Racial Equity, Arts and Culture
The Racial Equity, Arts and Culture Transdisciplinary Core fosters critical dialogue about and develops mechanisms for advancing the fair treatment of people of all races in and through arts and culture. The team’s work includes fairness in opportunities (e.g., educational, financial, professional, etc.) among artists and cultural producers and organizations, and fairness in opportunities for the public to engage in arts and cultural activities that they have reason to value and/or that has potential to create social change.
Transdisciplinary core team
- Sarah B. Cunningham, Ph.D.
- Executive director for research and director arts research institute, School of the Arts
Dr. Cunningham provides national and international leadership in arts research through individual scholarship, project development, consultation, interdisciplinary collaboration and public dialogue at the School of the Arts. She brings expertise in arts policy, arts education, philanthropy and philosophy.
- Brandi T. Summers, Ph.D.
- Associate director of iCubed; assistant professor, Department of African American Studies
Dr. Summers’ research and teaching interests focus on the intersection of race, urban aesthetics, media and visual culture. Her research explores the various ways bodies and spaces are racialized in diverse environments.
- Johanna L. Plummer, M.E.T.
- Director of education and community engagement, VCU Institute for Contemporary Art
Plummer is responsible for the creation of innovative, interdisciplinary and sustainable programming along with building community partnerships and providing engaging learning opportunities for all ages.
- Meghan K. Abadoo, M.F.A.
- Visiting arts fellow, Department of Dance and Choreography, School of the Arts
Abadoo is a choreographer and cultural organizer who will expand upon a new, intergenerational dance theater work of womanist space-making, support local efforts to advance the progress of African American women and girls, and conduct research to restructure pedagogical practice within a racial equity framework.
- Onaje X. O. Woodbine, Ph.D.
- Visiting scholar, Department of African American Studies
Dr. Woodbine is an author and teacher of philosophy and religious studies. His research examines the lived religious experiences of African Americans in urban spaces, focusing on overlooked practices of transcendence and meaning-making that occur outside the bounds of traditional religious institutions.
- Paul Rucker
- Visiting arts fellow, VCU Institute for Contemporary Art
Rucker is a visual artist, composer and musician who will employ a research-based approach to discover untold stories about institutional and structural racism in Richmond. His work will include a new installation in the ICA's inaugural exhibition and a start-up project carried out in collaboration with VCU students and formerly incarcerated individuals.
- Shawn O. Utsey, Ph.D.
- Professor, Department of Psychology; interim chair, Department of African American Studies
Dr. Utsey is responsible for the coordination and alignment of project goals and aims. He brings expertise in the area of social and psychological phenomena related to the African American experience.
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