IDSVA student Rikiesha Metzger is awarded a 2020 SECAC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award

The award was given to Metzger for her presentation, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Life, Love, and Racism in America." Metzger presented the work alongside her husband at the 2020 SECAC Conference on the panel All in the Family: On Raising Kids Together as Artists in Academia.

Rikiesha Metzger. Photo credit: Zion Metzger, 6

As a 2020 SECAC EDI award recipient, my dedication to inspire the next generation of “underrepresented individuals in higher education and arts institutions,” will not go unnoticed. SECAC’s dedication to ensuring an equitable, diverse, and inclusive environment intersects substantially with my personal practice of using the arts to create positive change within. My participation in the 2020 SECAC Conference with my presentation, "Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Life, Love, and Racism in America," furthers SECAC goals to recognize the exceptional work of those who are historically underrepresented. As a socially engaged artist, my research interests revolve around the transformative power of art and its ability to create new experiences, rebirth, and reignite the spirit of underserved communities.

Having studied at two historically Black colleges and universities and one private, traditionally white institution, my unique educational background and experience have provided me with a strong foundation built on compassion and acceptance. My commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education stems from my present and past experiences as a Black female student. Experiences of microaggressions and discrimination are commonplace for Black students in majority white institutions. The lack of inclusivity within these spaces is a source of inequity and a driving force in my quest to find solutions that will bridge gaps between communities.The 2020 SECAC EDI award makes room for me to continue incorporating social justice practices in my curriculum by exposing my colleagues and students to diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments. -Rikiesha Metzger, Cohort ’19