November 4, 2020
Dear MICA Students, Staff, and Faculty,
This U.S. Presidential Election is unlike any other. Due to record participation via mail-in ballots, it is taking longer than usual to declare a clear winner. In addition, the extreme polarization that surrounds the election means that, no matter who wins, there is the possibility of civil unrest. As we wait for the outcome with understandably high anxiety, I write in the hopes of assisting our campus community in framing the uncertainty of the moment and staying grounded and connected to one another, regardless of our personal beliefs or political positions.
First, please find a way to practice self-care for both your physical and mental health. To say that 2020 has been a tough year is an understatement. We have all experienced the profound impact of the pandemic and the social inequities it exposes, a reckoning with systemic racism and police brutality, and a foundational disruption of our daily lives. The election and its aftermath represent another challenge to our resilience and well-being. A list of available counseling and wellness services is shared at the end of this memo.
This election has deeply divided our country, forcing a binary view onto a world that is filled with diversity and complexity. I urge everyone to resist this divisive force and not lose sight of the common connections we all have as humans. Curious, compassionate, and safe dialogues with others who do not share our views can lead to honest discussions of values, understanding, and de-escalation of hurtful acts and expressions.
In an environment where many are intensely emotional about the election outcome, beware of misinformation and disinformation. It takes vigilance to stay reliably informed. Please check out MICA’s Election-Time Care page for helpful election-time programming and resources.
MICA’s Mission is framed within the context of a "diverse and changing world." This means diversity in all its forms—including diversity of thought and political viewpoint. In the wake of the election, I ask MICA community members to stay true to this ideal and treat each other with empathy, civility, and respect.
Regardless of who becomes the next U.S. President, our activism, social engagement, and commitment to positive change remain as critical and necessary as ever. I believe that artists, designers, and educators are transformers of society, uniquely capable of alchemizing the full range of human conditions and emotions for transcendence and positive change. This belief is at the core of our Mission and Vision. In times like these, they remind us of the "just, sustainable, and joyful world" that we want and of the power within all of us to "make the world we imagine."
Excerpt from MICA’s Election-Time Care website
Prioritize health & wellness
Many campus community members may need access to mental health and wellness resources during this time. There will be intentional spaces and opportunities for healing (see programming calendar on the Election-Time Care website). For additional support, see resources below.
- If you know of a student or are a student who is struggling, Louise Cracknell, the Student Development Specialist, is a resource to discuss concerns and explore options for support.
- The Student Counseling Center offers a daily open hour, 11/2-11/6, 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
- Yoga Nidra (wakeful sleep) convenes on Wednesdays 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. (recurring, weekly). Zoom ID: https://mica-edu.zoom.us/j/96889421028
- The MICA Fitness Center has ongoing classes are that are available for free to faculty and students.
- 7Cups offers online therapy and free counseling.
- The American Counseling Association Post-Election Resources (2016) site shares a compilation of resources to help with navigating a post-election world.
Office of the President
Maryland Institute College of Art
1300 West Mt. Royal Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21217