KCAI’s Path Forward for Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Access and Sustainability (IDEAS)

We at the Kansas City Art Institute recognize that a plurality of voices and perspectives is crucial in providing educational excellence that develops visionary creators, artists and global citizens. We strive towards creating a campus community with the broadest spectrum of representation with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, socioeconomic status and first-generation students. The core concepts of inclusion, diversity, equity, access and sustainability are guiding principles integral to KCAI’s strategic and academic planning, social and studio practices, research, and learning outcomes.

Like many institutions and organizations around the world, KCAI is evaluating our past and considering our future in educating for change and advocating for social justice. We strive to create a campus culture of transparency, collaboration and accountability – a place in which all members feel visible and supported. This work is not about one moment in time; rather, it’s a commitment to ongoing training and conversations to help bring about positive change on our campus and in our community. It is about building a path forward.

Immediate action

  • Adopt a mission statement for inclusion, diversity, equity, access and sustainability (IDEAS)
  • Support the work of a newly formed IDEAS Council, a group made up of faculty, staff and students, giving students direct access to administration.
  • Diversify hiring practices. The college recently appointed Shawntae Jones to the newly created position, Director of Diverse Talent and Inclusion who will oversee all faculty and staff searches.
  • Develop The President’s Action Council. The purpose of this group is to advance an action agenda assembled from the recommendations of the Diversity Working Group of the Faculty Assembly and the IDEAS Council and/or student groups. Students participating in the President’s Action Council will include BIPOC representatives and all students will be compensated for their time and work.
  • Integrate diversity and anti-racist language into college-wide student learning outcomes for each academic department and program. Include a new, diversity-specific learning outcome across the college.
  • Perform a comprehensive review of Liberal Arts courses focused primarily on western canon and look for way to integrate a wider cultural perspective.
  • Uphold a higher level of transparency in regard to college revenue, expenses and tuition increases.
  • Annual staff and faculty training in areas such as implicit bias, Title IX and Title VI. We will also make education on Title IX and Title VI rights readily available to students.

Our community is one of creative and passionate minds, and together we can forge a path on which we confront and work to end individual and institutional racism.

KCAI Solidarity and Black Student Union

On July 16, 2020, student representatives from the Black Student Union and KCAI Solidarity Network met with members of Executive Leadership, the Board and faculty and staff representatives to provide a list of demands to the college. We offer our thanks to the students for sharing their collective voices for change.  We also offer our appreciation to the Diversity Working Group of Faculty Assembly for their work that continues to guide our thinking and progress for social justice and efforts to make KCAI more diverse and inclusionary.  We support the ongoing efforts of those faculty, staff, students, alumni and trustees who are working to eradicate social injustice and racial inequality, and we join them in this pursuit.

Below you will find the list of the student demands and the college’s response to the demands.

KCAI Student List of Demands 07.14.20

KCAI Response Executive Summary 8.14.20

KCAI Full Response 8.14.20