SAIC is committed to an inclusive culture with dedicated amenities around campus. These physical locations provide community members space for peace, spiritual, religious, meditation, and serves as a retreat from daily stressors. These spaces are open to all students, faculty, and staff.
Cultural Oasis: A Space by and for Students of Color is the realization of an action item of the Anti-Racism Committee, a group of more than 80 students, faculty, and staff formed in 2020 to identify ways to make SAIC more inclusive and equitable. This newly renovated space was designed by students of color as a dedicated student place to meet, relax, recharge, and create community.
The Cultural Oasis is host to a variety of programs designed to center the narratives of our students of color and promote cultural diversity and inclusion. These include Affinity Group events, Heritage awareness programming, Multicultural Affairs Affinity Communities (MAAC) meetings, as well as other events planned by and with students who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latine, Asian, Asian American, and as a person of color. Amenities include a lounge area, community library, kitchenette, coffee-maker, audio visual equipment, and computer stations. An enclosed meditation/quiet room within the Cultural Oasis is equipped with customizable lighting for spiritual or wellness needs. Gender-neutral restrooms are located next to the Cultural Oasis.
36 S. Wabash Ave., room 1425
Fall and spring semesters: Monday through Sunday, 7:00 a.m.– 10:00 p.m.
Summer and winter semesters: Monday through Sunday, 7:00 a.m.– 7:00 p.m
Cultural Oasis Coordinator:
Designed by a visioning group of over 30 students identifying as Black, Indigenous, and people of color, the room is a dedicated place to relax, and recharge. Located within the Cultural Oasis: A Space by and for students of color, the room is located away from heavily traveled areas. This enclosed meditation/quiet room within the Cultural Oasis is equipped with comfortable cushions and customizable lighting for spiritual or wellness needs. You don't need to make any reservations to use the space as it is expected to be shared with others at any time. Please be respectful of each other’s practice while in the room. The room is available for use by individuals and should not be used for group programs. If you need a space of your own or your group, you can request access to the Movement Room (MacLean Center room 1301). For more information, contact Multicultural Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To ensure the safety of our community, lighting of incense, and candles, and/or any engaging in practices that may pose a fire hazard, are not permitted.
36 S. Wabash Ave., room 1425-A
SAIC has two dedicated quiet spaces on-campus for various spiritual and religious practices to be used for reflection, meditation, or prayer. Designed by an SAIC student, the room is invitational to meet your needs of peace and equanimity. It is intentionally located away from heavily traveled, common, or crowded areas to welcome all members of the community for the purpose of quiet contemplative practices, inner calmness, and mindful awareness. You don't need to make any reservations to use the space as it is expected to be shared with others at any time. Please be respectful of each other’s practice while in the room. The room is available for use by individuals and should not be used for group programs. If you need a space of your own or your group, you can request access to the Movement Room (MacLean Center room 1301). For more information, contact Multicultural Affairs at email@example.com.
112 S. Michigan Ave., room B-1-04
Gender-neutral restrooms are safe for transgender, gender non-conforming, genderqueer people, as well as people of all gender identities and expressions. Here is a list of gender-neutral restrooms at SAIC. Gender neutral restrooms are included in each residence hall and in all academic buildings. The multi-stall gender inclusive restrooms offer floor to ceiling privacy in all individual stalls. Here you can find the locations of SAIC's gender-neutral restrooms.
Restroom Inclusion Policy
SAIC recognizes the human dignity of all its students, faculty, staff, and visitors and is committed to providing equitable access to campus restrooms. SAIC values gender as being broader than a female/male binary and is inclusive of multiple gender identities. Individuals are allowed to access restrooms in alignment with their gender identity. In addition, gender-neutral restrooms are open for people of all identities and expressions, as well as people who have ability, sensory, and privacy needs.
SAIC is committed to providing a supportive environment for all students, faculty, and staff. Below you’ll find a wide range of information to learn more about anti-racism, LGBTQIA+ issues, and religious and spiritual practices.
