Knowing that a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist campus is critical for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) to fulfill its mission and institutional aspirations, the Anti-Racism Committee (ARC) has been formed to support and extend the work of existing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and catalyze DEI and anti-racist work throughout all areas of SAIC. ARC’s charge includes both identifying and implementing initiatives that will bring meaningful change in the short term as well as establishing a comprehensive, long-range plan to substantially improve the School’s operations and the lived experience of all of its community members.
ARC is dedicated to addressing how systemic racism—especially as it is enacted against Black people—manifests at SAIC while recognizing the great diversity within the SAIC community. ARC acknowledges that individuals’ identities exist intersectionally and believes that any initiative that furthers inclusivity—of race, ethnicity, nationality, country of origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, disability, or other historically marginalized identities—is a meaningful step toward an anti-racist campus. To best work toward this vision, the committee’s membership will include representatives from all of SAIC’s primary constituencies: staff, faculty, and students as well as a board member.
Current ARC Members
Delinda Collier, interim dean of graduate studies
Jefferson Pinder, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic affairs
Sampada Aranke, assistant professor, Art History, Theory, and Criticism
James Connolly, assistant professor, adjunct, Film, Video, New Media, and Animation
Leah Gipson, assistant professor, Art Therapy and Counseling
Olivia Gude, professor, Art Education
Jenny Lee, assistant professor, Art History, Theory, and Criticism
Maria Gaspar, associate professor, Contemporary Practices
Daniel Quiles, associate professor, Art History, Theory, and Criticism
Roberto Sifuentes, professor, Performance
Kirin Wachter-Grene, assistant professor, Liberal Arts
Martine Whitehead, associate professor, adjunct, Contemporary Practices
Adrian Wong, assistant professor, Sculpture
Dio Aldrige, special assistant to the dean and provost on diversity, equity and inclusion
Robyn Besana, disability specialist
Michael Blackman, assistant dean of student affairs for student support and conflict resolution
Craig Downs, executive director of media and instructional resources
Dawn Gavin, dean of undergraduate studies
Jaclyn Jacunski, director of civic engagement
Molly Scranton, associate director of faculty affairs
Katrina Valera, director of student affairs for diversity and inclusion
Timeka Young, employee relations and training manager
Michelle Boone, board of governors
Jake Linn, undergraduate, Student Advocacy Alliance for Health and Disability (SAAHD)
Zemaye Okediji, graduate
Carly Trujilo, undergraduate, resident advisor, Native American Student Association (NASA)
The committee is co-chaired by the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Academic Affairs and another member of the faculty. The committee reports directly to the President of the School.
In addition to the co-chairs, ARC membership includes full- and part-time faculty, staff, students, and a member of the board of governors. Committee membership counts toward service requirements for full-time faculty, is considered as part of their job duties for full-time staff, and be voluntary for board members. Part-time faculty will receive additional compensation for committee work. Students will also be paid. Staff working in the President's Office will provide support for the committee.
Term of Service
The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Academic Affairs will chair the committee throughout their directorship. All other members are asked to serve for one-year terms, which may be renewed for up to three consecutive terms.
It is anticipated that the committee will meet approximately once a month, and more often, as needed; additionally, sub-groups may be formed, at the discretion of the committee chair, so that committee members and colleagues in other areas of the School can work intensively in developing program initiatives and, ultimately, implementing institutional DEI and anti-racism initiatives.
- Evaluate existing anti-racism/DEI strategies
- Brainstorm new anti-racism/DEI strategies
- Research efficacy of anti-racism/DEI strategies
- Identify initiatives for immediate implementation
- Build long-range, multi-year plan of action steps
- Communicate regularly with campus on achievements, projects, and actions
- Report at All-Faculty and Staff meetings
- Support affinity group meetings/space
- Support speaker series
Areas of Inquiry
- Promotion and advancement
- Professional development
- Student support
- Community climate / morale
- Training and support
Summer 2020—Committee formed and begins meeting.
Fall 2020—Committee evaluates existing ideas for diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racist action items; establishes new ideas; and makes reccommendations to the president and other appropriate departments for short-term actions to be undertaken immediately; begin first draft of comprehensive, mutli-year strategic plan for DEI with medium- and long-term action items.
Spring/Summer 2020—Continue to vet, iterate, finalize, and ultimately adopt, with board leadership approval, multi-year action plan and begin implementation.