Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Bard seeks to materialize our commitment to plurality, dialogue, and rigorous study. We strive to create a learning environment that upholds the College’s mission to meaningfully include the voices, works, and ideas of communities and cultures historically marginalized in liberal arts and sciences education. DEI at Bard aims to work at the systemic as well as the interpersonal level to address the implicit and explicit ways racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, and religious discrimination impact the learning process.
Who does the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Bard?
DEI is an institutional mission at Bard College, tasking all of us with doing the work of furthering that mission. Fostering a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus is an effort shared by those who live and work at the College—students, faculty, and staff.
There are four offices on campus that lead the College’s DEI work. They are:
Acknowledging Bard's Origins
Bard College acknowledges that its origins are intertwined with the systems of racial injustice that have been a part of this nation’s history from its foundations.
Gilson Place: Dedicated in Support of Students of Color
Gilson Place, formerly Grey Stone Cottage, is a space dedicated to the advancement of students of color. Bard faculty and student leaders collaborated on its renovation and redesign. Gilson Place supports the academic, personal, and social success of members of the Bard community historically underrepresented in liberal arts and sciences education and fosters dialogue about race and culture on campus. The space is named for Alexander Gilson (c. 1824–89), an African American who labored for 50 years at Montgomery Place, now part of the Bard College campus. Gilson became head gardener at Montgomery Place and eventually opened up his own nursery business.
Student clubs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the College include the Bard Christian Fellowship, the Latin American Student Organization, and the Trans Lyfe Collective. For more information about these and other clubs, visit student.bard.edu/clublist.
Spotlight on the Posse Program
The Posse Foundation recruits talented public high school students who might have been overlooked by traditional college selection processes, forming them into supportive Posses and connecting them with participating colleges. Every year Bard accepts a Posse of 10 students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential, offering them full-tuition scholarships.
A 50-Year-Old Tape that Speaks My Language: Professor Sky Hopinka on the Inspiration for His New Documentary, Kicking the Clouds
Sky Hopinka, assistant professor of film and electronic arts, talks with the BBC about his new documentary, Kicking the Clouds, which has been shortlisted for the BBC's LongShots film festival. Hopinka, who is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and a descendant of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño people, talks about how a 50-year-old recording of a language lesson between his mother and grandmother sparked the film, which the BBC calls “dreamy and soulful ... a poetic road trip into the history of a family and the disappearing language of a tribe.”
“The Many Lives of Martine Syms,” Bard MFA Alumna Profiled in the New York Times
Profiled in the New York Times, the artist Martine Syms MFA ’17 “is the sort of ‘new media’ artist who antiquates the term. Since her days as a film programmer at clubs like the Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles, she has turned the various lenses of media around to interrogate what society expects of Black women, and Black artists in particular,” writes Travis Diehl. This fall, Syms has an independent feature film showing in theaters with worldwide distribution, as well as exihibtions on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and CCS Bard.
Bard Professor Drew Thompson Curates Exhibition on Hudson Valley Artist Ben Wigfall
Professor Drew Thompson curates an exhibition dedicated to Ben Wigfall, artist, printmaker, and SUNY New Paltz’s first Black professor of art. Benjamin Wigfall & Communications Village opens at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz on September 10. The exhibition surveys Wigfall's multimedia work over four decades, as well as documenting Communications Village, the printmaking facility he founded in the 1970s that trained and employed local youth to assist distinguished, mostly Black printmakers. Communications Village played an essential role as an alternative space enabling artists of color to make and show their work, says Professor Thompson. “This was a subversive space, not recognized by the mainstream American art scene,” he says.