Gradients was a Black led community organization created by Sara Carter and Anika Kowalik. Originally established as a student resource group for BIPOC students at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Gradients was committed to providing safe space and resources to the MIAD student body, facilitating exhibitions, panel discussions, and community sessions to elevate the voices of underrepresented students. Throughout its time Gradients welcomed an evolving roster of Milwaukee based artists and creatives to serve as community leaders for the MIAD student body, and as Gradients soon grew beyond the realm of the academic institution they sought to provide programming and resources to the greater Milwaukee community.
Genesis partnered with Gradients in 2018, facilitating a three day activation titled Em-body. Em-body consisted of a gallery exhibition, Drag performances and a wearables exhibition, showcasing the work of emerging artists and designers in Milwaukee. This partnership did not end with Em-body, and Genesis partnered with Gradients to host a series workshops educating the community on allyship and the importance of direct action. Most notably we hosted a workshop in partnership with Milwaukee Femme Fest at the Milwaukee Art Museum, which consisted of a lecture, followed by break out sessions that touched on topics of colorism, racism, direct action, and accountability.