"When we say access, we are also saying the possibility to inhabit a space to the extent that one can say, ‘This is my home. I am not a foreigner. I belong here’. This is not hospitality. It is not charity.”  

Achille Joseph Mbembe



The following resources are available for students, faculty, and staff in an effort to enhance the experiences of our community and help ensure that all members of the community feel included and fully supported at RISD.

For Faculty:

SEI Research Fund
The Social Equity and Inclusion Research Fund supports innovative research that promotes the Center’s goals of social equity and inclusion. Funding may come in the form of a course release or a stipend to cover research related costs.

SEI Research Fund Application, Application Deadline 12/31/2022

SEI Programming Fund 
The SEI Programming Fund provides support for events – public lectures, symposia, screenings, performances, and workshops - that are open to the entire community and that advance knowledge of non-western or historically marginalized cultures and traditions, how forms of power shape inequality and understandings of race and identity locally and/or globally; inclusive and critical pedagogies.

SEI Programming Fund ApplicationApplication Deadline 05/31/2023

SEI Conference and Presentation Fund 
The SEI Conference and Presentation Fund allows faculty, librarians, and museum curators to share their work or research that engages non-western or historically marginalized cultures, investigates inequality and understandings of race and identity, or explores inclusive and critical pedagogies.

SEI Conference and Presentation Fund Application, Application Deadline 05/31/2023

SEI Decolonial Teaching in Action Program The Decolonial Teaching in Action program offers a semester-long course for faculty focused on inclusive teaching practices and strategies for decolonizing the curriculum. The course is co-taught by colleagues from across the institution.

SEI Decolonial Teaching in Action (DTAC) Application, Application Deadline 12/31/2022


For Students:

Part of the Center for SEI's initiatives when engaging with students is done through the Intercultural Student Engagement or ISE. ISE's mission is to cultivate an environment that recognizes an ever-changing campus and global community.  ISE nurtures the holistic growth and inspiration of emergent artists and designers to enhance social consciousness, cultural mindfulness, self-actualization, and inclusive dialogues.

They also support students from underrepresented backgrounds groups including, but not limited to those who are: first generation, international, LGBTQIA+, religious or spiritual, students who are socio-economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, BIPOC students, and students not traditionally of college age. 

For complete and up to date information about ISE's programs and resources specific to students, please visit their website: https://www.ise.risd.edu.

Project Thrive
Project Thrive is a multi-year student support and learning community program designed specifically for RISD students whose parents did not attend or did not complete college. The program provides students with opportunities to reflect on their identities and embrace the strengths and assets they hold as first-generation college students. Project Thrive challenges students to think critically about their social and cultural identities, aspire to and achieve academic excellence, enhance their leadership skills, and begin to build a path towards professional and personal success. Students who attend the summer FGC POP program are automatically part of Project Thrive. Any student who did not attend FGC POP should contact ISE directly at ise@risd.edu.


Additional Resources for Students:

Materials Fund
The Materials Fund was created to make it possible for RISD students with demonstrated financial need to purchase the equipment and supplies needed to advance their art and design education and practice.

Materials Fund Application

Study Abroad Fund
Scholarships are available for RISD students for off-campus semester programs. Students must submit a scholarship application, in order to be eligible. Scholarships may cover part of, or the entire, program cost and/or airfare cost to the course location.

RISD scholarships are awarded based on a combination of financial need and academic merit. These funds are intended to provide students the unique and often life-changing opportunity to participate in an off-campus global learning experience during their time at RISD.

Study Abroad Fund Scholarship

Internships help you build a stronger resume; make professional contacts; see your field firsthand; gain academic credit; get a better starting job; and determine what you want to do, and don't want to do. Funding is available to help you pursue internship opportunities you might not otherwise be able to afford.

Internship Funding Application

Resource-sharing and Reallocation Initiatives

  • Provided more than 50 winter coats for students in need through the program Coat Closet
  • Waived cost of programs (Student Art Sale, Artist Ball, CommenceFest) for students in financial need

Other initiatives

  • Swipe it Forward: a platform for students to donate their meal swipes to other students in order to alleviate ongoing food insecurity on campus. This program provides a confidential and efficient way for students who may be having difficulty finding their next meal to receive the help they deserve.
  • RISD Flips: an annual yard sale held at Market Square that generates funds for the Staff Council student scholarship; supports international students by providing available supplies that might be otherwise thrown away; donates unsold articles to community organizations; and reduces environmental impact by reducing the amount of waste generated on campus.
  • RISD Second Life: a nonprofit, student-run, upcycling program that collects usable art supplies and raw materials and redistributes them back to RISD students and to the local community.

College Preparation Programs

FGC POP: is an intensive, two-week, multifaceted experience for incoming RISD students whose parents did not attend or did not complete college. RISD FGC POP is designed as a transformational experience focused on supporting students in their holistic development. 

Project Open Door: is a college access initiative for urban youth. It invites creative teens attending public and charter high schools in Rhode Island’s urban core cities of Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence and Woonsocket to participate in free art and design programming.

RISD Pre-College: offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to access life as a RISD student and experience college culture while studying with award-winning faculty in our art studios to create supplementary pieces for their college admission portfolio. Recent enhancements to the program include:

  • 19 Pre-College full scholarships for summer 2018, up from nine in 2017 and zero the year prior
  • Two full-time counselors hired in addition to planned wellness events
  • Creation of two new Pre-College majors: Art + Science and Art + Activism

Nancy Elizabeth Prophet

1890 - 1960

Nancy Elizabeth Prophet was an artist of African-American and Native American ancestry, known for her sculpture. She was the first African-American graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1918 and later studied at L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris during the early 1920s

Community & Culture


Higher Education

In the Arts

Documentary Films on Race & Culture

Books on Race & Culture