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MICA President Releases Memo, Apologizes for Racist History

Samuel Hoi, president of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) has recently released a campuswide memo on behalf of the college’s leadership to acknowledge and apologize for a racial segregation admissions policy that existed from 1895 to 1954.

Blackives: A Celebration of Black History at MICA exhibitionBlackives: A Celebration of Black History at MICA exhibition

Throughout that period, the institute would only accept “reputable White pupils.”

The memo was released in the form of a student exhibition, “Blackives: A Celebration of Black History at MICA,” created by photography senior Deyane Moses.

Part of Moses’ senior thesis project, Blackives juxtaposes historical records that honors promising Black artists who attempted to study at MICA but were turned away, with portrait photos of current students and oral histories that share the Black student experience through today, according to a MICA release.

Hoi’s memo recognizes “the hardships to those who were admitted but not supported for their success.” When discussing the college’s institutional plan for change, Hoi cited MICA’s multi-faceted plan that came from the 2015-17 pan-College Presidential Task Force on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Globalization.

“We are working to ensure that our campus now and into the future welcomes, respects and supports equally students, faculty, staff and public members of all backgrounds,” Hoi said in the memo.

The Blackives exhibition has been extended beyond its original closing date of Feb. 22 and will be reinstalled in the Main Building and be publicly displayed from Monday, Feb. 25 through Thursday, March 28.

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