Diversity is the range of human differences and means that each individual is unique and equally worthwhile. Not merely acknowledging the existence of differences, diversity implies the valuing and appreciation of, while giving voice to, these differences. Dimensions of diversity generally cover but are not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, cultural identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic background, physical and mental ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, citizenship, political beliefs, and other ideologies. In an art and design educational environment, the scope of differences necessarily encompasses additional factors such as learning abilities and artistic approaches.
“I always made sure that all those people who thought they weren’t part of the opportunity to participate in the arts could find a way to become part of that experience,” said Leslie King-Hammond, PhD, graduate dean emerita and founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA. Her words are realized with the creation of the Leslie King-Hammond Graduate Fellowship. The award provides scholarship to select MICA graduate students from various backgrounds, experiences, and groups who have been historically underrepresented in the fields of fine arts, design, and related practices. The scholarship supports the expansion of diversity in the College’s graduate community.