The Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art is dedicated to achieving diversity and full inclusion, and addressing the consequences of systemic racism. As artists, educators, and scholars, we believe that the fine and performing arts can play a pivotal role in effecting change, and we strive to vigorously nurture a community of faculty, students, staff, and leadership that are empowered to make change. To do that, we must change ourselves, our practices, and our curricula. We understand deeply that this must be achieved with far more than words and promises. It will require action from all of us. To that end, The Rome School Anti-Racism, Inclusion, and Equity committee has been established to investigate past, current, and ongoing practices to promote racial equality in all aspects of School operations.
Fr. Dennis H. Holtschneider, president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, stated in his newsletter, “racism is America’s original sin. It continues to complicate all our attempts to create a truly human civil society. Those of us who accept the audacious task of leading faith-based education still have much work to do.” We are inspired by his words and are ready and willing to do that work.
We pledge to constantly renew our commitment to listen to and engage with the voices of black, indigenous, and people of color in the arts, to examine our own biases and racist tendencies, to develop curricula that shifts the narrative from white hegemony, and to endeavor to create an environment that is equitable towards all members of our community.
The Rome School Anti-Racism, Inclusion, and Equity Committee serves as an advisory committee to the Dean and is charged with the investigation of the Rome School’s ongoing practices to promote racial equality in all aspects of its operations and the examination of curricula to ensure diversity and inclusion. The committee, meeting at least quarterly and as needed, is composed of faculty, alumni/ae, current students, and staff who will make recommendations to the Dean. The committee will file an annual review that will be a public document for the community. The committee will be inspired by the stated Aim of the University which calls for “fostering a climate within which all members of the University community have sufficient opportunities to influence deliberation and choice.”
Committee GoalsThe goals of the committee are:
Short-Term (this year and next):
- Increase diversity in adjunct professors and part-time hires
- Create mechanisms for students to be able to report incidents without fear of retribution.
- Hold Town Hall for students to know how to report micro-aggressions and racism.
- Create analytic systems for tracking diversity among hires of production staff (directors, designers, artists), and strive for greater equity whenever possible
- Encourage BIPOC students to explore professional opportunities while at CUA, both within and outside of the university.
- Create a system of accountability. Department Chairs would include diversity of curricula in their annual reports, and analysis in faculty reviews. Increase diversity in admissions. Work with Rome School Assistant Dean of Advancement Angela Rossati to create dedicated scholarships.
- Hire a diversity & equity consultant to provide anti-racist training for staff and faculty.
- Work towards hiring a Diversity Officer that works with the School on the staff level. This position would come with graduate student assistants that could serve as a liaison between undergraduate studies and professional opportunities for students of color.
- Invite more artists of color to speak, lead master classes and workshops, and work on projects/productions.
- Encourage BIPOC students to explore professional opportunities while at CUA.
- Provide career guidance from members of the BIPOC community
- Increase diversity of full-time faculty and staff.
- Continue to assess progress.
- Seek out avenues for ongoing recognized assessment and training, akin to accrediting organizations like Middle States, NASAD, NASM, NAST.