ROSKI DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Positioned on the Pacific Rim and bordering Mexico, the Roski School of Art and Design provides an active learning environment that reflects the peoples and cultures of Los Angeles and beyond. We believe that diversity, inclusion, and equity are indispensable to higher education, and play a particularly important role in shaping the learning experience of cultural producers. Art and design education provides both methodologies and platforms for the investigation of complex ideas, and that inquiry must be founded on inclusive and open discourse that embraces difference.
We support meaningful encounters among differing experiences, perceptions, points of view, and cultural backgrounds that prepare our students for their work as creative instigators on a global stage. We do this through developing a school—student body, staff, and faculty—that is diverse in ethnic/racial, gender/sex, and class identity, as well as in age, geographic background, and (for faculty) pedagogical approach. Through a curriculum that engages critically with diverse perspectives in art and design production, encouraging openness and empathy across communities and among individuals, and an active set of public programs and partnerships, we place our students into contexts that encourage constructive social exchange.
The personal and professional foundations our education provides are only as relevant as they are sustainable. Our goal is to promote and increase diversity, inclusion, access and opportunity in art and design education, associated professions, and society at large. Thus, we seek to prepare students to continue their learning and carry their empathy and criticality throughout their careers and broader life experiences, in order to enrich their art and design practices and to give them the tools to work in diverse environments with attitudes of fairness and openness to other points of view.
The USC Roski School of Art and Design has received a USC Good Neighbors Grant to launch a new program: RAD in The Neighborhood. This new initiative falls within an ongoing USC Roski and California African American Museum (CAAM) partnership and will provide high-quality, weekly after-school visual arts and design programming and mentorship for students from Ánimo Jackie Robinson High School (AJR). Roski’s renowned faculty and graduate students will join partner education staff in creating project-based classes that include youth made graphic novels, sculpture, ceramics, photography and applied forms of design. The program kicked off in August 2018 with 23 high school students from the nearby high school joining artists and educators to begin a zine project led by the Able Arts Work program.
On May 28th, the USC Roski School of Art and Design wrapped up its first year of the RAD in The Neighborhood program (detailed above). In addition to more art making, the final class included an art exhibition showcasing paintings, drawings, ceramics, mixed-media and other works of art. With family members and friends in attendance, it was a great celebration for these young artists who addressed several relevant issues in their projects. USC Roski faculty and the MFA candidates who worked with the students for the past 8 months were thrilled with the results displayed that day as well as the committment of the participants to carry on in their creative aspirations.