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Partnerships in Pluralism

During the past ten years, Rochester Institute of Technology has sponsored Partnerships in Pluralism, a unique collaborative program that builds campus relationships and develops an understanding of diversity.

The goal of Partnerships in Pluralism is to help facilitate a more interconnected and welcoming environment at RIT by utilizing dialogue to encourage interpersonal relationships between faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. 

The Partnerships in Pluralism initiative has provided an opportunity to build trust and credibility among our community members through genuine dialogue.

The dialogue model is rooted in the One America initiative created by U.S. President Bill Clinton (1998). 

  • The model, adopted by RIT’s Commission for Promoting Pluralism in 2004, was initially as a featured program in RIT’s Campus Week of Dialogue.
  • The dialogue has been instrumental in heightening the awareness and understanding of diversity at RIT.

Specifically, its’ simple methodology is to:

Create diverse pairs of colleagues within the community, who

  • might not otherwise be able to easily connect, and
  • experience structured opportunities to become familiar with each other’s cultural background.

The resulting effect?

The creation of an increasingly interwoven network of diverse partners across campus, whose interactions help to make our campus “smaller” by:

  • enhancing community spirit,
  • unifying our campus, and
  • increasing our efficiency and effectiveness when serving students.

Recruitment for Partnerships in Pluralism occurs annually in September through an open invitation to the campus via Dr. William Destler, RIT’s President.  RIT community members are welcome to sign-up for their first or their continued participation in this program.


Mike D’Arcangelo

Mike D’Arcangelo
Director of Diversity Education
Eastman Hall 1129

What are some of the evaluative comments that participants say about Partnership in Pluralism?

“Partnership in pluralism was a great way to meet people whom I would not have met and not have had the opportunity to discuss our similarities.”

“I really enjoyed the connection I made with my partner. By being very open and honest with one another, we found common ground and were able to relate to one another in ways we had not expected we would. It was a very enriching experience”

“I had the opportunity to examine my own cultural beliefs system as well as enhance them.”

“Encourages me to get out of my "bubble" in my office and talk to people who I might not otherwise meet.”

“It gave me perspective that I would not have had if I did not participate in this initiative. It was a rich experience.”

“It is refreshing to meet people across campus that you normally wouldn't interact with. Cluster meetings always feel like a kind of fun "family-bonding" experience. I'm looking forward to continuing to be a part of it!”