Diversity at RIT
These courses are designed to assist in building an awareness of different cultures and to address issues associated with working effectively in the unique RIT community. Students, faculty and staff from many cultures and backgrounds choose RIT, so updating and enhancing our diversity and leadership skills is vital to our innovative pace.
Bridges is a competency-based training program, designed to help impart knowledge, awareness, and skills regarding diversity, and that also enhance inclusive behavior for the faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and graduate assistants of the RIT community.
The program offers four certificates that are designed to enhance work-related skills at the university. The four certificates are:
At any point in life, people may find themselves being an “ally” to a particular person who represents a minority. Being an ally is not only a privilege, but a major responsibility, requiring empathy, knowledge, assertiveness, listening skills, and an ability to maintain crucial conversations. All of these skills vary according to people of different cultures, races, genders, orientations, international origin, etc.
At any point in life, people may find themselves being an “Ally” to a particular person who represents a minority. Being an Ally is not only a privilege, but a major responsibility, involving not only the willingness, but the skill to do. This program presents participants with an Ally competency model for their own personal skill development, to be used continually as they grow in their relationships and affinities. Bringing a lap top is helpful, but not required for participation.
This course was previously titled: Ally 101: A Competency Approach.
As practices of diversity and inclusion become absorbed in people’s behaviors, they begin to expand their thinking, and view the world differently. This often emerges into the realms of social justice, particularly when attempting to sustain diversity and inclusion efforts in an increasingly global manner. This program leads participants through various exercises and videos that help them apply diversity and inclusion through social and environmental issues, in a meaningful and practical way.
The February 24th session of this course has been postponed. New dates to be announced.
The Faculty and Staff Sign Language program (FSSL) offers ASL classes during fall and spring semesters, with special sessions during intercession and summer session.
The Faculty and Staff Sign Language (FSSL) program schedule is now posted. We hope this will facilitate the design of communication plans for everyone. If you are interested in registering for FSSL courses for the coming semester, please register now.
From Sydney, Australia to Rochester, New York, the phenomenon of bullying seems to be growing in viral proportions. This program explores a variety of case studies and videos, that demonstrate the disturbing nature of emotional, physical, or cyber bullying that is increasingly becoming the new focus of discrimination, and the nature of the by-stander. Through discussion, review of literature, and group resolution, the participants will identify potential preventative and intervention techniques that can be used should bullying arise.
This program is a structured simulation where the observed activities of groups and their participants serve as the common experience by which inclusive behavior is gleaned. The activity is based on the work of Napier and Greenfield (2002), and the organizational model is based upon the work of O’Bear and Wahl (2007). Group and personal behavioral feedback may be components that are used in the group debriefing.
- Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 9:30am to 12:00pm
This program is a high profile case study where participants examine and strategize resolutions to a (once) real-world, international dilemma which involved - a thought. This particular religious thought was captured in print by a world-renown author, who transcribed it into an international, best-selling novel. Upon distribution, the thought of this book tickled the minds of the audiences in the Western Hemisphere, while also infuriating some of the greatest leaders of the Middle-East, thus leading to circular and reciprocating world-wide cultural exchange of energy and hostility affecting the US commerce, domestic security, and its sense of order. A similar ‘thought,’ and similar consequences could happen again elsewhere in the world, but with a whole new different set of cultural nuances and changes. It is likely that these kinds of events can affect the world, and ultimately us! This program helps identify how our intercultural knowledge, our unconscious bias, and thoughts about future overt actions that we might take to constructively manage the entanglement of positive reciprocating relationships.
The RIT Framework for Inclusive Excellence is RIT’s hallmark document that explains the university’s role and obligations for advancing diversity and inclusion as a part of its mission. Embedded within the document are four dimensions which help to establish measurements by which the university will identify its progress: 1) Access and Success, 2) Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations, 3) Education and Scholarship, and 4) Institutional Infrastructure. Through presentation and structured activities, this program will help participants determine meaningful measurements, associated with the programs, services, and that are related to each initiative, which in turn will be increasingly important organizations’ growth.
In this program, participants learn about ways that they may experience or project micro-messaging, a subtle but unique form of communication that can send constructive or stereotypic messages to others (Young, 2007). Through the use of video and case studies, participants are acquainted with ways to:
- Identify and define micro-messaging, consciously or unconsciously
- Become sensitized to being the focus of a stereotype
- Recognize how others treat each other
- Help others engage in less hurtful behavior
- Identify ways to break stereotyping and micro-messaging,
- Model the expected behavior to their fellow colleagues
- Facilitate or mediate interactions and explore criteria for successful responses
- Identify ways to facilitate responses or respond to all of these challenges appropriately
This is a participative program that provides an overview to basic steps and approaches regarding mediation. Although not a certification, the training provides basic, logical communication steps that become obscured when conflict arises, and helps people to reach resolution with own ideas and consent.
