The National Art Education Association: Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion


What steps are you taking to lead change and assist equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) efforts within your organization? A critical element in change making and ED&I work is strong and courageous leadership. At the 2019 National Art Education Association (NAEA) Convention in Boston, Massachusetts, NAEA’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I Task Force) unveiled 16 recommendations. The NAEA Board of Directors took immediate action in response to the first recommendation “to create a standing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commission” that works to advance equity, diversity and inclusion priorities to ensure that NAEA is inclusive and open to all. This presentation examines the National Art Education Association’s bold and strategic commitment to an equity, diversity and inclusion initiative designed to guide change that leads to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. Presenters explore the impact of this commitment on NAEA and state art education organizations and share current progress toward the ED&I Task Force recommendations made by the inaugural ED&I Commission. Session participants have the opportunity to reflect on next steps for advancing equity, diversity and inclusion within their organizations.


James Haywood Rolling, Jr., President, National Art Education Association
Noel Bella Merriam, Museum Commissioner, National Art Education Association Commission for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Wanda B. Knight, President-Elect, National Art Education Association

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Author profile

Title: 2280 Pasos Bajo un Cielo Nublado | Artist: Hernán Jourdan | Medium: Film

When I was asked to create a work of art exploring literacy, I wanted to create a dance but I had no dancers or a studio, so I chose to use my own body in the space I had, my yard. Fluent Nature is video of micro-choreography that explores what cannot be expressed with words, how nature has its own language, and how placing the human body in nature changes the story.

Title: What Is Me and What Is Not Me | Artist: Alex Chadwell | Medium: Music

My thinking on arts and literacy centers around the concept of literacies and artmaking as both sense-making and meaning-making processes that organically and inevitably overlap, intersect, and reciprocate. Compositionally, What is me and what is not me is a sound collage of sorts (there is no notation for the piece, and I'd be hard pressed to recreate it accurately) that abstractly and aurally represents the relationships between literacies and artmaking.

Title: A Curious Honeybee | Artist: Gideon Young | Medium: Film

Offering welcome through traditional and digital elements of literacy, A Curious Honeybee provides an experiential learning environment by activating visual, musical, natural, and emotional literacies.

Title: Tercera Llamada | Artist: Karilú Forshee | Medium: Audio

La Carpa Theatre is a project that I am currently directing in the Detroit Latinx community. The project aims to strengthen and uplift youth voices through devised theatre, in the style of the Mexican Carpas. This audio was created in the theatrical environment envisioned for our project. The ways in which literacies are re-defined are at the heart of La Carpa Theatre's mission.

Title: Literaseas | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite and ink on paper with digital edits

Title: A Riddle | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits

Title: False Binaries | Artist: MJ Robinson | Medium: Graphite on paper with digital edits