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Students of Color at RISD

ISE serves as a resource center for students of color providing advising, assistance with event planning and connections with community-based organizations. For more information or to find out what's coming up feel free to contact, Director Barbara Baker or drop in to say 'hi'.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Series at RISD


Each academic year, the RISD community and the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement work together to organize and host a series of special events honoring the life and vast contributions made by Martin Luther King, Jr. in creating a more just and democratic society. The annual series includes lectures, programs , nd workshops designed to provide RISD and the local community with meaningful moments of service, reflection, self-development, inspiration and celebration.




Roxanne Gay

2017–18 MLK Keynote + Honoree


Writing across a range of genres, Roxane Gay is an author and cultural critic whose reflective, no-holds-barred social criticism has brought her to the forefront of contemporary thought. Her collection of essays, Bad Feminist, is considered an essential exploration of modern feminism. National Public Radio named it one of the best books of the year and Salon declared the book “trailblazing.” Her debut novel, An Untamed State, was long-listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. In 2017, Gay released her highly anticipated memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, as well as a collection of short stories titled Difficult Women.

Lee Mun Wah


Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, educator, community therapist and master diversity trainer. He is the current Executive Director of Stirfry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on issues of cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful facilitation and conflict mediation techniques. Thousands of people from government and social service agencies, corporations, and educational institutions have taken Lee’s workshops and partnered with Stirfry on diversity initiatives. In 2011, Lee released the book Let’s Get Real—What People of Color Can’t Say & Whites Won’t Ask, and his 2014 documentary film If These Halls Could Talk investigates college students and their perspectives on race and racism.

To find out previous speakers, click here.

Black History Month

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.


To find out more, please click here.

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