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About . Diversity, Equity and Inclusion . Overview 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity and Anti-Racism Statement

The Cleveland Institute of Art recognizes and embraces diversity and believes that an outstanding education in art and design should be accessible to all individuals regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, socio-economic status or disability. It is essential for the College to advance diversity by encouraging our community to share a responsibility in creating, maintaining and developing an environment in which difference is valued, equity is sought, and inclusiveness is practiced.


The IDEA Council comprises faculty, staff and students who bring diverse perspectives, experiences and priorities to foster comprehensive dialogue and action planning. 


  • Promote a welcoming, respectful and inclusive community that encourages understanding of appreciation of difference
  • Identify the needs of underrepresented members of our community and make recommendations for initiatives that will be ongoing with clear intentions to effect permanent cultural change
  • Support diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, strategies and tactics aligned with the strategic plan
  • Assist students, faculty and staff to develop and enhance skills and competencies to relate and work with people who are different than themselves 

We are dedicated to:

Raising the bar. The College has formed the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Awareness (IDEA) Council with the goal of making positive changes in campus culture so that diversity and equity will be known attributes of the college.

Expanding knowledge. We will commit time and resources to training all constituencies affiliated with the College.

Convening for dialogue. We will host ongoing conversations about art, race and critique. 

Decolonizing our curriculum. We will do ongoing work with faculty to ensure inclusive pedagogy and to identify and address systemic racism in our curricular content and design.

Listening. We want you to know that our hearts, minds and ears are always open. They may be shared at

Holding ourselves accountable. We are committed to understanding history, interrogating personal biases, building empathy and respect for others, and becoming comfortable with vulnerability.

Reporting back. We will continually update our diversity, equity and inclusion page with our progress and continued areas of challenge.

Current members 

Charise Reid, Chair
Vice President, Human Resources and Support Services + Chief Inclusion and Equity Officer 

Michael C. Butz
Director of College Communications + External Relations

Lauren Conway
Director, Career Services and Employer Relations

Jesse Grant, PhD
Associate Vice President, Student Affairs + Dean of Students

Delores Hall
Associate Director, Financial Aid 

Kevin Kautenberger
Professor, Foundation

Kristen Mathis
Human Resoucres Specialist

Elisaida Mendez
Director, Academic Services

Jessica Richardson
Associate Professor, Liberal Arts

Jimmy Schlemmer
Digital Marketing Manager

Kari Weaver, PhD
Director, Jane B. Nord Center for Teaching + Learning