Press Releases

MICA apologizes for its racist history

College's President Samuel Hoi releases memo today acknowledging a 59-year policy of exclusion from 1895 to 1954; reaffirms the college’s ongoing commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and globalization

BALTIMORE — On Thursday, Feb. 21, Maryland Institute College of Art President Samuel Hoi, on behalf of the College’s leadership, released a campus-wide memo to acknowledge and apologize for racial segregation in its admissions policy from 1895 to 1954. During that 59-year period, MICA would accept only "reputable white pupils." 

The memo is being released as a powerful student exhibition, Blackives: A Celebration of Black History at MICA, created by Deyane Moses (Photography ’19), is on display. President Hoi describes the exhibition as "a resonant occasion for [the College’s] declaration" and "essential viewing by everyone at MICA." 

Blackives, a part of Moses’ senior thesis project, juxtaposes historical documentation that honors promising black artists who attempted to study at the College but could not, with photographic portraits of contemporary students and oral histories that share the black student experience through today. Moses has also created theMaryland Institute Black Archives (MIBA), an online platform that continues to grow its content. 

The memo also recognizes "the hardships to those who were admitted but not supported for their success." In stating MICA’s institutional resolve for change, President Hoi cites the College’s multi-faceted workplan that resulted from the 2015-2017 pan-College Presidential Task Force on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Globalization (DEIG). He says, "we are working to ensure that our campus now and into the future welcomes, respects and supports equally students, faculty, staff, and public members of all backgrounds." 

With an invitation from Hoi and with Moses’s partnership, Blackives has been extended beyond its original closing date of Feb. 22 and will be reinstalled in the Main Building on the MICA campus. It will be on view from Monday, Feb. 25 through Thursday, March 28, 2019 in its new location. The public is welcome to visit. 

Blackives is currently installed in the Pinkard Student Space Gallery on the ground floor of the Bunting Center at 1401 Mount Royal Ave. through noon on Friday, Feb. 22. The exhibition will be
remounted on the first floor of the Main Building at 1300 Mount Royal Ave., where it will be displayed from Monday, Feb. 25 through Thursday, March 28, 2019.