Yael Bloom, a third year Fiber BFA and Masters in Art Education student at the Maryland Institute College of Art, is a student leader committed to social change from grassroots volunteerism to national political organizing. As a community-engaged student activist, Yael works to inspire her peers, weaving the threads of social justice in and out of the classroom, innovating new ways to engage and instill a life-long commitment for civic action in the next generation of artists and designers. For the past three years, Yael has volunteered as an art teacher at local nonprofit organizations while mentoring her fellow students on ethical community engagement in Baltimore City. Yael’s efforts as a student leader in MICA’s voter access initiative led to an unprecedented 95% student voter registration rate in the 2018 midterm elections, work that she is continuing in the 2020 election. As a member of the Student Governance Task Force and a leader of the MICA Organizers and Activists (MOA) student organization, she helps students realize the power of their own voices within their campus and across local and national platforms, helping them understand systems of governance and their potential to create social change.
As the daughter of a rabbi I was raised in a deeply community-minded family. This upbringing influenced my attraction to service work, activism, and bringing people together to create positive social change. On campus I became involved in our Community Art & Service program, partnering with non-profits and recreation centers to teach art classes for adults and middle school students in under-resourced neighborhoods. I then brought those connections into my student organization for civic action, introducing peers to local organizers with shared goals for community improvement, equity, and access. These relationships helped further my understanding of structures of power and influence, and continue to inform how I bring students together to strengthen our collective voice, and support our city in issues ranging from food insecurity to over-policing to voting access.