National Task Force on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

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


Members of NAEA’s new National Task Force on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion met in late January at the NAEA Studio & Gallery, launching a key initiative to nurture and sustain a diverse, vibrant professional community. It is part of NAEA’s focus to ensure that its professional community is inclusive and open to all.

It is the charge of the Task Force to:

  1. Review NAEA’s history through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion
  2. Identify similar initiatives underway with other professional organizations and study implications for NAEA’s work
  3. Understand 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.

Last fall, 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 represent a demographic cross-section of the community, according to NAEA President Kim Defibaugh.

Based on their recommendations, Defibaugh appointed the new members to the Task Force—18 art educators (and one alternate). They will serve for 14 months.

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.



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


Wanda B. Knight, CHAIR
Associate Professor of Art Education and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Professor-in-Charge of Art Education, Pennsylvania State University, PA


Joni Acuff
Associate Professor, Ohio State University, OH


Kathy Danko-McGhee
Chair, Teacher Education & Human Services, Owens Community College, OH


Libya Doman
Art Teacher, Fairfax Co. Public Schools, VA; Adjunct Professor, George Mason University, VA


Priya Frank
Associate Director for Community Programs, Seattle Art Museum, WA


Gia Greer
Research Assistant, PhD Student and Instructor, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


Dalila Huerta
Assistant Youth Programs Coordinator, La Casa de Amistad, Inc., IN


Karen Keifer-Boyd
Professor Art Education and Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Pennsylvania State University, PA


Vanessa Lopez
Faculty/Practicum Coordinator, Maryland Institute College of Art, MD


Alisha Mernick
Art Educator, Art 1, AP Studio, Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School, CA


Kai Monet
Education Program Coordinator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, CA


Ketal Patel
Doctoral Student, Art Educator, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Educational Consultant, Ohio State University, OH


Jennifer Rankey-Zona
Visual Arts Director, K-8 Art Teacher, Trinity Episcopal School, NC


James Rolling, Jr.
Dual Professor and Chair of Art Education, Syracuse University, NY


Jim Sanders, iii
Associate Professor, Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy, Ohio State University, OH


Lori Santos
Associate Professor of Art Education


Vanessa Smart
Teacher, Durham Public Schools, NC


Gloria J. Wilson
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Art Education, Virginia Commonwealth University, VA


Ray Yang
Visual Arts Teacher, University Prep; Arts Education Consultant; Teaching Artist, WA

Middle Level Representative
Jen Rankey-Zona

Flavia Bastos
Professor, University of Cincinnati, OH

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.