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.
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
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)
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.
Learn how Communication Studies stands with our Black students, faculty and staff, and community. Read More
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.
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
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
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
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
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 contact chairperson, Michaela Frischherz.
Committee Members: Stacy Arnold, Ada Pinkston, Elena Versenyi, Jay Knutson, Laura Hicken, Marc May, Michaela Frischherz, Nahid Tootoonchi, Ruben Del Valle, David Cosper, Siana Saez, Greg Faller, Lynn Tomlinson.
Student Reps: Katrina Navarro (graduate), Tyra Waterson, Alexa Adams
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.
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.
This committee is devoted to:
With the approval of the office of the Provost, the college created a Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan that will be updated and revised as we move forward.
Each term the committee reviews applications for diversity and inclusion funding in order to provide COFAC faculty, staff and departments with the opportunity to create and lead significant diversity projects, events, exhibits, field trips, courses, screenings, lectures, debates and other related initiatives.
Read more in depth about our incredible faculty, staff and students that have produced incredibly thoughtful and creative events with a focus on solidarity equity, diversity and inclusion.
The purpose of this additional support is to provide COFAC faculty, staff, and departments with the opportunity to create and lead significant diversity projects, events, exhibits, field trips, courses, screenings, lectures, debates, and other related initiatives.
Any project’s outcome must promote an understanding of at least one of the following: multicultural, multiracial, and/or multiethnic identities, gender, sexual orientation, ableness, or other social issues related to diversity and inclusion. Projects should also support open dialogue and foster connections with the college, university, and regional community as well as demonstrate activity beyond individual teaching, scholarship, and service. APPLY
In 2019 the Asian Arts & Culture Center presented “Reclaimed Creations,” an exhibition of work by artist Sayaka Kajita Ganz. On display were Ganz’s fantastical organic sculptures of airy flying horses, birds and sea creatures composed from reclaimed and found plastic objects. She gave a gallery talk during the opening reception for students, faculty, staff, patrons and friends.
Each term, TU's Community Art Center hosts a Family Day Arts Festival, featuring drop-in art activities inspired by the Center for the Art's Gallery exhibition. Activities include hands-on art making workshops led by art education students, interactive gallery tours, storytime featuring books on the exhibition, and dance workshops led by TU Community Dance.
This exhibit aimed to dismantle the toxic ideology behind the question asked to so many sexual assault survivors: "Did what you wear cause your attack?" It included first-hand survivor accounts detailing what they were wearing when assaulted to debunk the theory that the two are correlated, or that a survivor should have any blame in the matter. This exhibit served as a springboard to illuminate the problem of sexual assault across college campuses.
Each year WAMMFest features over 50 films from 25 countries that spotlight women and minority film and media makers at its festival. With a mission to promote and celebrate inclusive films, media and filmmakers of all categories, WAMMFest recreated the tradition of film festivals as a way to represent minorities while helping talented filmmakers get the recognition they deserve.
During spring 2020, the Department of Music hosted two roundtable discussions in a series entitled "Art as Activism." The discussions focused on music, gender, sexuality and identity; and music and social justice. Each brought three Baltimore-based artist/activists to speak to and lead a discussion. The goal was to bring awareness and stimulate critical discussion among students on issues of identity and representation.