Gender Inclusivity at SAIC
SAIC values gender as being more than a female/male binary and is inclusive of multiple gender identities. Below you’ll find information on facilities, campus resources, getting involved, and Chicago resources. Multicultural Affairs is available to connect students to other resources in the community.
The language and terminology individuals and communities use to self identify continues to evolve. Please use this resource or this resource as a foundation guide to understanding terminology and definitions. While terminology is important to be aware of, it's important to understand that an individual may choose to self-identify in other terms. It's an important practice to ask how someone would like to be identified.
Guide to Using Pronouns
Subject: 1 registered to vote.
Object: They tried to convince 2 that giraffes could fly.
Possessive: 3 bike is unlocked.
Possessive Pronoun: That notebook is 4.
Reflexive: 1 spilled tea on 5.
During Orientation, SAIC community members complete a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion course. This online program provides individuals with language, and a deeper awareness about sex, gender identity, gender expression, and gender representation. For new incoming students, this course equips them with skills to engage in meaningful conversation and sustain an environment of inclusivity for all community members.
SAIC staff have received updated training on inclusivity in the community offered by local Chicago organizations. Through these workshops and trainings, staff continue to develop their understanding of how to support and be an ally for all sex and gender identities.
As community leaders, student employees including Residence Life Resident Advisors and Orientation Leaders complete an annual training on trans and gender inclusion, provided by Brave Space Alliance.
Throughout the year, student groups, and departments distribute educational materials and organize programs that provide more information and resources throughout the year. View these events on 25Live.
Community members may, at any time, change their displayed name through SAIC Self Service. If a name was provided on their SAIC application under the Preferred Name field, Students will automatically have this name used when they arrive on campus.
Changing Your Name
Students, Staff, and Faculty can change their name on SAIC PeopleSoft Self Service by following this procedure.
- Navigate to saic.edu/students
- Click "Self Service" under Quicklinks menu, on the left side of the page
- Login with your SAIC username and password
- Select the "Profile" tab
- Under "Personal Details," select "Preferred Name"
- Edit your Preferred Name to reflect your preference
- Confirm your change by clicking "Save"
Changes to preferred name in Peoplesoft Self Service will automatically be reflected in the following areas: ARTICard, scanning into buildings, class roster, residence hall housing database, Engage Event management site, graduation-related materials, course evaluations, media center checkouts, and library checkouts.
Students, Staff, and Faculty can change their name on Canvas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Graduating students can indicate which name they would like to be displayed by submitting the Graduation Application. This name will appear on graduation materials, including the program, diploma, and slides.
Changing Displayed Email Name
Students, Staff, and Faculty are able to change their Display Email Name on their SAIC google accounts by following the steps below.
- Navigate to gmail.artic.edu
- Login with your SAIC username and password
- Click the Gear Icon in the upper right corner and select "Settings"
- Select the "Accounts" tab from the top navigation bar
- Scroll down to "Send mail as" and you should see a list of all your email addresses
- To the right of each email address select "Edit Info"
- In the popup window, enter the name you want to appear when you send emails
- Repeat for each email address
There are times when legal names must be used to meet current federal regulations. Official transcripts registration forms submitted to SAIC use the legal name. This includes official registration forms, financial aid documents, admissions registration, and email aliases.
If a student completes the legal-name change process, they should contact the Registrar’s Office to provide documentation of this change. Documents required for legal name change vary by state. Click here to learn more.
Alums may submit this documentation to the Registrar's Office to process the legal-name change. Students will need appropriate legal documentation to change their last name with the Registrar.
SAIC community members have options for specifying their pronouns, if they choose:
- Multicultural Affairs provides SAIC lanyards with pronouns. If you're interested in receiving one, please reach out to email@example.com or visit the Student Life office, Sullivan 1203.
- Pronouns can be added to your SAIC email signature, using this email-signature generator.
- Pronouns can be included to your user profile on Canvas. To access this feature, use this guide to set your pronouns in Canvas. (Pronouns display in the following areas: Comment Fields, Discussions, Inbox, People Page (Course and Groups), User Profile, and User Settings).
