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About . Leadership . Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Awareness

Diversity and Anti-Racism Statement

The Cleveland Institute of Art recognizes and embraces diversity and believes that an outstanding arts education should be accessible to all individuals regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, socio-economic status or ability. 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 

Lincoln Adams ’98
Assistant Professor, Animation and Illustration 

Dana Bjorklund
Assistant Director, Library

Alex Burrage
Director of Alumni Relations + Scholarships

Michael C. Butz
Director of College Communications + External Relations

Brittany Coy
Residence Life Coordinator

Dan Cuffaro ’91
Associate Professor, Industrial Design

Jesse Grant
Dean of Students

Destyni Green ’21
Student, Sculpture + Expanded Media

Delores Hall
Associate Director, Financial Aid 

Beth Hoag
Lecturer, Liberal Arts

Amber Kempthorn
Lecturer, Drawing 

Elisaida Mendez
Director, Academic Services

Charise Reid
Vice President of Human Resources + Inclusion 

Ash Sark ’21
Student, Drawing and Painting

Amanda Shelnutt
Enrollment Operations Assistant

Amani Williams ’21
Student, Drawing