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IDA Bids Farewell To Executive Director Jeff Chang

Jun 5 2018

IDA Bids Farewell To Executive Director Jeff Chang

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Robin Wander (University Communications)

June 5, 2018 (Stanford, CA) — The Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University (IDA) announced today that Jeff Chang will be stepping down as Executive Director to become the first Vice President of Narrative, Arts, and Culture at Race Forward. Based in New York and Oakland, Race Forward's mission is to build awareness, solutions and leadership for racial justice by generating transformative ideas, information and experiences.

This news will be made public on Tuesday, June 5 at 6 a.m. (PST).

During Chang’s tenure, IDA became nationally recognized for its innovative programming around arts, culture, and racial justice. Founded in 2001 by now Vice President for the Arts Harry J. Elam Jr., IDA is one of the nation's most recognized centers exploring equity in the arts, and is Stanford’s premier undergraduate training program for developing arts leaders of the future.

“It is bittersweet to leave a community where we have built a student-led creative ecosystem unlike any other in the country. But I’m proud that we are stronger, more vibrant, and more engaged than we have ever been,” said Chang, who has led IDA for the past seven years. "IDA will continue to serve as a powerful beacon for colleges and universities transforming themselves to serve the students of this century."

Reaching over 400 students per week through classes, events, artists residencies, research projects and student fellowships, engagement at IDA under Chang has been one of the major success stories for the arts at Stanford. Chang built the organization into a strong force on campus and in the greater community for arts and social justice. He helped create a home for diverse artists with programs attracting many of the biggest cultural leaders of our time, including Ali Wong, Tarana Burke, Rick Lowe, Linda Sarsour, Patrisse Cullors, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Jose Antonio Vargas, Vijay Iyer, and Solange Knowles. He also re-established IDA’s nationally recognized Fellows Program as the premier undergraduate program training arts leaders of the 21st Century.

IDA has been home to influential artists-in-residence like Cherrie Moraga, Amara Tabor-Smith, Aleta Hayes, and Ruben Martinez, and visiting artists like Joan Morgan, dream hampton, Favianna Rodriguez, Emile YX, and Mark Gonzales.

In 2014, Chang won the St. Clair Drake Teaching Award at Stanford presented to faculty demonstrating excellence in the classroom. Under his leadership IDA’s thematic concentration, housed with the Program in African and African American Studies and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, graduated a record number of students pursuing study in identity, diversity and aesthetics.

Recruited by then IDA Faculty Director Professor  H. Samy Alim in 2011, Chang joined IDA after co-founding ColorLines and CultureStrike. Chang is a critically acclaimed, award-winning journalist and author. He launched two research projects with IDA, and taught at least two courses each year, including the popular "Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Arts." He published two award-winning books while at IDA: Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America (2014) and We Gon’ Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation (2016).

Chang will remain in his role at IDA through July 13. A faculty committee for IDA will be convened in anticipation of a national search for Chang’s successor.


The Institute for Diversity in the Arts  (IDA) is a hub for Stanford’s most creatively engaged artists and activists. Housed within the Office of the Vice President of the Arts, IDA involves students and communities in the study of culture, identity, and diversity in and through artistic expression. At IDA students from across majors and disciplines discover and develop connections between their academic pursuits, their creative visions, and their experiences in community. IDA is the only program in the country that trains undergraduates in arts leadership, through stewarding the power of the arts toward social change.