Commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion
CCAD is a place for people like you.
People who think differently. People who refuse to stay within a box, stereotype, line, or any other boundary that restricts self-expression. Diversity moves art forward. Diversity makes our connected community even stronger.
CCAD’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We at CCAD believe that a diverse faculty, staff, and student body enriches our community and is a fundamental aspect for fostering equity, innovation, collaboration, and creative excellence.
CCAD defines diversity as the range of human differences that intersect across multiple dimensions of personhood, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic class, disability status, religious or ethical value systems, national origin, and citizenship status.
As we strive to address our past and current inequities, we commit to using this definition to inform and guide our curriculum, programs, and conduct as we strive to create a learning environment that increases access to art and design education and prepares students to be creatively engaged citizens.
At CCAD we are determined to foster an environment of inclusion and equity by:
- Recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of all individuals
- Striving to create a just and equitable community which affords everyone the opportunity to succeed and thrive particularly those who have been historically underrepresented or marginalized in higher education
- Encouraging respectful dialogue, honest critique, and the open exchange of ideas and perspectives
- Acknowledging the values, practices, and beliefs of all community members while recognizing and ensuring the protection of each person's inalienable human rights
- Providing opportunities for community members to share their cultural experiences and personhood and encouraging us all to learn from these exchanges
- Increasing access to art and design education locally and regionally by fostering engagement within the communities of which CCAD is a part
Ways that CCAD strives to live by its commitments to equity and inclusion, "making inclusivity the new norm":
- Gender-inclusive bathrooms — In reflection of CCAD's diverse population, the college has gender-inclusive restroom facilities are available in every building on our campus.
- Preferred name policy — Students can identify their preferred name in the student information system (Self Service) and Moodle and have that name be viewable on some school documents and records, such as class rosters and student ID cards.
- Counseling & Wellness Center — The CWC contributes to students' professional and interpersonal success by providing student-centered therapeutic, programmatic, and educational services.
- First Female President — Dr. Melanie Corn became CCAD's President in 2016. She is the college's fifth president and the first woman to hold this role at CCAD.
- Special Topics courses — With study on issues such as Human Trafficking, Special Topics courses provide students the opportunity to use art and design to support social change in and out of the classroom
- Support Services — A span of services are available to CCAD students, including multicultural affairs programming, academic advising, and career services.
- Engagement and Inclusion Retreat — The Engagement and Inclusion retreat provides an opportunity for students, staff, and faculty to develop leadership skills that will help them to positively address issues of diversity and promote social change through a combination of large and small group activities, exercises, and discussions.
- Heritage monthly poster campaigns — This series of poster campaigns celebrates and highlights artists and designers from underrepresented populations
DEI at CCAD
All Columbus College of Art & Design faculty began anti-oppression pedagogy training in spring semester 2021 as part of a new Action Plan set by the CCAD’s Presidential Commission on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. This commission, founded in July 2020, is intended to help CCAD grow with intention into a more inclusive and equitable institution that fully enacts its Mission and Core Values.
In the accompanying video, two DEI Commission members, Dean of Faculty Joshua Butts, PhD and Adjunct Faculty Sierra Austin, PhD, discuss this training, which was developed for CCAD’s faculty by Dr. Austin. The lessons take faculty members through six two-week modules on such topics as structural racism, intersectionality, and implicit bias and are intended to help illuminate how power and structural oppression impact pedagogy and day-to-day interactions on campus and off. That learning, alongside feedback from students and alumni—particularly CCAD’s Black students and alumni—is intended to translate into the classroom to affect social change.