September 20, 2021

Faculty appointments

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Shiraz Gallab, Jameka Hartley, Jess Myers, Jacqueline Shaw, Naimah Pétigny, Christopher Roberts, Derrick Woods-Morrow and Mariela Yeregui. Courtesy of faculty.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) welcomes new faculty focused on race and decolonization.

As part of RISD’s continuing social equity and inclusion efforts, a cohort of new full-time faculty members focused on race, colonization, decolonization, post-coloniality, cultural representation and material practices of resistance will begin teaching this fall as a result of RISD’s Race in Art & Design cluster-hire initiative.

“RISD is committed to being proactively anti-racist in principle and practice and to making consequential changes throughout the institution,” notes Interim President Dave Proulx. “RISD launched this search in October 2020 in response to student activism and calls from BIPOC faculty members to diversify RISD’s faculty and curricula and has hired an outstanding first cohort, thanks to generous donors RISD Trustee Kim Gassett-Schiller P 14 and Philip W. Schiller P 14.”

The faculty joining RISD this fall include:

Shiraz Gallab, Assistant Professor of Graphic Design / Schiller Family Assistant Professorship in Race in Art and Design

Jameka Hartley, Assistant Professor of History, Philosophy, Social Science / Schiller Family Assistant Professorship in Race in Art and Design

Jess Myers, Assistant Professor of Architecture

Naimah Pétigny, Assistant Professor of Literary Arts and Studies / Schiller Family Assistant Professorship in Race in Art and Design

Christopher Roberts, Assistant Professor of Theory and History of Art and Design and Experimental Foundation Studies / Schiller Family Assistant Professorship in Race in Art and Design

Jacqueline Shaw, Assistant Professor of Architecture / Schiller Family Assistant Professorship in Race in Art and Design

Derrick Woods-Morrow, Assistant Professor of Sculpture / Schiller Family Assistant Professorship in Race in Art and Design

Mariela Yeregui, Associate Professor of Digital + Media/Computation, Technology, & Culture / Schiller Family Associate Professorship in Race in Art and Design

“Our goal was to recruit faculty to RISD who would expand our curricula, conduct research and creative work in historically under-supported domains, bring new practices to our classrooms and studios, and build momentum towards changing our disciplines,” says Provost Kent Kleinman. “The contributions of these new faculty promises to be nothing short of transformative.”

These outstanding faculty members were successfully recruited for RISD’s Race in Art & Design cluster hire initiative thanks to the hard work and expertise of search committee members Alero Akporiaye, Hansy Better, Jessica Brown, Stefano Corbo, Namita Dharia, Avishek Ganguly, Paula Gateano-Adi, Adela Goldbard, Suzanne Mathew, Anais Missakian, Lisa Morgan, Ijlal Muzaffar, Heather Rowe, Duane Slick, Tracy Steepy, Ramon Tejada and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa.

​“Each of these new faculty members is steeped in the nuanced ways that issues of race and decoloniality impact their fields,” says Vice President and Associate Provost for Social Equity & Inclusion Matthew Shenoda. “Their joining the RISD community as a cohort is a truly pivotal moment for the college, expanding RISD’s pedagogy to address the systemic structures and power relations that continue to shape our society. This initiative pushes our curriculum more centrally into the future and ensures that RISD will be able to continue to give our students a meaningful and relevant education in art and design.”

In summer 2020, the institution announced a new set of commitments to address systemic racism that built on its 2017 Social Equity and Inclusion Action Plan. As a result, in addition to this “Race in Art & Design” cluster-hire initiative, during the 2020/21 academic year, RISD increased financial aid to its highest level ever and increased racially diverse hiring by 13 percent overall. For the 2021/22 academic year, RISD will continue to build on these efforts with a significant number of ongoing faculty and staff searches and continued work on SEI plans specifically addressing each area of the college and museum.

SEI accountability updates can be found at

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