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DEI News, Events, and Updates

February 2024 Update:

The theme for Black History Month 2024 is "African Americans and the Arts." 

One of the world's leading authorities on the subject of African American art, Professor David C. Driskell was a highly regarded artist and scholar. 

David Clyde Driskell was born in 1931 in Eatonton, Georgia, the son of George Washington Driskell, a Baptist minister, and Mary Cloud Driskell, a homemaker. His grandfather, William Driskell, was born into slavery in 1862, and taught himself Methodist doctrine, becoming a minister. When David Driskell was five years old, he moved with his family to Appalachia in western North Carolina, where he attended segregated elementary and high schools.

Art was already embedded in his family life before he went to college, his father created paintings and drawings on religious themes, his mother made quilts and baskets, and his grandfather was a sculptor.

Driskell attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating with a bachelor's degree in art in 1955. He started off studying painting and history until meeting James A. Porter, an acclaimed African-American art historian who took him under his wing and encouraged him to study art history. He was influenced by James V. Herring, another of his professors at Howard, and Mary Beattie Brady, the director of the Harmon Foundation, an organization that collected work by African Americans. Driskell would continue to work closely with Brady throughout his early career.

In 1995, he was named distinguished university professor of art at the University of Maryland and taught until his retirement in 1998. In 2001, UMD established the David C. Driskell Center to honor Professor Driskell as an artist, art historian, collector, curator and scholar. The center honors Driskell by preserving the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture.

To learn more, visit the David C. Driskell Center: 

Additional Links:


University Of Maryland Black History Month Events:

Exhibition Opening Reception: David C. Driskell Center for the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora 
Friday, February 23, 2024 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm David C. Driskell Center.

Black History Month Exhibition
Presented By: Montpelier Arts Center,  From 10am -5:00pm, Thursday, February 29, 2024, 9652 Muirkirk Road Laurel, MD 20708 

January 2024 Update:

Division of Research Team,

Thank you again for responding to the 2022 Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Climate Survey. Your DEI Advisory Group would like to take an opportunity to let you know that "We Hear You!" and share some of the ways in which we responded to what we learned from you in 2022 and the successive discussions we had together in 2023:

1) You want more opportunities for DEI training.

2) You want to see greater diversity in the recruitment of Division of Research employees.

In response to your request for more DEI training, please look forward to the following opportunities available to you in 2024:

Let's Talk About It

The series will consists of guided conversations intended to promote open dialogue and provide a forum for division employees to give and share diverse perspectives on race, identity, culture, and heritage and how they impact their lives both professionally and personally. We will make sure that a safe space is created so employees will feel comfortable to not only share their stories but also listen to the perspectives of others. We will make sure that the space provided is respectful.

More information about this series will be shared soon. 



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