Joseph Soto, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Joseph SotoJoseph Soto ’16, a Graphic Design student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, is a leader committed to issues of social justice and community through his work in various capacities across the college and beyond. As a peer mentor, a peer group facilitator in discussions of social justice and intercultural communication, and through his graphic design and teaching, Joe has engaged with many communities. Joe’s graphic design work began in high school as a participant in an after school graphic design club for social justice. Throughout his college career he has participated in collaborative endeavors including working with other students to create the “Real Talk: Race on Campus” project, and has taught in the Pixel Graphic Design After School Club at Boston Latin High School, his alma mater. Joe is currently an active peer mentor for first generation college students through MassArt’s Academic Compass Program, and has been a peer facilitator on issues of race and social justice through Student Development’s MassArt LEADS program, and the Center for Art and Community Partnerships. Joe truly embodies the notion – and reality – that strong community partnerships are built upon reciprocal relationships. He has consistently taken what he has learned and directly shared back with the communities that he himself has learned from, continually dedicating his artistic and leadership skills where they will have the most social impact. As a graphic designer, educator, activist, mentor, and learner, Joe continues to develop as an outstanding leader in the MassArt community and beyond.
-Kurt Steinberg, Acting President

My interest in social inequality and different approaches to solving it began late in high school, with the course Facing History and Ourselves. The MassArt community gives me the opportunity to continue learning about the struggles that come with inequality while helping to educate others using design to identify and illustrate more specific problems to be addressed. I believe that education is the beginning of any route to problem solving, and by interacting further with my fellow students as well as staff and administration I contribute to what I feel should only be the beginning of the conversation to address the issues of privilege and social unawareness that cause inequality. 
-Joseph Soto