UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS: School of Art Professor Joins VCU Discussion on Diversity and Inclusion

Alphonso W. Grant
Alphonso W. Grant | University of Arkansas

University of Arkansas issued the following announcement on Feb. 5.

Have you ever thought about how art education affects diversity and inclusion? For Alphonso W. Grant, who studies the way these topics intersect, the subjects are natural partners.

In fact, the visiting assistant professor of the School of Art in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciencesrecently accepted an invitiation to speak on these topics at Virginia Commonwealth University.

VCU hosted a panel discussion on Feb. 2 called "Clearing Road Blocks: Critical Conversations about Diversifying the Field of Art Education." Experts, including Grant, provided critical tools and language to local art educators, aspiring art educators and local high school students.

The panel discussed how the art classroom can help reduce harm for students and faculty of color, and increase inclusivity and acceptance of differences across all levels of education.

"I advocate for diversity and inclusion as an ethical action that pursues self-reflection and self-acceptance for the professor, student and society," Grant said. "Diversity and inclusion is not simply a humanistic initiative; rather, it is a therapeutic creative process that reminisces and restores as it reintegrates knowledge from the professor, student and the happenings within society."

Grant is a W.E.B. Du Bois scholar and visiting professor at School of Art for art education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in history from Henderson State University's Honors College, a Master of Science in art education with a minor in African American and diaspora studies from Pennsylvania State University.

Grant completed his time at Penn State by attaining the first-ever dual-titled Doctor of Philosophy in art education and African American and diaspora studies.

On the U of A campus, students can find Grant teaching art education, and in the African and African American Studies and Gender Studies programs. His research has shown implications in diversity and inclusion for pre-service teacher development in art education, as well as instructional interactions with undergraduate and graduate students in art education, African American studies, political science and gender studies.

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