SAIC residence halls are gender inclusive, which ensures that living arrangements are welcoming for all members of our community. Housing applicants may choose to be identified and assigned to roommates by either their sex or gender identity.
Gender Inclusive Health Insurance
The Student Health Insurance Plan made available to SAIC students includes Transgender coverage. These benefits include medical, psychological, and other counseling; surgery; and hormone therapy. More information regarding the Student Health Insurance Plan designed for students and their dependents, can be found at saic.myahpcare.com. Questions regarding benefits may be directed to the insurance plan administrator:
Student-led groups are an opportunity to unite students who identify with the LGBTQ+ and allies. These student-led groups build community in programs, and organize around issues affecting them and their communities. If you're interested in joining or starting a new group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many resources available to you that provide information on support, advocacy, and learning for LGBTQ+ people, their allies, and their families. Click on the resource title to be directed to their sites. Have other resources you'd like to share? Help us to expand this list by emailing email@example.com.
The Howard Brown Health Center
Sites all over the Chicagoland area––as North as Rogers Park, as South as Englewood. Howard Brown Health was founded in 1974 and is now one of the nation's largest LGBTQ organizations. HBH serves folks with flexibility around affordable care. Howard Brown Health serves both youths and adults, in its diverse health and social service delivery system focused around seven major programmatic divisions: primary medical care, behavioral health, research, HIV/STI prevention, youth services, elder services, and community initiatives. Howard Brown Health serves women, trans and nonbinary folks, men, infants, youth, and children.
Broadway Youth Center
4009 N. Broadway
The Broadway Youth Center of Howard Brown Health, is a resource for LGBTQ youth and young people experiencing homelessness of housing instability. Here, people can seek refuge and community, as well as medical, social, and mental health care services.
The Center on Halsted
3656 N. Halsted St.
Center on Halsted in the Northalsted/Lakeview neighborhood is a comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of Chicagoland.
The Center is a welcoming environment that provides programs and services that include volleyball, dance performances and cooking classes, rapid HIV testing, group therapy and vocational training. Center on Halsted also serves as an incubator for a number of smaller LGBTQ non-profit organizations, called Resident Partners. To Resident Partners, the Center provide operational support, space, and resources for organizations that may otherwise find it difficult to interact and grow.
This is a free and open community group and blog that brings people together through discussion that invites people to talk and think about gender in different ways. Genderqueer Chicago increases the visibility of gender-variant people, and educates the larger city of Chicago on issues of importance to the gender-variant community. Genderqueer holds peer-facilitated weekly meetings and city-wide activities. Meetings are held at the Center on Halsted.
The Chicago Freedom School
719 S. State St., floor 4
The Chicago Freedom School is innovative in its approach to civic engagement, leadership development, and movement building. Their anti-oppression trainings, resources, and programs invite young people and allies to deepen their understanding and develop strategies for social change.
Chicago Women's Health Center
1025 W. Sunnyside, Suite 201
Chicago Women's Health Center facilitates the empowerment of women and trans people by providing access to health care and health education in a respectful environment.
TransLife Center at the Chicago House
1925 N. Clybourn Ave.
TransLife Center and the Chicago House provide comprehensive programming and support to transgender individuals. Their resources include health, housing, legal, employment, and HIV services. TransLife returns to SAIC to lead workshops for student leaders, faculty, and staff.
Chicago: The LGBTQ+ Paper Tour
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is committed to creating an inclusive culture for all sex and gender identities. Over the last 5 years, SAIC has worked collaboratively across departments and students to effectively support the inclusion of our LGBTQ+ community. This student-created zine provides information about the many LGBTQ+ serving resources and a map of the city.
GLAAD: We Happy Trans
GLAAD works toward social change through the use of media. GLAAD accelerates acceptance for LGBTQ people by shaping the media narrative and provoking dialogue.
