparency and dialogue moving forward to ensure that we can make progress given the current circumstances and limitations set by the global pandemic.

We cannot support the department’s response, which shifts culpability and involvement in systems that actively exclude Black, Indigenous, and people of color at this institution. Pointing to an overall institutional lack of BIPOC representation as an excuse for an all white, full-time printmaking faculty is an inadequate justification.

Class of 2021 BFA Printmaking

View PDF Document Here.