PSU Graphic Design Program Statement on Social Justice


The Graphic Design Program stands against racism and police brutality. As protests continue around the country, we want to affirm that Black Lives Matter. We recognize the long history of racial injustice in the United States, and find it intolerable. Oregon, as a state has also had its own uniquely disturbing history when it comes to racial injustice, which again, we find intolerable. We openly condemn these practices of discrimination, harassment and violence. We are deeply committed to fostering a community that actively seeks to question and dismantle the practices that have held us at such an unconscionable status quo for too long.

But we will not stop there. Race, sex, gender, dis/ability, class, intersectionality, all need to be addressed in design and design education. Marginalized communities need a voice, and as educators, we have several responsibilities to our community to address systemic oppression.

To our students, fellow educators and professional peers, we will:

To our campus, Provost, President and Board of Trustees, we will:

There is still so much work to be done. We acknowledge our own privilege and power and pledge to use our knowledge and positions of power in the service of matters of equity and justice. We recognize it is on us to make this school a safe place to learn and thrive. We also see the need for coordinated long-term efforts. We hope you will join us in rethinking and reforming both our community and the broader design discipline. We also recognize that the current COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting people of color and indigenous communities, magnifying already existing disparities. During this time, we are here for all of our students, and will work to be as accommodating as possible with regards to both COVID-19 and its impact on our BIPOC community. We invite you to reach out to us if you have questions, concerns, need support, or simply want to talk about what is going on now, or in the future.

This letter is endorsed and signed by the faculty of the Portland State Graphic Design Program, with special thanks to our students for pushing us to craft a public statement.

Kate Bingaman-Burt, Professor
Cielle Charron, Instructor
Thom Hines, Associate Professor
Meredith James, Associate Professor
Stephen Lee, Assistant Professor
Briar Levit, Associate Professor
Sean Schumacher, Assistant Professor