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MICA Unity Awards Honor Eddie and Sylvia Brown, Faculty Susan Waters-Eller, Student Deunte Ford

Artist Renee Cox Tells MICA Students to Stay True During Keynote Address, Class Visits

Posted 01.26.09 by Media Relations

Deunte Ford '11 accepts a Unity Award.

BALTIMORE--Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) ended its Unity Week celebration on Jan. 23 with a ceremony that featured the presentation of the first MICA Unity Awards and a keynote address by internationally recognized photographer and mixed media artist Renee Cox.

The awards recognize and affirm those who have made significant contributions in the areas of social justice, equity, humanity, peace, race relations, and /or human rights through art, teaching, community service, philanthropy, or other noteworthy contributions.

Baltimore philanthropists Eddie and Sylvia Brown were honored by MICA President Fred Lazarus for their commitment to diversity initiatives. The Browns, who in 1994 established the Brown Family Foundation at the Baltimore Community Foundation, gave the lead gift for the Brown Center.

"Thank you for establishing Unity Week," Sylvia Brown told the crowd of students, faculty, staff, and community members gathered in Falvey Hall, the auditorium inside Brown Center.

MICA's Unity Week was established in 2008 to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, the weeklong celebration went beyond honoring the man, and strove to honor his ideals through expanded programming that explored themes of social justice, equality, diversity, and cultural representation.

Unity Week, coordinated by the College's new Office of Diversity & Intercultural Development and co-sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations, featured a day of service, hunger banquet, exhibition and silent auction, keynote address by Renee Cox--one of the most controversial and thought-provoking African-American artists working today, and the awards ceremony, which also honored MICA faculty Susan Waters-Eller (faculty and staff award) and sophomore Deunte Ford (student award).

Waters-Eller, a Baltimore native and MICA alumna, teaches in the College's drawing and general fine arts departments and co-chairs its Cultural Expansion Committee, which reviews grants for works in diversity programming. Ford, an environmental design major, volunteers with Better Waverly Art Center (via Community Arts Partnership), Black Student Union, and the Office of Diversity & Intercultural Development.

This year's MICA Unity Awards were designed by Iandry Randriamandroso, who is pursuing his MA in Community Arts degree at MICA.

For more information, call 410-225-2300.


Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.