Columbia College Chicago

Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Welcome to the DEI websiteArtwork by Viktor Le. Givens MFA '17

Welcome to the website for Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Columbia College Chicago. Academic DEI was established to sustain a central commitment to our College's mission and strategic plan.

As a college, we are committed to an anti-racist campus that takes head-on the systemic issues of racial and other forms of discrimination that permeate the whole of our society. One of our central foci in the area of DEI is enhancing our curriculum to challenge the hegemonic emphasis on canonical cultural and artistic traditions, which often result in a lack of diverse narratives and a singular focus on specific value systems. Along with our engagement with curriculum, we are committed to addressing issues of power and privilege in each of the disciplines we teach as well as all of the various systems that we use to support our students, faculty, and staff.

As the Dean of Academic DEI I am charged with leading the structural transformation of the institution to reflect anti-racism in all of the ways we approach and reflect our creative practices and educational mission. Beginning with a college-wide set of workshops on anti-racism (led by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond), by the end of academic year 2017-18 Columbia College Chicago will have provided workshops for every full-time faculty and staff member at our college in order to provide a foundational framework and shared language to incorporate the work of anti-racism into the very fabric of our institution.

While traditionally campuses have focused on extra curricular initiatives, we think it's most necessary to transform the student experience first and foremost in the classroom. In academic year 17-18 we will launch our first targeted cluster hire for four new tenure track faculty members in History, Theatre, Cinema and Television, and Interactive Arts and Media. Each of these individuals will bring an expertise on race and issues of diversity into the classrooms of their respective disciplines. Alongside the Dean of Academic DEI and the College’s DEI Committee these individuals will also help enhance existing academic programs and establish new academic initiatives that examine anti-racism and introduce students to a wider range of theoretical and knowledge based systems that feed their respective creative practices.

Along with our academic initiatives we will also launch a new series of public programming this year bringing to campus scholars and arts practitioners who examine various issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their work.

I welcome you to reach out to me with any questions or comments. And please take a moment to check out our resource page, which is constantly evolving with new information reflecting the national dialogue on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Matthew Shenoda Signature

Matthew Shenoda
Dean of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Special Advisor to the President
Professor of English and Creative Writing


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