Equity + Inclusion at MIAD
We believe everyone deserves an equitable and inclusive environment in which to teach, learn, and create. At MIAD, our values call us to find strength in our diversity and to act with kindness in our actions.
The MIAD community is diverse in who we are, and in how we create. The works which fill our hallways and galleries reflect an exploration of identity as well as of personal style and practice. Whether you’re a student, faculty member, staff, or visitor, we encourage you to join us as we create a more equitable and inclusive college.
Everyone wants to belong. Across the college, there are spaces, people, and programs for connection and community-building. How you find your fit is up to you!
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Equity + Inclusion Center
The Equity + Inclusion Center (located in 280) exists as a physical manifestation of MIAD’s Core Value of Inclusion, where all persons are welcomed and their dignity is affirmed. The Center serves as a catalyst for institutional change as well as a sanctuary from societal and structural oppression. This is a space for students and community members to explore their identity in all of its fluidity and expressions. Through community building, in-depth conversations, and/or reclaiming our inner child, students are able to dub this space as MIAD’s “living room.”
The E+I Center models the importance of values that MIAD holds dear, and additionally prioritizes the values of accountability, autonomy, joy and mutualism. We hold space for uncomfortable conversations, play, and feelings in all the ways they may show up in our bodies. All are welcome in our space, and we are always looking to expand our resources to fit the needs of the communities we serve.
What you’ll find in the E+I Center:
- Staff offices
- Open work spaces for meetings, critiques or doing homework
- Zine Library curated by MIAD students
- Community Garden
- Inclusion Resource Library
- Identity flair (buttons, stickers, name tags, etc.)
- Basic needs resources
- Menstrual and Safer Sex products
- Sensory tools
In the Classroom
The E+I Center also serves as a resource for MIAD’s staff and faculty. The resource library has texts on inclusive teaching and diverse histories, and Center staff are available for support in lesson planning, classroom management, and sorting through difficult conversations.
The online DEI Resource Hub is available to all members of the MIAD community. Please use your OneLogin username and password for access.
Lands + Peoples Acknowledgement
The Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD) occupies land on the banks of the Milwaukee River in what is presently known as Wisconsin. This land is the home of Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe peoples, and it is the historic and present-day home of peoples who were forced by colonizers to leave their ancestral lands and migrate to and through this state. MIAD’s Acknowledgment affirms our actionable commitment to uplifting and centering Indigenous peoples and knowledge in our teaching and administration.
Disability and Access
MIAD supports the ability of all community members to succeed creatively, educationally, and professionally, by removing barriers and promoting access in all University programs, activities, and facilities. We provide reasonable disability accommodations to students, employees, and campus guests to ensure equal access and participation.
Meet the staff who work at MIAD’s Equity + Inclusion Center!
Executive Director of Equity + Inclusion
rhi anderson-martinez is the Executive Director of Equity and Inclusion at MIAD, where they guide the College’s efforts toward equity and inclusion. Born in Racine, rhi received a Masters degree in Higher Education Administration from UW-La Crosse before working in southern Maine for several years. rhi is an agitator for liberation and works with students and colleagues to build capacity for long-term change. Their expertise is in student development, legal compliance, cultural humility, and postcolonial analysis of social institutions.
Coordinator of Equity + Inclusion
Rithi Punyamurthula is the Coordinator of Equity + Inclusion at MIAD, where she advocates for students to prioritize their emotional, physical and cultural wellbeing in order to empower them on the path to equity. Rithi was born and raised in Minneapolis. She is a Teach for America alum and received a Masters degree in Education with a certification in Early Childhood Education while teaching with Milwaukee Public Schools. Rithi centers uncomfortable dialogue as a catalyst for change, and encourages students to find the tools they need to lead those conversations with confidence. Rithi is a firm believer in dismantling to build foundations which are created for and by marginalized communities, finding time for play, and slowing down to identify our raw feelings to lead with vulnerability.