Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The School of the Arts (SOTA) is committed to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) within the school. Along with colleagues across the university, we continue to engage in meaningful dialogue and are determined to learn and do more. 

As an educational institution and cultural organization, we believe that the different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences our students, faculty and staff bring to the learning community make us better.

Students, faculty, alumni, artists and arts administrators use their creative talents to express emotions and share important messaging while also helping audiences examine subjects from different perspectives. The arts is a powerful tool for educating, empowering, healing and unifying audiences. Artists and arts administrators have a unique platform to consciously advance historically disparaged communities. 

Report Discrimination or Harrassment

The SOTA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee is a forum of representatives from the Dean’s Office and each SOTA department and program to observe, listen and learn from its constituents and to improve the school’s support of DEI in relation to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, culture and religion.

Recent action items include faculty, staff and student surveys that help assess the school’s climate as it relates to issues of race/ethnicity and a separate one for gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation DUE APRIL 10, 2023 – check your email for survey link. (Future surveys will focus on other identity traits.) Survey results help continue conversations about DEI in SOTA and launch plans and solutions to address issues. Initial survey results have guided the following actions:

2022-23 Committee members:
Kristin Alexander, Committee Chair, Dance
Selynne Ancheta, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art
Katie Chea, SOTA student
Nakeisha Daniel, Theatre
Edward Hart, Dean's Office
Susan Klein, Studio Art
Nandini McCauley, Dean's Office
Barry Stiefel, Historic Preservation & Community Planning
Mary Trent, Art & Architectural History
Yiorgos Vassilandonakis, Music
Hsin-Ching Wu, Arts Management


List of 2022-23 season events

Sample of recent SOTA DEI events:



DiversityEDU is a research based diversity learning module for faculty, staff and students.

Calendar of cultural observances & holidays

Center for Faculty Development & Diversity

CofC Strategic Plan (Core Values): DEI – We create and nurture a diverse and inclusive community demonstrated through our thoughts, words and actions. We value and respect the unique perspectives, backgrounds and experiences every individual has to offer.


”If These Walls Could Talk,” is a documentary about the contribution enslaved Africans made to the architectural beauty of the College of Charleston. It features the research and expertise of SOTA’s own faculty from the Dept. of Art and Architectural History, among other campus scholars, while highlighting ongoing efforts to create a more diverse and inclusive campus community.

Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston (CSSC)Through scholarly research and public programming, CSSC examines the impact of slavery and race-related issues in the City of Charleston, including the surrounding region, and at the College of Charleston from the late 18th century through the civil rights era and the continued impact and legacy of slavery in the present.

Discovering Our Past: College of Charleston Histories

Land Acknowledgement: We acknowledge that we are located on the traditional lands of the first people of Charleston: The Etiwan, Kiawah, Edisto Natchez Kusso, Santee, and Wassamassaw people (also known as Varner Town Indians). We acknowledge and honor all the indigenous people who lived, labored and were faithful stewards of the land. We express our deep gratitude for the land and continued faithful stewardship to the next seven generations. 

We also acknowledge the lives and labor of the Africans who were enslaved to build Charleston, South Carolina. On this campus and in our spaces, African and African-descended people used skilled labor in ornamental ironwork, historic architecture, and low country agriculture and food production. On behalf of the College of Charleston, we acknowledge the Black lives and labor that built our city and our campus.

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Term Key

Diversity - Outcome measured by degree of variety within an environment (demographics of age, gender, sex, ethnicity)

Inclusion - Measure of participant engagement, accounting all perspectives equally, and creating a sense of welcome, belonging, being valued, and relied upon.

Equity - Acknowledgement and accounting for imbalance of influence or power, and practice of actions to correct the imbalance.