June 1: A message from MIAD President Jeff Morin
Dear MIAD Community,
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the events of the past week have brought renewed attention to another ongoing pandemic: the continuous killing of unarmed black people.
For far too long, our nation, our city, and this college have been complacent in addressing the needs of black Americans. A fundamental disregard for black lives is responsible for the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and for these killings. We did not end up in a divided, unequal nation by chance, and thus we cannot leave our future up to these same inherited systems.
I am outraged and sickened even as I am saddened, and I know many of you share my frustrations. Now is a time both for reflection – on our own past actions – and for action – on what we must do to achieve a truly just society.
In my role as MIAD president, I typically reference the college’s core values of courage, integrity, kindness, community, innovation, and inclusion, and remind people of our commitment to equity. Such gestures are inadequate at this time. We know there is much work to be done to fully live out these values at MIAD.
I am announcing two specific actions to be implemented this fall:
- All first year students will receive anti-racism resources during Orientation, directly through program sessions, and indirectly through print and digital materials.
- All new employees will receive anti-racism training during the onboarding process, coordinated by Human Resources and the Director of Inclusivity. All current employees will receive annual training as well.
Also, the college’s three-year Equity and Inclusion Action Plan will be released shortly. It will outline our commitment to these goals in greater detail.
- Student Hangout: Please consider joining to reflect and process your emotions around the recent events, grieve together, and share resources. This event is hosted by the Director of Inclusivity. Tuesday, June 2nd at Noon (CST). Please check your email for details on how to join.
- Wellness Team: Available for referral for counseling, if needed. Email: Jennifercrandall@miad.edu
- Director of Inclusivity: Available for one-on-one conversations. Email: Randersonmartinez@miad.edu. Also view the Inclusion & Diversity web pages for more information.
Local and National Resources
- LIT MKE: Leaders Igniting Transformation – led by local youth of color and engaging in values-based issues and electoral organizing, direct action, advocacy for public policy, and leadership development. (IG)
- BLOC: Black Leaders Organizing for Change – local community organization (IG)
- Milwaukee Community Care and Mutual Aid
- No Going Back: A COVID-19 Cultural Strategy Activation Guide for Artists and Activists
- Art Became the Oxygen: An Artistic Response Guide
- Black Visions Collective – an arts collective advocating and organizing for transformative justice and liberation by and for Black Minnesotans (IG)
Each and every member of our community deserves to feel safe and valued. We will continue to build on the progress made this year. I invite you all to stay connected and to be part of the solution with us. I also ask that we all come together, with humility, compassion, and resolve, to support one another.