Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Vermont College of Fine Arts recognizes, honors, and supports diversity in every context.
As an institution we are actively focusing our resources on outreach, expansion, and inclusion, and as a community we are fully committed to fostering the artistic, intellectual, individual, and social identities, contributions, and development of every one of our members.
Our Definition of Diversity
We recognize diversity as the many ways in which people differ, both as individuals and as members of intersecting groups, and we strive to honor a broad and inclusive definition of diversity within our community.
Diversity of identity may include race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, socioeconomic status, and geographic region. Forms of diversity may also include perspectives and values that arise from different cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations.
VCFA Statement on Community Values
With input and collaboration across the college, VCFA has adopted a new Statement on Community Values to help guide our work as an institution. Read the full VCFA Statement on Community Values to learn more.
VCFA has adopted the term “alumnx” to refer to our graduates. Read more about our commitment to more inclusive language in the VCFA Alumnx Statement.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
With representation across VCFA programs and departments, the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee works to bring greater equity and inclusion to all levels of the institution and to review planning, policies and procedures related to staff, faculty, students and alumnx, as well as the on-campus experience of all who visit the college, and VCFA’s role in the community at large.
We invite suggestions and contributions to the ongoing dialogue at VCFA. To get involved or send an idea, contact [email protected].
To learn more about our committee membership and view meeting schedules, agendas, and minutes, visit our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Resource Page.
(Featured artwork by MFA in Visual Art student Ross Sheehan, 2019.)
Related VCFA Policies
|Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy »|
|Statement on Artistic Freedom & Responsibility »|
|Statement on Community Values »|
|Student Bill of Rights »|
|Title IX Discrimination & Harassment Policy »|
|Title IX Sexual Misconduct/Sexual Assault Policy »|
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
New Initiatives & Practices
- In summer 2020, after a 10-month process with input and collaboration across the college, we finalized and adopted a VCFA Statement on Community Values.
- In summer 2019, VCFA adopted and implemented college-wide use of the non-binary, gender-neutral term “alumnx” as an alternative to the traditional “alumni.” This change in terminology was the result of thoughtful conversation and a recommendation put forward by the college-wide Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.
Education & Training
- In winter 2020, we launched a series of peer-led Community Conversations among staff across departments at the college, with an aim to discuss difficult topics related to equity and inclusion.
- In fall 2019 we engaged in professional development and training opportunities for VCFA staff members. These trainings included a “We All Belong” workshop series facilitated by CQ Strategies and independent mediation training for select staff in order to facilitate conversations with faculty and students during residencies.
- In winter 2018 we partnered with The Peace & Justice Center in Burlington, VT, to bring a series of educational workshops focused on racial justice to VCFA staff and local faculty. Additional trainings were brought to program faculty during the winter 2019 residencies.
Communications & Resources
- We have established a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion website and resource page with committee meeting minutes and relevant resources.
- The college-wide DEI Committee has created a regular communication schedule to report out to the larger VCFA community of staff, students, faculty, and alumnx about ongoing initiatives.
- We are developing Bias Incident Reporting & Response procedures and additional procedures for handling conflict through facilitated conversations and mediation.
- Ongoing efforts are under way to enhance accessibility on campus, include ADA-accessible accommodations, automatic door openers, increased privacy and all-gender spaces in dorm facilities, and improved campus lighting to ensure a safe and inclusive environment.
- In summer 2019, a Working Group on Campus Accommodations reviewed program housing documents and procedures to produce recommendations for greater inclusivity with respect to language, facilities, and campus space use.
The VCFA Young Writers Network
Founded by alumnx of VCFA’s Writing for Children & Young Adults Program, the VCFA Young Writers Network connects the college’s passionate—and growing—alumnx community to the children least likely to be able to meet and learn from professional authors. Our goal is to raise a diverse next generation of writers by creating a mentoring network that inspires young writers to discover their voice, develop their craft, and explore future careers in writing.
We work with existing nonprofits in communities where VCFA authors live, connecting our talented authors with youth populations underserved by existing creative writing resources and underrepresented in children’s literature as a whole.
We currently focus our work in the northern New England states—Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts—where we offer intensive school- and community-based residencies in collaboration with our nonprofit partners. These programs (available for grades K-12) offer children an opportunity to explore their own stories through engaging, authentic activities that increase their confidence, motivation, and skill as writers.
COMING SOON! Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion work is woven into the fabric of each academic program at VCFA. Learn more about our ongoing endeavors.
(Featured work by David Przepioski, MFA in Visual Art alumnx 2019)