Dear MCAD Community,
I hope this note finds you and your loved ones healthy and strong.
These past months have been challenging in so many ways. As we all contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also confronting and grappling with the ever present legacy of racism both locally and nationally. This past summer at MCAD has been a time of introspection, conversation, and action. For that reason I am writing to provide an update on the commitments MCAD outlined in June. Before I do, I want to recognize our students, faculty, alumni, and staff members. So many of you have taken action to advocate for systems-change, help raise funds for scholarships and our neighborhood, demand equality for Black community members, and shown us a myriad of ways we can support our broader community. I am grateful to be part of such a passionate, engaged group of people.
In June I outlined the Comprehensive Strategy for Community Support and Recovery with five major initiatives and have posted an update on each one on our website. I want to highlight a few as we move into fall and beyond.
Anti-Racism Work: By end of November we will select an outside partner who will conduct anti-racism and anti-oppression workshops and training over the next six months for the Board of Trustees, leadership team, faculty, staff, and students. This new partnership will be a critical step for our institution, and one I have been committed to since joining the MCAD community.
Public Safety: To respond to concerns about Public Safety and the Minneapolis Police Department, starting in early 2021 we will begin to assess our safety philosophy and protocols with student, faculty, and staff input. We are clarifying our relationship with MPD and carefully rethinking how Public Safety engages with our campus community.
Critical and Collective Thinking: I want to invite you to the upcoming MCAD President’s Lecture Series: Race & Design on Wednesday, November 11 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Central Time. With panelists Liz Ogbu, Joseph Kunkel, and Greg Hoffman ’92, we will address inequity inside and outside the design world. All are welcome. To sign-up for this discussion, please visit the event page. For MCAD students there is an additional, students-only conversation with the three panelists. An email invitation will follow.
Public Engagement: While we are an election polling place and supporter of voter registration on and off campus, I want to recognize that the weeks leading up to and following the November election will be incredibly stressful for many in our community. We will offer additional mental health resources and opportunities for dialogue and engagement for students, staff, and faculty during this time.
The work to stand with our BIPOC, and specifically Black community, for meaningful change is no less urgent than it was in June. I will continue to reach out with updates on our progress. And, of course, if you have ideas to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All my best,