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President’s Innovation Fund Grant Opens More “Doorways to Diversity”
09.12.13 |
Dr. Matt Sayers, assistant professor of religion, plans to expand the Doorways to Diversity project, which was unveiled during Inquiry 2013, after receiving one of 13 President’s Innovation Fund grants. Conceived out of a desire to expand on the College’s commitment to promoting diversity on campus, this project’s aim is to find space at the junction of pedagogy, campus culture, and public art.

With the help of 35 of Mat Samuel’s digital communications students, Sayers plans to produce 23 decorative and symbolic doors to be displayed around campus in locations ranging from the Presidential Dining Room in Mund College Center to Bishop Library. Each academic department on campus will have a door featuring a faculty member’s personal story.

“As ‘contractor,’ the student will ask the ‘client’ to complete a consult form outlining ideas, themes, colors, and other ideas for the creation of a ‘door,’ a poster designed to fit the client’s office, or other, door,” Samuel said.

Sayers feels the project will impact students’ understanding of the campus community. “My hope was that if people realize all these folks that look the same are having much different lives and much different experiences…that notion of difference might bridge over to diversity more broadly.”

Sayers hopes that the doors will facilitate discussion about diversity among the campus community, ultimately creating an environment that embraces differences. As a testament to the notion that people and cultures are always changing, Sayers plans to make Doorways to Diversity a long-term project. Door graphics will be temporarily hung, then removed and replaced with new designs, as new students become a part of the community throughout the years.

“If we can get some excitement going, if we can get community members involved, then my hope is that this can become an ongoing thing—that we can continue to celebrate diversity, celebrate difference, and lead into diversity.”

Click here to view a photo gallery of the doors already installed on campus.

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