Diversity Statement

Statement on diversity, inclusiveness, and social justice

The Department of Art History is an intellectual community enriched and enhanced by diversity of race, ethnicity and national origins, gender and gender identity, sexuality, class and religion. We are committed to increasing the representation of those populations that have been historically excluded from participation in U.S. higher education.  We are committed to attracting, recruiting and retaining a diverse population of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and staff. We work to identify and promote practices and structures that support diversity’s development in our department’s work. We especially encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to join our intellectual community. 

This commitment requires us to work to build a community whose members respect and value personal characteristics, choices and differences; who ask the difficult questions and challenge stereotypes; and who seek mutual understanding and inclusion.  Diversity is that which makes us different from each other, including who we are, where we are from, what we believe, who we love, and our current circumstances, abilities and lived experiences. 

We show our commitment to diversity throughout campus and student life. We encourage students to involve themselves in activities and organizations that promote diversity, inclusion and social justice. 

In a truly reflective community, the work of diversity and inclusion is always ongoing. As a teaching and learning community, the Department of Art History holds that knowledge is a good to be welcomed for its own sake and for the intellectual, moral and physical well-being of all individuals in our society.  We acknowledge the distinctive cultural identities and histories of those who live, study and work here while encouraging them to intentionally engage with those whose experiences and perspectives are different from their own.  

We, the faculty, staff and students in the Department of Art History, stand with the movement for Black Lives. In the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Tony McDade and many other Black lives at the hands of police and fellow citizens, we acknowledge this opportunity to support the movement through all forms of academic and artistic expression. We recognize our responsibility to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for people of all identities, to examine all of our policies, processes and decisions to assure that they are fair to all and free from implicit bias.

Over the past two years the Department of Art History convened an open forum attended by the faculty, staff, undergraduates and graduate students. Additional Department faculty and staff meetings and small working-group meetings were held to hear from one another, further discuss the feedback from students and establish subsequent actions. The Department of Art History would like to thank all students, faculty and staff who attended these meetings, which have allowed us to take some critical time to recognize and reassess what actions are needed toward our ongoing goal of becoming a diverse, equitable, inclusive and multicultural educational department-community embedded more conscientiously in the city of Dallas.