Diversity, equity, & inclusion

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design declares its commitment to support a vibrant and inclusive campus community. We view diversity, equity, and inclusion as our collective responsibility and encompassing all of our work.

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design declares its commitment to supporting a vibrant and inclusive campus community. We view diversity, equity, and inclusion as our collective responsibility and encompassing all of our work.

We are committed to building an inclusive culture. We strive to be an educational leader in diversity, equity, and inclusion both locally and nationally. As an institution of higher learning, we recognize the importance of our role, and we are deeply committed to educating our evolving campus community around the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. To achieve this, we affirm a collective responsibility to cultivate multiple viewpoints and experiences through the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and experiences that value all community members.

In a world where college campuses are confronting and combatting systemic racism, bias, discrimination, cultural appropriation, and colonization, it is vital that we reaffirm our commitment to integrity and equity for all members of our community. As a Lancaster collegiate community, we are also called to recognize incidents happening on college campuses throughout the world, and in our greater community that are antithetical to our values and beliefs.

We acknowledge this work is not easy. Conversations and learning about these topics can evoke a wide range of emotions and generate moments of friction. We believe in providing the opportunity to listen to one another and engage in civil discourse, particularly in times of political polarization. Like many higher education institutions, we recognize that there is still work to be done in this area.

institutional commitments

  • Launched the Presidential Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in January 2020 that will lead the College’s work to broaden the scope of our commitment. The Committee will highlight forthcoming initiatives that address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion and call on our community to achieve these aims.
  • Develop a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan, which will focus on: 1) recruitment (i.e., of diverse students and employees); 2) retention (i.e., of diverse students and employees); 3) campus climate; 4) education (e.g., training, professional development, and programming); and 5) visibility, accountability, and assessment of this work.
  • Put into place DEI-related processes, such as the development of a bias response protocol for reporting and addressing bias incidents.
  • Began Lunch and Listening sessions to share your concerns, questions, and ideas with representatives from campus leadership.
  • Assess campus climate via focus groups with campus stakeholders, continue to assess the climate for students through annual surveys, and conduct an institutional campus climate survey in the future.
  • Expand annual diversity and inclusion programming and training through Student Life.
  • Continue annual DEI training for staff and faculty and increase on-campus professional development opportunities throughout the year.
  • Create learning opportunities and practices that foster inclusive classroom and studio educational/critique experiences and consider diversity and equity within the learning of students.
  • Develop additional ways students, staff, faculty, and alumni can become involved in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

Becoming more involved

  • Be an Active Bystander—if you see or hear things that are discriminatory or offensive, challenge the person who is engaging in the behavior and begin a dialogue about PCA&D’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Be an Active Ally—actively listen to the experiences of those from marginalized communities, educate yourself, offer support, create safer spaces, lift barriers, and utilize your privilege, in partnership with those with marginalized identities, to enact informed and positive advocacy and change.
  • Attend Diversity and Inclusion Programming—Student Life and student organizations offer opportunities for education and engagement.
  • Share Your Ideas—Students can bring their diversity and inclusion programming ideas to Student Council and Student Life. Staff and faculty can bring their diversity and inclusion ideas to the Provost. We want you to be involved in the implementation of ideas.
  • Be Part of the Process—Become involved in the work of the Presidential Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Communication will be forthcoming from this committee.
  • Attend a Meeting—Become involved with the PCA&D Alliance.
  • Share Your Thoughts—Join representatives from campus leadership at Lunch and Listening sessions to share your concerns, questions, and ideas.
  • Celebrate with Us—Help us commemorate celebratory and educational days, weeks, and months, such as Black History Month, Trans Visibility Week, and World Autism Awareness Day.
  • Incorporate Diversity and Inclusion—Seek out ways to infuse diversity and inclusion topics in your coursework, artwork, and for faculty in your curriculum development.
  • Educate Yourself—Seek out opportunities to learn more by attending on-campus programs and educational events in the Lancaster community, reading about diversity and inclusion topics, and signing up for training opportunities.


Pennsylvania College of Art & Design values diversity, equity, and inclusion and affirms its commitment to a college community where all are treated with respect and dignity. PCA&D has an institutional commitment to equal opportunity and is committed to creating and fostering positive educational, working, and living environments where all community members can participate fully and equally and are free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or retaliation. Discrimination is antithetical to our core values. Each member of the PCA&D community—including faculty, staff, and students—is responsible to foster a culture of respect and uphold the College’s non-discrimination policy:

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design prohibits discrimination against and harassment on the basis of age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family or marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, disability, religion, veteran status, or any other protected class in any aspects of its employment process, admissions process, and programs and activities. Pennsylvania College of Art & Design prohibits unlawful discrimination and harassment in accordance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission Policies & Nondiscrimination Guidelines, City of Lancaster General Legislation Chapter 125/Ord. No. 10-2001, and all other applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Pennsylvania College of Art & Design takes seriously all complaints of discrimination and harassment. Any member of the PCA&D community has the right to raise concerns or make a complaint regarding discrimination and/or harassment without fear of retaliation. The College will take prompt and appropriate steps when it becomes aware that a member of the campus community has been subjected to or affected by discriminatory and/or harassing behavior based on a protected characteristic. The College will review the matter promptly, conduct an investigation if necessary, take appropriate actions to end a hostile environment if one has been created and to stop and prevent the recurrence of discrimination and harassment. Although the actions of and response by the College will vary based on the details of each case, disciplinary action will be taken against individuals who engage in discriminatory or harassing behavior based on all protected classes and characteristics.

PCA&D actively works to address and eliminate harassment, hate, and violence that negatively impact the ability of our community members to learn, work, or create. We will engage in this intentional work together to ensure our community remains an equitable place of learning and creativity. Students, staff, and faculty are asked to come forward and report concerning behaviors (i.e., which relate to discrimination and harassment), so they can be addressed in a timely and thoughtful manner. PCA&D community members may report concerning behaviors to any PCA&D staff or faculty member.

Reporting bias or discrimination

Inquiries regarding the application of the above policy and reports of discrimination and/or harassment should be directed to: the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@pcad.edu (students) or the Human Resources Director at hr@pcad.edu (employees).


Lancaster County was founded on land that is the traditional territory of the Susquehannocks, Lenape, Piquaws, Shawnese, Conestogas, Nantlcokes, Ganawese, Conoys, Mingoes, Minquays, and the Delawares and is now home to many diverse First Nations peoples. We publicly recognize that the land here is part of the original homeland of the Susquehannock Nation, an Iroquoian-speaking Native American tribe who lived throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania. We acknowledge the painful history of genocide and forced removal throughout our country, and we honor and respect all Indigenous peoples still connected to this land on which we gather.