Intersex Society of America
The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) is devoted to systemic change to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anatomy that someone decided is not standard for either male or female. ISNA includes information and resources about disorders of sex development, health care, and overall well-being for intersex people, their families, and clinicians.
The National LGBTQ Task Force
The Task Force is committed to building a future where everyone is free to be themselves in every aspect of their lives. LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. That the Task Force is training and mobilizing activists across the nation to deliver a world where there are no barriers.
Scarleteen is a queer-founded and queer-led organization and web clearinghouse that provides inclusive, comprehensive, and progressive sexuality, relationships, and health education, and information for teens and emerging adults. Scarleteen provides thoughts of pages of online content, interactive services, and referrals to sexual/reproductive healthcare services.
With 400 chapters across the United States and Puerto Rico, this national network is committed to advancing equality through support, education, and advocacy in the federal, state, and local levels. PFLAG has been a source of information for LGBTQ+ youth, their families, and their allies. Through their advocacy work, PFLAG reinforces the importance of learning in supportive environments.
A searchable web application that can locate accessible restrooms for transgender, intersex, and gender nonconforming individuals. Users can search for restrooms within their proximity.
Trans Student Educational Resource
Trans Student Educational Resource is a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment. The Trans Student Educational Resource provides source material to educate the public and teach trans activists how to be effective organizers. Dependent on an intersectional framework of activism, the Trans Student Educational Resource seeks to use collaborative action to end oppression.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is a national organization that provides crisis intervention for LGBTQ young adults. The Trevor Project includes a support center where LGBTQ youth and allies can find answers to commonly-asked questions.
Spirituality & Faith-Based Resources
SAIC is committed to supporting our diverse community, and provides holistic support to students and their religious and spiritual practices. There are several ways for our students to engage in religious and spiritual practice while at SAIC.
If you'd like to get involved with faith-based or spirituality-based communities, there are student groups that provide opportunities to connect. All groups are open to any community member, and all are invited to attend! Students interested in joining or starting a new group can visit engage.saic.edu or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listed below are some sites for worship around Chicago. These sacred sites are significant, not only for communities to gather with shared purpose, but also for their significant architectural structures.
Apostolic Faith Church
3823 S Indiana Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
Augustana Lutheran Church
5500 S Woodlawn Ave., Chicago, IL 60637
Bahá’í House of Worship
100 Linden Ave., Wilmette, IL 60091
Buddhist Temple of Chicago
1151 W Leland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640
Chicago Loop Synagogue
16 S Clark St., Chicago, IL 60603
First Church of Deliverance
4315 S Wabash Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral
1121 N Leavitt St., Chicago, IL 60622
KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation
1100 E Hyde Park Blvd., Chicago, IL 60615
LingShen Ching Tze Buddhist Temple
1035 W 31st St., Chicago, IL 60608
New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church
4301 W Washington Blvd., Chicago, IL 60624
Second Presbyterian Church
1936 Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60616
St. Benedict the African Catholic Church
340 W 66th St., Chicago, IL 60621
St. Ita Roman Catholic Church
5500 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640
St. Paul’s Catholic Church
2127 W 22nd Pl., Chicago, IL 60608
Third Unitarian Church
301 N Mayfield Ave., Chicago, IL 60644
Trinity United Methodist Church
9848 S WInchester Ave., Chicago, IL 60643
West Suburban Temple Har Zion Synagogue
1040 N Harlem Ave., River Forest, IL 60305
Chicago is home to many more resources and locations than can be listed. Our office is available to assist students in finding and locating resources both within and outside of SAIC.
Below you will find a non-exhaustive collection of resources, guides, compilations, reading, watching, and listening material. The resources listed below are intended only to supplement the ongoing self-guided process of learning about diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. For a deeper-dive, visit our Learn & Unlearn: Anti-racism Resource Guide, a collaboration with the John M. Flaxman Library.
Collectively, we are committed to shaping an inclusive community that actively opposes racism in all its forms against all communities of color.
