Celebrating RISD’s Personal Narratives


As part of RISD’s MLK 14 events, members of the community gathered on Tuesday evening to celebrate the third anniversary of the RISDiversity: Community Narratives Project, which focuses on the lives and personalities of a wide range of students, faculty and staff via portraits and handwritten commentary featured around campus and on the RISDiversity site.

At last night’s event, the photographer behind the project, Adam Mastoon, thanked Interim President Rosanne Somerson 76 ID and project organizers Candace Baer, Tony Johnson 93 SC and Jerri Drummond for their continued commitment to the project, which is aimed at “building community, one person at a time.”


The subjects of the colorful posters, including students Nafis White 15 SC and Garcia Sinclair 15 SC, were invited to share their experiences, and Professor Mike Fink, who was among the featured participants in 2011, spoke eloquently about the project.

“It’s brilliant that the participants had to write something with their hands,” he said. “RISD celebrates ‘the intelligent hand’ and Adam pulls our stories out of us. It’s almost like he has helped define RISD for us.” 

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