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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility

We are a supportive community committed to individual and artistic integrity and inclusion. We promote and respect self-expression, a wide range of ideas and diversity in all its forms.

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Inclusion and Diversity Statement

We believe the work of inclusion, accessibility, and equity is never complete, always in progress, and constantly evolving. We commit to continually revisit this text alongside our ongoing assessment of the values, practices and policies that shape our university, as our charge as a creative community mandates that we embrace and initiate change.

Guided by our mission of advancing human creativity, the University of the Arts activates a culture where each person is valued within a community that recognizes, seeks and celebrates differences. We make space for multiple ways of learning, being, and creating both within and beyond traditional learning environments. UArts recognizes the diverse challenges faced in building sustainable lives as artists, and we commit to creating pathways toward increased accessibility to vital, relevant, adaptive, affordable and resilient creative study.

We are committed to focusing on inclusion as central to the development of curriculum, pedagogy, and in our hiring practices. Creating an environment where all community members can thrive necessitates acknowledging our institution’s past, its relationship to structures of inequality, while also facing the possibilities of the future with a sense of accountability, optimism and resolve.

We embrace our role as an incubator and hub for the creative life of the city of Philadelphia, and our growing national and international collaborations. The responsibilities of our involvement in both local and global movements of creative world-building include equipping students with the tools needed to confidently navigate art making in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility (DEIAC) Executive Board

Stephen Cirino

Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; DEIAC chair

Meet Stephen

Jesse Zaritt

DEIAC Vice Chair

Meet Jesse

Melanie Romay

DEIAC Communications Officer

Meet Melanie Romay

Committee Members

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Every year, the DEIAC initiates and executes two to four projects that center on the continued enhancement of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within the UArts community.

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Areas of Focus

The confirmed areas of focus are central to the DEIAC. These areas will be continuous annually, with two to four interchangeable goals.


Office & Department Representation

Representatives from offices and departments across the university support DEIA-specific projects and goals and ensure diversity is embedded across the university.

Learn More

Student Ambassadors

Student ambassadors provide direct communication between our seven school student bodies and the DEIAC.

Learn more

Faculty Ambassadors

Faculty ambassadors provide direct communication between school faculty members and the DEIAC.

Meet the Faculty Ambassadors


We recognize and acknowledge the land on which the University of the Arts stands as the ancestral homeland of the Lenape, a territory known as Lenapehokink. We take this opportunity together to honor the Lenape as the indigenous stewards of this land, and to be mindful of the legacy of colonization, erasure and oppression that informs the history of our nation, our city and our institution. The presence and resilience of the Lenape continues to this day in Lenape nations spread across the country and continent through forcible displacement, as well as through individuals and communities representing the Lenape who remained in Lenapehokink. 

The University of the Arts is committed to continuing and nurturing our relationship with the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania through friendship and collaboration that honors this land and the communities that it supports.

We are a supportive community committed to individual and artistic integrity and inclusion. We promote and respect self-expression, a wide range of ideas and diversity in all its forms. 

Review the context of our Land Acknowledgment.

Inclusive Philly
Inclusive Philly (formerly known as BIPOC Mag) is a digital magazine showcasing work and reflections from Black, Indigenous and other students of color at UArts. It is sponsored and published by UArts’ Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility Committee. The next issue of Inclusive Philly will be available online Spring 2023.