Professor Adam Banks, Faculty Director
Adam Banks is a professor of education in Stanford’s Graduate School of Education as well as a professor and faculty director of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, an affiliate faculty member of the African and African American Studies Program, the Science, Technology and Society Studies Program and the Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Program, all in the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. He earned his PhD at Penn State University and has taught writing, rhetoric and digital media at Syracuse University, and the University of Kentucky as well as serving as the 2010 Langston Hughes Visiting Professor at the University of Kansas. Banks is the author Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age and of the award-winning Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground. His most recent book is a collaboration with Keith Gilyard: On African American Rhetoric was released in 2018.
A-lan Holt, Director
A-lan Holt is Director at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. There she trains undergraduates in the areas of diversity and culture; arts leadership and social justice. She is a mother and practicing artist whose work includes theater, poetry and film. She is a 2018 Sundance Fellow, a 2018 SF Film Screenwriting Fellow, and a frequent contributor on-air at KQED Arts. In 2016 A-lan's artist book Moonwork was published by Candor Arts Chicago and was shortlisted for the Cornish Family Prize at the Melbourne Art Book Fair. Since its release, Moonwork resides in several private and public institutions around the country. A-lan has over ten years of experience considering questions of identity, diversity, culture and aesthetics and holds a degree with honors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University.
Gina Hernandez-Clarke, Director of Community Engaged Learning, Arts
Gina is the Director of Community Engaged Learning (DCEL) in the Arts. She develops arts programs for undergraduates and supports faculty and departments in expanding arts courses at Stanford. Gina received an MFA from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and a BA in history at Stanford. She is also a graduate of the Smithsonian Institution Latino Center’s Museum Studies Program. She currently teaches courses in Latino visual and public art in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity at Stanford. Gina has served in the position of academic program staff at Stanford University since 2001. As executive director of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA) from 2001 to 2011, she developed and implemented over 20 visiting artist residency projects with artists of color. IDA is an interdisciplinary program in the humanities that involves students in the study of culture, identity and diversity through artistic expression. During her time at IDA, she launched the Community Arts Fellowship in collaboration with the Haas Center. In 2011 she joined the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) in the position of Director of Arts in Undergraduate Education, which she held until transitioning to the DCEL role. In this new role within VPUE, Hernandez is a primary resource for students and faculty interested in engaging community with the arts in their courses and studies across all disciplines. Prior to her posts at Stanford, Gina has worked in arts development for the Arts Council of Santa Clara County, City of Long Beach, and other nonprofit organizations. She has also worked as a freelance creative producer for independent film, video, and live performance projects.
Amara Tabor-Smith, Artist-in-Residence
Amara Tabor Smith is the Artist in Residence at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts and Artistic Director of the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford. Amara is an Oakland based choreographer/performance maker who describes her work as Afro Futurist Conjure Art. Her dance making practice utilizes Yoruba spiritual ritual to address issues of social and environmental justice, race, gender identity and belonging. A San Francisco native and Oakland resident, she is the artistic director of Deep Waters Dance Theater (DWDT) and was the co-artistic director of Headmistress, an ongoing performing collaboration with movement artist Sherwood Chen.
Grace Toléqué, Program Officer - Academic Programs
Grace Toléqué is the Program officer at the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University. She is an artist and an entrepreneur. As an established jewelry designer, Grace has over 20 years of experience in design, creating one-of-a kind pieces for a private clientele as well as for her storefront. Her design philosophy aims to incorporate values of African body ornamentation as a means to communicate information between the world of the seen and the unseen. Her jewelry is meant to be both conduits of beauty and healing. Grace has also worked in the non-profit sector feminist space in the areas of capacity and movement building for gender justice and women’s rights. She is currently co-writing “Accra Chic: A Locational History of Fashion in Accra” with Ato Quayson for Intellect Books and Chicago University Press. “Accra Chic” is part of their Urban book series which covers Vienna, Berlin, Los Angeles and Montreal. She has a degree in Politics and Economics from Catholic University of America and is currently working on an MFA in Fashion Design.
Tyler "EagleBabel" Brooks, Student Engagement Associate
Tyler ‘EagleBabel’ Brooks works between both IDA and the Office of the Vice President for the Arts (VPA) as Student Engagement Associate. Tyler is also an artist, an artist’s artist, a nappy head of many musical hats (i.e. producer, pianist, recording artist, sound engineer, DJ), and an aspiring journalist and screenplay writer. After seven years in and out of school to pursue his music, EAGLEBABEL graduated in 2017 from Stanford’s program in Comparative Studies in Race & Ethnicity (CSRE), with a concentration in Identity, Diversity, & Aesthetics (IDA). His CSRE-IDA capstone, an essay and 4-song EP called “Whea Yo Ghost At”, explored the lost and misrepresented histories of Chicago’s black community; more specifically, WYGA explored “spectacle and specter” in Chicago footwork as a powerful model for cultural organization, narrative restoration, and existential and spiritual ritual. Tyler is passionate about students, artist budgets, the Final Fantasy X soundtrack, polycultures, multiverses, human hauntings, and human beings.