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Are you interested in learning more about our efforts toward inclusivity? Do you want to incorporate inclusive teaching practices into your classroom? Or maybe you’re just wondering what’s available on campus.

You’ll find all that on more on this site.

Why It Matters

Inclusivity is a new term for a lot of people, but colleges and universities have worked for a long time to ensure students and employees feel included and accepted for who they are. We are called to fully embrace and support one another simply because decades of research have demonstrated the positive benefits of diverse campuses – a few are listed below:


Individual benefits
  • Improved racial and cultural awareness
  • Enhanced openness to diversity and challenge
  • Greater commitment to increasing racial understanding
  • More occupational and residential desegregation later in life
  • Enhanced critical thinking ability
  • Greater satisfaction with the college experience
  • Perceptions of a more supportive campus racial climate
Institutional benefits
  • More student-centered approaches to teaching and learning
  • More diverse curricular offerings
  • More research focused on issues of race/ethnicity and gender
  • More women and faculty of color involved in community and volunteer service
Benefits to private enterprise
  • Cultivation of workforce with greater levels of crosscultural competence
  • Attraction of best available talent pool
  • Enhanced marketing efforts
  • Higher levels of creativity and innovation
  • Better problem-solving skills
  • Greater organizational flexibility
Societal benefits
  • More research on the effects of affirmative action in the workplace
  • Higher levels of service to community/civic organizations
  • Greater equity in society
  • A more educated citizenry

Source: Milem, Jeffrey. (2002). The educational benefits of diversity: Evidence from multiple sectors. In M.J. Chang, D. Witt, J. Jones, & K. Hakuta (Eds.) Compelling interest: Examining the evidence on racial dynamics in colleges and universities (126-169). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Terms Related to Inclusion

Broadly speaking, inclusivity refers to the intentional consideration of all aspects of human lived experiences when creating, revising, or removing institutional structures and programs. An inclusive educational institution is defined by equality of access and opportunity and a sustained sense of belonging.

In education, equity refers to the principle of fairness in pursuit of equality. Equitable efforts are implemented in pursuit of equality. At MIAD, we use this term to describe our focused efforts to offset imbalances in power, access, privilege, or opportunity.

The state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.

Refers to the range of human differences in identity, experience, and worldview, and means that each individual is unique and equally worthwhile. In an art and design educational environment, the scope of differences necessarily encompasses factors such as learning abilities and artistic approaches.

Cultural Competence
A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency or among professionals and enables those involved to work effectively in cross-cultural situations.

Essential elements to becoming more culturally competent include:

  1. Valuing diversity
  2. Having the capacity for cultural self-assessment
  3. Being conscious of the dynamics inherent when cultures interact
  4. Having institutionalized culture knowledge
  5. Having developed adaptions to service delivery reflecting an understanding of cultural diversity.

Cultural Humility
The ability to maintain an interpersonal stance that is other-oriented in relation to aspects of cultural identity that are most important to the person. Cultural humility focuses on self-humility rather than achieving a state of knowledge or awareness.

The integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of a group. The culture of any one groups is continuously impacted by the culture of other groups and is thus constantly in flux.

The ways in which educational institutions strive to ensure students, employees, and guests have equal and equitable opportunities to take full advantage of their education. This may include adding services or removing potential barriers to participation.

Campus Climate
Also referred to as “campus culture.” Refers to the beliefs, perceptions, relationships, attitudes, and rules – written or not – that shape and influence how a particular school functions, e.g. the physical and emotional safety of students and employees, the orderliness of classrooms and public spaces, or the degree to which a school embraces its diversity.

Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair. Unconscious or unacknowledged prejudice is often referred to as implicit bias.

Multicultural education
Education or teaching that incorporates the histories, texts, values, beliefs, and perspectives of people from different cultural backgrounds.

Focuses on the mutual exchange of ideas and cultural norms as well as the development of deep relationships. On an intercultural campus, no one is left unchanged because everyone learns from one another and grows together.

Hidden curriculum
Refers to the unwritten, unofficial, and often unintended lessons, values, and perspectives learned on campus, e.g. the implicit academic, social, and cultural messages communicated to students.

Opportunity gap
Refers to the ways in which race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English proficiency, community wealth, familial situations, or other factors contribute to or perpetuate lower educational aspirations, achievement, and attainment for certain groups of students. Generally speaking, the opportunity gap refers to the unequal or inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities.

Personal identity
Our unique sense of ourselves and our relationship to the outside world; an awareness of and identification with oneself as a separate individual. Any given individual has multiple personal identities, and their meanings and relevance are contextual.

Examples of personal identities include how a person names for themselves their gender, race, or sexuality. These names or terms may be different than what the person shares with others.

Social identity
The set of characteristics by which a person is definitively recognizable or known by the society in which they live. Any given person has multiple social identities, and their meanings and relevance are contextual.

Examples of social identities include being a father, mother, student, physician, lawyer, homeless person, Catholic, etc.


Battle of the Bands: Product Design class showdown

French Renaissance alt rock met space cowboy country from the future in one Product Design class at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Students in Storytelling: Compelling Narrative of the Design Process were tasked with creating a band, complete with newly designed instruments, stage plots and lighting, costumes and even a feature on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

Ordinary people doing extraordinary work: Growing Resistance

In the 50th anniversary year at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), the college presents “Growing Resistance: Untold Stories of Milwaukee’s Community Guardians,” an exhibition in the Brooks Stevens Gallery running January 8 – March 2, 2024. Related programs include zine making, a book club, student-guided tours and a story circle with community partners.

Metalwork and molds: MIAD alum on Kohler Residency

Eye-opening and awe-inspiring: this is how Nirmal Raja ’08 (Painting) describes learning to work with liquid metal. The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) alum recently completed the John Michael Kohler Arts Center Arts/Industry Residency in Kohler, Wisconsin.

MIAD Values Recognition Award: Dale Shidler

Dale Shidler, Professor of Communication Design, received the January 2024 MIAD Values Recognition Award at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD). Dale’s nominations highlighted his embodiment of MIAD’s Core Values, especially Integrity, Kindness and Community.

MIAD students, alumni, faculty create work for ThriveOn King

Four Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) community members will contribute to the first floor of the new ThriveOn King community hub on North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. They make up part of the 20 Milwaukee artists who will convey the history and heritage of Bronzeville in this collaborative space.