COFAC Diversity & Inclusion

The College of Fine Arts and Communication continues to strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion by providing a safe, welcoming and peaceful environment that is respectful to all and a national model for advocacy.

COFAC Statement of Solidarity and Purpose

The statement of solidarity and purpose, developed by Dean Carlow, Associate Dean Faller, and the department chairpersons, reflects our commitment to moving forward together as a college of artists, communicators, and scholars who use art, music, public relations, advertising, film, dance, journalism, theatre, and social media to enact respectful dialogue with the goal of racial justice.

We know that our disciplines have much to offer as we strive to create a more just, equitable and inclusive campus. It needs to be said again and again — Black Lives Matter. Read full statement below

STAtements of solidarity and purpose

College Statement of Solidarity and Purpose

The Towson University College of Fine Arts and Communication condemns all racially motivated acts of violence, dehumanizing aggression and the systemic racism that is ingrained in every aspect of higher education in this country. The onslaught of racism and violence against Black lives is not new and it impacts us all, especially those who witness partners, siblings, parents, children and loved ones lose their lives and dignity in egregious and brutal attacks by law enforcement and unchecked gun violence. It needs to be said again and again – Black Lives Matter.

Our responsibility is to be actively anti-racist. We must listen respectfully, accept our mistakes, admit our biases, and recognize all injustices — and then learn and grow from confronting them. We must create safe spaces in our classrooms, studios, lecture halls and performance venues for Black stories, Black voices, Black images, Black bodies and Black scholarship to emerge as central, valid and worthy. We must stand as one voice refracted through a prism of disciplines to enact change in our organization. We must work together as artists, communicators, educators, scholars, and activists to change the tide of the destructive force of racism in universities. We must unite as allies, hold ourselves accountable to our community, and advocate for change. We must stand in solidarity with the marginalized and oppressed. 

We know that words and statements like this are meaningless without action and goals. COFAC is committed to disrupt the status quo and racism  especially anti-Black racism – through the revision of our curriculum, programming, performance practices, hiring decisions, media campaigns and classroom discourse. COFAC and its departments are working now on articulating specific steps that will be implemented and sustained in the days, months and years ahead. Measures that include: amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Color artists and scholars; examining and dismantling white privilege by working through white fragility; understanding cultures and lived experiences to which we do not belong; holding each other accountable for unconscious biases, microaggressions and racist speech; establishing a safe environment for critical dialogue; and embracing vulnerability and cultural humility in leadership decisions. As we do this, we choose to consciously shoulder the emotional labor for Black students, faculty, and staff as allies as we work to educate ourselves and others.

While this statement is made at a moment in time when we are grieving the latest killings of innocent Black citizens, it reflects a commitment to moving forward together as a college of artists, communicators, and scholars who use art, music, public relations, advertising, film, dance, journalism, theatre and social media to enact respectful dialogue with the goal of racial justice. We know that our disciplines have much to offer as we strive to create a more just, equitable and inclusive campus. Our creativity, dedication and desire to enact real change will guide us through the upcoming academic year and beyond. We call upon all faculty, staff, and students  especially those who do not hold oppressed or marginalized identities  to help us demonstrate that ours is a community of care, respect, inclusivity and justice. (PDF)

Art + Design, Art History, Art Education

The Department of Art + Design, Art History, Art Education at Towson University stands in solidarity with the global movement for racial justice and affirms our support for our Black students, faculty, and staff. We recognize that all lives will not matter until Black lives matter.

Communication Studies

Learn how Communication Studies stands with our Black students, faculty and staff, and community. Read More

Dance

The Department of Dance fully supports the COFAC Statement of Solidarity and Purpose and stands with the Black community. We recognize and participate in the collective struggle that is in process to recapture civility, compassion, humanity, and human-kindness for every human-life. Cultural and systemic racism harms every family. The Department of Dance is committed to doing the work necessary to acknowledge and undo racism and to bring forward needed change and growth. We stand in solidarity with the global movement and affirm that….Black lives matter.  We are listening, learning, and taking action.  A department Solidarity Action Statement is forthcoming.

Electronic Media and Film

The faculty and staff of the Department of Electronic Media and Film fully support the statement of solidarity and purpose from the College of Fine Arts and Communications. EMF strongly believes that Black Lives Matter.

As a department, we will work towards anti-racism in our academic, professional and cultural worlds. This change will involve learning, listening, training, reflection, but most importantly, actions. A main goal is to ensure that Black stories and voices be created, heard, seen and amplified in and from our classrooms. We will engage in learning about anti-racism and race equity and putting this knowledge into practice. This change will extend through the work of our committees, staffing, guest artists, screenings and into our pedagogy. It is important that the students, faculty and staff of EMF all help create a more diverse and inclusive media and entertainment industry. Learn More

Mass Communication

The department believes that all students have a right to work and learn in an atmosphere free from racial, ethnic, religious, gender and cultural biases and other forms of oppression. We are committed to developing course content, course delivery, and interactive experiences that include diverse voices, especially those that have traditionally been marginalized. Read More

Music

The Department of Music fully supports the COFAC Statement of Solidarity and Purpose. In this same spirit of solidarity and commitment the department offers this discipline specific Statement of Solidarity. Read More

Theatre Arts

The Department of Theatre Arts commits itself to solidarity with the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students, faculty, staff, and artists in our community. We stand together in grief, in anger, and in fierce, uncompromising love. Read More


Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Diversity Committee Members

This committee is open to all members of the college community who want to support initiatives and events that promote diversity and inclusion among faculty, staff and students. If you are interested in joining, please email the committee chairperson, Marc May, .

Committee Members: Stacy Arnold, Cynthia Cooper, Elena Versenyi, Jay Knutson, Laura Hicken, Marc May, Marissa Berk-Smith, Michaela Frischherz, Nahid Tootoonchi, Ruben Del Valle, David Cosper, Siana Saez, Greg Faller, Lynn Tomlinson.

Student Reps: Mia Williams, Skye Fowler, Kiara Boone, Katheryn Gillespie

goals, objectives, bylaws

Goals

Goal 1: Commit to the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.

Goal 2: Actualize a commitment to COFAC’s Civility Code as a means to educate and protect faculty, staff and students; and utilize the resources of the Office of Student Conduct and Civility Education as part of a position of zero tolerance for disruptive conduct.

Goal 3: COFAC will actively participate in the University Diversity Action Committee as well as assist in the development of the University Equity Lens, while fostering civility within all student organizations based in COFAC.

Goal 4: Encourage student opportunities to converse and nurture an atmosphere of inclusion, safety, and acceptance through resources such as COFAC Student Connections and COFAC Student Advisory Committee.

Goal 5: Nurture appreciation and provide access to and engagement with diverse cultures from global perspectives in art, media, and communication.

Objectives

As COFAC works towards a more inclusive and equitable environment, COFAC faculty, staff, and students have worked together to identify five objectives, including action steps and measurable outcomes to overcome structural barriers that work to promote and unhealthy atmosphere that prevents both faculty, staff, and student growth.  

  1. COFAC Diversity and Inclusion Committee Initiatives (learn more below)
  2. Curriculum and Pedagogy Standards
  3. Faculty and Staff Professional Development
  4. Faculty and Staff Recruitment and Retention Strategies
  5. Student Experience and Success
ByLaws

This committee is devoted to:

  1. Fostering connections between the university and the regional community
  2. Advocating for diversity in faculty, staff, and students in COFAC departments
  3. Supporting space for open dialogue
  4. Monitoring the development of department and college level plans to support the university's diversity goals. Learn more.

Events