MFA Diversity and Inclusion
Fostering Diverse Voices
The Committee on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity
2019 - 2020 Committee: Kate Bernheimer, Associate Professor, Chair; Susan Briante, Associate Professor; Manuel Muñoz, Associate Professor & Program Director
2018 - 2019 Committee
2017 - 2018 Committee
2016 - 2017 Committee
The Statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
On a cyclical basis, our program faculty produce a Statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity to reaffirm our commitment to these values. We consider this collaborative statement to be a living document that reflects our ongoing engagement with diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. It changes as we change and as institutional mandates transform. Please find our first two statements below.
An occasional MFA Program series called The Conversation was begun in 2016 and is a chance for us to share important ideas on diversity, inclusion, and equity with our passionate literary peers. Each segment takes up a different theme and is organized by an MFA student, or group of MFA students, in tandem with an MFA faculty member, who work as equals to moderate a horizontal program-wide dialogue on the theme. It is intended to inspire us in our professional work as committed artists, teachers, and community members. The Conversation is an investigation and celebration of our vital and evolving ideals as a creative writing program. It is an egalitarian conversation among ardent practitioners in a diverse field.
Below, you will find descriptions of some past installments of The Conversation.
The Conversation on Gender Bias: Candidate in Fiction Eshani Agrawal and Associate Professor of English Manuel Muñoz were our conversation guides. They asked us to read “Scent of a Woman’s Ink” by Francine Prose as a starting point.
The Conversation on Syllabus Diversity: Organized by Danielle Geller, MFA candidate in Nonfiction, and Julie Iromuanya, Assistant Professor of English, they asked us to read David Mura’s essay “Ferguson, Whiteness as Default, and the Teaching of Creative Writing” in advance of the event.
The Conversation on Reading Contextually: Miranda Trimmier (MFA candidate in Nonfiction), Raquel Gutiérrez (MFA candidate in Poetry and Nonfiction) and Associate Professor of English Susan Briante moderated a conversation about effective strategies we use--or could use--to foster productive classroom discussions about intercultural texts. Questions considered included: How do we talk about creative work that engages with potentially polarizing issues (like race)? And how do we teach our students to become more critical readers and writers?
Many Voices is an MFA organization that provides social and professional support to graduate students of color enrolled in the University of Arizona’s creative writing MFA program. Many Voices’ goals include: increasing professional development and networking opportunities for students of color; promoting community-building; advocating for a more diverse creative writing MFA program; disseminating information to UA writers of color pertaining to academic, financial, and social needs and supports, networking opportunities, literary events, and professional opportunities; serving as a liaison between faculty, staff, student organizations, and the community at large; increasing opportunities to study literary works by writers of color; and fostering the creative development of writers of color at the UA.