We welcome you to Washington State University’s Department of Fine Arts located on the ceded lands of the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) Tribe and the traditional homelands of the Palus Band of Indians. WSU Vancouver is located in the homelands of Chinookan and Taidnapam peoples and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. WSU Tri-Cities is located on the ancestral homelands of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, who have lived on these lands from time immemorial.
We acknowledge their presence here since time immemorial and recognize their continuing connection to the land, to the water and to their ancestors.
We believe Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with Black people who have been and continue to be discriminated against. We stand with the Asian and Pacific Islander Communities who have been victims of hate crimes in increasing numbers. We recognize the continuing marginalization of LGBTQIA2S+ community, Native Americans, religious minorities, women, and other groups. We are committed to creating an environment that is welcoming of visible and invisible differences including but not limited to: age; ethnicity; gender; gender identity; language differences; nationality; parental status; physical, mental, and developmental abilities; race; religion; sexual orientation; skin color; socioeconomic status; and human styles.
Statement of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The Washington State University Department of Fine Arts is committed to an inclusive environment where all voices are heard and treated with respect. We recognize that artists and scholars of art can play an important role in highlighting systems of oppression and leading societies to make change. We are committed to working towards decolonizing and removing patriarchal dominance in our curriculum and policies, dismantling historically inequitable representations of groups, individuals and cultural traditions. Our mission is to challenge students to think and communicate in innovative and interdisciplinary ways, and this is achieved in large part through cultivating pluralism in our curricula and classrooms.
Our core goals are to actively listen, encourage, and support students. As a department, we are open to criticism and are working to improve. As part of this work, we publicly and proudly commit to antiracism efforts while condemning hatred and white supremacy in all its forms. We are united in increased efforts to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the department, at the university, in our local community and in the world at large. We continue to educate ourselves on the history of racism, bigotry, misogyny and bias in this country and throughout the world, and address these issues in our curriculum and in classroom conversations. We recognize that this is shared work.
Current Actions and Goals
Establish an Equity Committee. Composed of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, this committee is charged with reviewing equity goals regularly and coordinating with faculty, staff and students to ensure that action is taken. The committee seeks to listen and foster open dialogue, through which concerns about equity are identified and addressed. We believe that the burden of responsibility to talk about equity should not be placed solely on members of underrepresented groups. This committee ensures that we create a culture where faculty, students and staff regularly discuss these key issues and that they are heard.
Include diverse voices. We strive to integrate diverse voices through our curriculum, public programming and hiring. We will acknowledge and promote non-white, non-normative experiences and stories, encouraging open dialogue and freedom of expression. We recognize our visiting artists and scholars programming, and gallery exhibitions, can amplify these diverse voices.
Hold ourselves and each other accountable. As a department we must hold ourselves accountable for our actions, behavior, and language which perpetuate systems of oppression. The department must take it upon themselves to unpack the ways they benefit from being complicit in white supremacy, how they perpetuate it, including through micro-aggressions, and work to dismantle it. We recognize that we must all share the responsibility of dismantling systems that perpetuate oppression and that this burden does not fall to marginalized individuals alone. We are conscientious of the time and energy BIPOC faculty, staff, and students devote to this cause.
Engage with the community and the region to support issues related to equity in the arts. We will continue to build relationships with underrepresented and historically marginalized communities on campus and in Pullman in reciprocal ways and leverage departmental support to ensure these communities are seen, heard, included and safe.
Support and recruit under-represented students. Recognize the difficulty students have in processing current events related to racism and equity and take time out of class to discuss. We commit to familiarizing ourselves with available University Resources to better support our students.
Support greater mentorship efforts with a priority for first generation, BIPOC, female, and LGBTQIA2S+ faculty, staff, and students. Work toward finding and filling the gaps in our existing mentorship, funding, scholarship and support efforts.
Hire from diverse pools of applicants: We are committed to BIPOC hires within our department and throughout the university. We will pursue these hires at WSU as an essential action for change and continue to seek support from the university in this endeavor.
We will implement permanent and sustainable bias trainings and workshops to address explicit and implicit bias, as well as inequities within the department including gender, race and pay inequity
Listen, learn, and review this document frequently. We are learning and growing. This is a living document that is a reflection of the journey we are on.