National Task Force on Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

NAEA Presses Forward on Its Focus on a Diverse, Inclusive Membership


NAEA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion presents recommendations during 2019 NAEA National Convention:

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Task Force Recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Create a standing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission similar to the NAEA Research Commission to ensure the sustainability of the ED&I work already begun
GOAL(S): Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 2: Incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion concepts and principles throughout the NAEA School for Art Leaders (SAL)
GOAL(S): Learning; Community

Recommendation 3: Provide incentives for replicating affinity-based leadership development of cohorts, utilizing the School for Art Leaders (SAL) model, across NAEA divisions, interest groups, and state affiliates, as a means to identify, support, and develop underrepresented or under-recognized pools of creative talent or expertise
GOAL(S): Community; Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 4: Explore implications for amending the NAEA Constitution and Bylaws to permit each Interest Group to have a Delegates Assembly representative that has voting rights similar to state association affiliates
GOAL(S): Community; Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 5: Infuse ED&I priorities into each Goal of the 2020-2025 NAEA Strategic Plan; develop a new sixth ED&I Goal to be added to the Goals Framework with its own priorities to center equity work within the NAEA community; and employ metrics to measure progress toward ED&I goals and objectives
GOAL(S): Organizational Vibrancy; New ED&I Goal

Recommendation 6: Provide ongoing equity, diversity, and inclusion professional development for the NAEA Leadership, including state leaders and the NAEA Board of Directors
GOAL(S): Learning; Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 7: Develop policy that includes, supports, and welcomes diversity (including invisible diversity). Policy based on Universal Design principles would ensure that the onus of responsibility for adaptation resides with NAEA rather than the marginalized individuals and groups the association seeks to include
GOAL(S): Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 8: Establish sliding scale registration for NAEA membership, NAEA conventions, and other areas to encourage underrepresented and underserved group participation
GOAL(S): Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 9: Collect equity, diversity, and inclusion statistical data that incorporates demographics concerning NAEA award recipients, the selection committees, and the nomination committees; demographics of divisions, Delegates Assembly, and Interest Groups to ensure inclusionary NAEA policies, practices, and procedures
GOAL(S): Research and Knowledge; Learning

Recommendation 10: Create and maintain an open source repository of materials that include high-quality resources for NAEA members to learn about ED&I concepts in order to build leadership capacity for furthering ED& I work within their communities
GOAL(S): Research & Knowledge; Learning

Recommendation 11: Offer leadership development and mentoring opportunities that are specific to marginalized and underrepresented groups (e.g., workshops, or targeted programming at the NAEA annual convention)
GOAL(S): Learning; Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 12: Develop a NAEA Political Action Committee that generates NAEA statements in response to acts of violence or acts of injustice that impact teaching and learning (e.g., mass school shootings); and create a system of support for NAEA members who have been subjected to violence or injustice (as an upstander or otherwise) within their professional communities
GOAL(S): Community; Advocacy

Recommendation 13: Seek vendors/partners from underrepresented groups
GOAL(S): Community; Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 14: Create a series of programs to recruit underrepresented art education professionals into the field of art education
GOAL(S): Community; Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 15: Develop a means to welcome and socialize new members into the NAEA community
GOAL(S): Community; Organizational Vibrancy

Recommendation 16: Create a new senior leadership position, Chief Diversity Officer, with the holder of this position reporting directly to the Executive Director, equivalent to other members of the Executive Leadership Team, in order to ensure the position has broad authority, influence, and responsibilities
GOAL(S): Community; Learning; Advocacy; Research and Knowledge; Organizational Vibrancy

In response to recommendations, NAEA to establish Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Commission

During its March 2019 meeting, the NAEA Board of Directors took immediate action in response to the first recommendation to create a standing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission, similar to the NAEA Research Commission, to ensure the sustainability of the ED&I work already begun. Members who have the interest and meet the criteria will be invited to apply for leadership service on the NAEA ED&I Commission. The Commission is expected to hold its first planning meeting at the NAEA Gallery & Studio fall 2019.

NAEA National Task Force on Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Members - Appointed December 2017

History of the Task Force

Members of NAEA’s National Task Force on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion met in January 2018 at the NAEA Studio & Gallery, in response to its charge to make recommendations for nurturing and sustaining a diverse, vibrant professional community. Consistent with NAEA’s 2015-2020 Strategic Vision, efforst are underway to ensure that its professional community is inclusive and open to all. The Task Force is charged with:

  1. Reviewing NAEA’s history through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion
  2. Identifying similar initiatives underway with other professional organizations and study implications for NAEA’s work
  3. Understanding the demographics of the profession across the NAEA community and throughout the field as a whole

The Task Force will develop a final report that makes recommendations to the NAEA Board of Directors that includes sustainable strategies for change.

Fall 2018, selected NAEA diversity leaders in the art education field drove a thoughtful, thorough review process to determine who best met the criteria for service on the Task Force and who represented a demographic cross-section of the community, according to NAEA President Kim Defibaugh.

Based on their recommendations, Defibaugh appointed members to the 14 month Task Force—18 art educators (and one alternate).

Sixty NAEA members applied, underscoring the significant interest in the effort. “We have a talented, knowledgeable group of members committed to addressing this priority initiative,” said Defibaugh. She invited those applicants who were not selected for the Task Force to contribute to the initiative in other ways—by sharing experiences and ideas, and helping to inform strategy by reaching out to their communities.



Position Statements Adopted

In alignment with the NAEA’s Strategic Plan and priority goals, the Board has engaged in strategic conversations about what constitutes an equitable, inclusive, and diverse professional community. NAEA leaders have engaged in organizational readiness toward addressing this goal through the 2016 and 2017 NAEA Super Summer Summit Meeting with Board of Directors and Elects; the 2016 National Leadership Conference with state association leaders and the development and adoption of the following position statements.  

Definitions of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Developed and Approved by the NAEA Board

Equity: Refers to conditions that support fairness and justness based on individual needs and circumstances whereas all members have opportunities to thrive and realize their best within the NAEA community (adopted December 2017).

Diversity: The term “diversity” describes both observable and non-observable individual differences (life experiences, work context, learning and working styles, personality types among others) and group/social differences (race, gender identity and expression, age, social class, country of origin, ability, beliefs, intellectual and cultural perspectives, among others) that can contribute to organizational vibrancy and a dynamic professional community.

Inclusion: The term “inclusion” describes proactive, intentional, and thoughtful engagement with diversity to the extent that all have the ability to contribute fully and effectively throughout the NAEA community. 

Task Force Meeting

Members of the NAEA Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Task Force met in Alexandria, Virginia, with NAEA President Kim Defibaugh (first row, center right) and Task Force Chair Wanda Knight (far right) for the Task Force’s first face-to-face meeting.