Programs & Initiatives

RISD’s studio environment and culture of critique rely on constructive, inspirational and mutually supportive conversations, with students, faculty and staff interacting with openness, good faith and respect for individual differences. Existing programs reinforce and honor diversity and are complemented by timely new initiatives spearheaded by various members of our community.

Global learning

RISD offers on- and off-campus global learning opportunities such as the RISD in Rome and RISD in Seoul semester programs, Wintersession and summer travel courses and exchange programs with partner schools in 26 countries. Learn more.

MLK series

Each year a series of special events honoring the life and contributions made by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspire our community to continue their own efforts to work towards a more just and equitable society. Learn more.

Project Open Door

An offshoot of RISD’s Teaching + Learning in Art + Design department, Project Open Door (POD) 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. Learn more.


The RISDiversity: Community Narratives Project gives students, faculty and staff the opportunity to inspire others through their stories. Through narratives and portraits, the project provides a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the individuals who comprise our community. A book capturing some of these stories is available online, with proceeds supporting scholarships for RISD students in need. Learn more.

Visiting speakers

RISD often brings visiting artists, critics, speakers and cultural theorists to campus from historically underrepresented groups and/or whose work is focused on issues of race, gender, differences, equity, power, justice and other relevant areas of interest. Learn more.