SAIC will continue to offer programs and resources throughout the year to deepen our collective understanding of issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. We encourage participation in these programs as a way to explore and understand diverse perspectives, and incorporate them into your life.
This is a living list and all suggestions are welcome and encouraged. Send any suggestions to email@example.com.
- Citizenship and Social Justice - 11 Step Guide to Understanding Race, Racism, and White Privilege [Webpage]
- “The Myth of Race, debunked in 3 minutes.” [Vox Video]
- Stamped from by Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Ibram X. Kendi [Book]
- Talking About Race (National Museum of African American History and Culture) [Website]
- The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. Isabel Wilkerson [Book]
- “Why Did Europeans Enslave Africans (PBS Origin of Everything).” [Video]
- “A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed-up’-Rising.” Michael Harriot [The Root]
- "An Interview with the Founders of the Black Lives Matter. [Ted]
- “Black Lives Matter May Be The Largest Movement in U.S. History.” Larry Buchanan, Quoctrung Bui, and Jugal K. Patel [The New York Times]
- Black Lives Matter Toolkits [Black Lives Matter]
- "Courage is Contagious." Damon Davis. [Ted]
- “Herstory.” Black Lives Matter [Black Lives Matter]
- "The long history of anti-Asian hate in America, explained." Li Zhou [Vox Article]
- "The long history of US racism against Asian Americans, from 'yellow peril,' to 'model minority,' to the 'Chinese virus." Adrian De Leon [The Conversation Article]
- "Animals and Epidemic Orientalism: Reconsidering the Taxonomies of COVID-19." Rachel Wang, Justin Wong, and Dayun Ryu [Far-Near Article]
- "I Will Not Stand Silent.' 10 Asian Americans reflect on racism during the pandemic and the need for equality." Anna Purna Kambhampaty [Time Article]
- "We need to talk about anti-Asian Hate." The Try Guys [Youtube Video]
- "When Xenophobia spreads like a virus." Code Switch [Podcast]
- "68 Ways to donate in support of Asian communities." The Strategist [New York Magazine Article]
- "How to address the surge of anti-Asian hate crimes." PBS [Newshour Video]
- "How to support Asian American colleagues amid the recent wave of anti-Asian violence." Jennifer Liu [CNBC Article]
- "What you can do to fight violence and racism against Asian Americans." Vignesh Ramachandran [PBS Article]
- “I Wanted to Know What White Men Thought About Their Privilege, so I asked.” Claudia Rankine [NY Times Article]
- “Not All White People Are Created Equal: White Privilege in America.” [Youtube Video]
- “Students Learn a Powerful Message About Race/Privilege.” [Youtube Video]
- “What Is White Privilege, Really?” Cory Collins [Teaching Tolerance Article]
- White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Peggy McIntosh [Essay]
- “44 Mental Health Resources for Black People Trying to Survive in This Country.” Zahra Barnes [Article]
- Balanced Black Girl. Community Healing Guide. [Guide]
- Black Wellness Guide. [Guide]
- Brown Girl Self care. [Podcast]
- “Hey, girl.” Alex Elle [Podcast]
- “Holistic Black Healing Collective. [Organization]
- “Melanin & Mental Health.” [Podcast & Website]
- Shades of Brown Podcast: “Racism & Mental Health.” Alishia McCullough [Podcast]
- 21-day Racial Equity Habit-building Challenge [Action-based resource list] and tool for accountability by Eddie Moore Jr.
- A Growing List of Resources for the Movement for Black Lives [Compilation by AIGA]
- An Antiracist Reading List [Compilation by Ibram X. Kendi] - Ibram X. Kendi is the author of Stamped from the Beginning, and How to be an Antiracist.
- Antiracism + Black Lives Matter Virtual Pop-up Library [Compilation by John F. Flaxman Library]
- Black Lives Matter: A Living Collection of Resources [Compilation by Campus Life & Multicultural Affairs]
- Racial Justice Resources [Compilation by the Staff Equity Teams at the Art Institute of Chicago]