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Above: alumna Mel Taing ‘16 BFA, Katiana Rodriguez ‘21 BFA, Anushka Das ‘21 BFA, Leila Mitchell ‘03 MFA, Kristine Sanchez ‘09 BFA, and Michelle Wang ‘19 BFA discuss the BIPOC fund.
The Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Fund is a student-led initiative to provide financial support to MassArt students in their studio art practice, senior degree and thesis projects to assist in their successful completion of their degree and ensure their contributions are reflected in our society. It was established during the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
Research has shown that BIPOC students experience negative effects on their academic experiences, being in historically white institutions. MassArt is a historically white institution, meaning the majority of students served have been from the dominant majority white population. The focus of curriculum and areas of study at MassArt have also been historically Eurocentric in its focus. BIPOC students are vulnerable in these types of environments when their cultural perspectives are on the margins or left out entirely of their education. This may be one of the reasons BIPOC students have been historically underrepresented at MassArt.
The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education has also recognized the need to strengthen policies, practices and educational environments with their focus on an equity agenda. The expectation is that, by doing so, the Massachusetts system of public higher education will enhance economic and social mobility for all citizens, but particularly for those that have historically been underserved and underrepresented, especially students of color, throughout all levels of education.
The BIPOC fund will support students from these underrepresented and underserved groups during their senior year to assist them in their successful completion of their degree and ensure their contributions are reflected in our society.
Visit massart.edu/jetpack for more information about how to apply and to view a list of FAQs (accessible with MassArt NetID and password).
Supported by the Office of Justice, Equity and Transformation (JET)