Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Art Education and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Moving from Ideas to Action

NAEA Town Hall Conversations | December 15, 2020

View the December 15, 2020 recording here.

Download the accompanying handout here.

Each individual educator is on their own journey of understanding equity, diversity, and inclusion concepts, context, and actions. In this conversation, discover tools and strategies for your own growth as an educator, as well as how to best support your diverse learners. Our expert guests will share their own stories and journeys as peers who are tackling this work in their own settings—from working directly with learners to the bird’s eye view of supervision and leadership. Participant-generated questions will guide the discussion, which will be focused on solutions and support.

Complete information on all NAEA Town Hall Conversations is available here.


Libya Doman
Elementary Art Teacher and Cultural Proficiency Facilitator Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, VA

Libya Doman is a National Board–certified visual art educator and a diversity and inclusion facilitator. Using art and conversation as “mirrors and windows” to seeing ourselves and others, she designs and delivers curricula, workshops, and keynotes to help educators grapple with topics often deemed “uncomfortable.” Presentation focuses include—but are not limited to—race, gender, orientation, (dis)ability, language, SES, and other special populations. She is proud to have an art history degree from Spelman College, an HBCU for women, and received a postbaccalaureate from Moore College of Art & Design, an art school for women. She earned her master’s degree in art education and 2D art from Teachers College. Doman, an NAEA member, is an alumnus of School for Art Leaders at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art and served on the NAEA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Matthew Neylon
Director of Visual and Performing Arts The Mount Vernon School, Atlanta, GA

Matthew Neylon is the director of visual and performing arts at The Mount Vernon School in Atlanta, where he helps staff and students navigate their creative curiosities and artistic aptitudes. As a speaker, Neylon works with hundreds of educators and artists annually by leading workshops and webinars on various topics from storytelling to arts leadership, STEAM education, mindfulness, trauma-informed care, and interdisciplinary curriculum design. The creator of the co:CREATE Arts Innovation Conference and founding member of CONNECT, an organization for Atlanta-area art teachers, Neylon seeks to bridge art and innovation by exploring the intersections between various art forms with mental and physical wellness, diverse storytelling, and emerging creative industries. Recently serving as the guest blogger for the NAEA Monthly Mentor blog, he explored topics of race, Whiteness, emotional health, gender, and ableism in the visual art community. Neylon and his partner are passionate advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and work to help people around the world reconcile faith and sexual orientation. His greatest joy, however, is providing opportunities for students to grow in their artistic and performance skills and find the intersection where passion, talent, and identity meet. Connect with Neylon by visiting cre8ivmvmt.com.

James Haywood Rolling, Jr.
Professor and Chair of Arts Education Syracuse University, Manlius, NY

James Haywood Rolling, Jr., is a dual professor of arts education and teaching and leadership, and an affiliated faculty member in African American Studies at Syracuse University. Rolling will begin his elected term of office as the 37th President of NAEA in 2021 and currently serves as the inaugural Chair of the new NAEA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Commission. A member of the 2017 class of NAEA Distinguished Fellows, Rolling served as the senior editor of Art Education from 2015 to 2017 and is also a 2018 graduate of the School for Art Leaders, a flagship professional development program of NAEA supporting art + design educators in their quest to excel as leaders. The author of dozens of peer-reviewed articles and papers; numerous book chapters; encyclopedia entries; and books on the subjects of the arts, education, creativity, and human identity, Rolling continues to expand the reach of his message about the social origins of our common creativity with his forthcoming book Growing Up Ugly: Memoirs of a Black Boy Daydreaming, an inspirational coming-of-age narrative about fostering the development of creative superpowers, especially within the children of marginalized communities in present-day society.

Ruth Mercado-Zizzo
Senior Director of Arts and Equity EdVestors, Boston, MA

Ruth Mercado-Zizzo is the senior director of arts and equity at EdVestors, a Boston education nonprofit, where she facilitates building an inclusive and equitable organizational culture and community. She is also responsible for managing BPS Arts Expansion, a multiyear effort to expand quality arts education in schools across Boston Public Schools through a public–private partnership. She previously worked at the Boch Center and People’s Light and Theatre. She received her MFA in theatre from Arizona State University, where she was honored with the Herberger College of Fine Arts Research and Creative Activity Award, and is a graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a past recipient of an Ann Shaw Fellowship, and has served as treasurer and board member of TYA/USA. Previously, Mercado-Zizzo served as a grant panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts and is an alumnus of the National Guild’s Community Arts Education Leadership Institute and National Arts Strategies/University of Pennsylvania’s Executive Program in Arts & Culture Strategy. Recently, she was the operations director for Createquity, an online think tank that synthesized research pertaining to the arts.

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