Safe Zone offers the opportunity to build cultural competency with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) students, faculty and staff. During this session, the following topics are covered and questions are discussed:
- What is a Safe Zone?
- Definitions and appropriate language
- What is sexual orientation and gender identity? Are they different?
- What new and pending legislation in NYS and the US is important to LGBT people?
- How can I be an ally to LGBT and questioning people? How can I best be supportive?
For additional information concerning this topic, or to schedule a student session, please contact RIT's Q Center.
Learning about diversity and inclusion is of great value, which can be enhanced even greater as people consider ways to sustain it in their environments. The Social Change Model identifies ways in which people actually learn to identify different elements about social change as they act on the people within their individuals. Emphasis will be placed on identifying the components of the social change model: the 7 c’s.
Learning about diversity and inclusion is of great value, which can be enhanced even greater as people consider ways to sustain it in their environments. The Social Change Model identifies ways in which people actually learn to identify different elements about social change as they act on the people within their individuals. Emphasis will be placed on enacting the social change model in simulations and case studies.
Making teams work effectively is considered to be a key to productivity. Yet, with changing populations, it is often difficult to know how to utilize people’s differences as strengths, and how to determine its effectiveness. This program presents both: research regarding the impact of diversity on productivity; and then, through a practical exercise, it simulates the dynamics of working with different types of people. Participants debrief their experience as it’s related to the diversity of their group, and the impact on organizational output.
- Wednesday, December 3, 2014 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
This program is dedicated to understanding dwarfism, both educating and raising awareness among the general population. In a world where we become increasingly sensitized to the dynamics of changing populations in our student body and work force, it is always important to remember those groups who have always been different from the mainstream population. This program, like other programs in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, discusses way to desensitize the stereotypes, and revitalize the ways to incorporate these groups – like dwarfs – in our professional and personal lives.
The RIT Framework for Inclusive Excellence is RIT’s hallmark document that explains the university’s role and obligations for advancing diversity and inclusion as a part of its mission. Embedded within the document are four dimensions which help to establish measurements by which the university will identify its progress: 1) Access and Success, 2) Campus Climate and Intergroup Relations, 3) Education and Scholarship, and 4) Institutional Infrastructure. Through structured activities, this program will help participants understand and clarify the meanings and types of programs and services associated with each initiative, and the importance to their organizations’ growth at RIT.
- Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Diversity education can occur in or out a classroom. In this program, a case study, based on a real and recent event, will be reviewed regarding the essay contest sponsored as an academic writing competition. The manner in which it was created, administered and addressed comprised a series of controversial administrative events with diversity education implications for students. Participants will consider what it meant to walk in the students’ shoes, and to examine the type of educational experience being designed, the learning outcomes, delivery of instruction, and the unique aspects of the student population being served in efforts to construct a positive diversity educational experience.
- Wednesday, December 10, 2014 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Working Together: Deaf and Hearing Colleagues is an interactive, experiential workshop that fosters the sensitivity and skills for deaf, hard of hearing and hearing colleagues to work together successfully. This award-winning workshop is conducted by professionals from the NTID Center on Employment to increase deaf awareness and facilitate effective communication between deaf, hard of hearing and hearing employees of the RIT community.
Through hands-on activities, small group discussions and specially designed materials, the workshop presenters create a fun, comfortable, and engaging atmosphere where employees will:
- Learn about the kinds and degrees of hearing loss and experience hearing loss first hand through a unique exercise.
- Discover communication strategies both deaf and hearing people can use for effective communication one-on-one and in groups.
- Gain insight into the culture of people who are deaf.
- Receive information about resources, services, and equipment to assist both deaf and hearing colleagues.
If you are looking for additional resources on this topic, visti:
- Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 9:00am to 11:30am
This program simulates an experiential laboratory where, where through simulation, participants identify those factors that foster an inclusive environment (offices, laboratories, classrooms, work spaces, and student organizations) and the detrimental effects of exclusion. Through a review of the most recent organizational research regarding inclusion and diversity, participants are also exposed to the insights regarding the power of inclusion as it applies to universities and management, and their own environment, no matter what it may be.
The Human Resources Diversity web page has been designed to provide you easy access to many of the key areas responsible for diversity initiatives here on campus. From this page you will be able to link to other sites and make contact with others within RIT who are working together to achieve our diversity goals and objectives.
The Center for Professional Development is a partner in providing professional development with NTID's Professional Development group. Together we seek to meet the needs of faculty and staff throughout RIT and NTID.Program topics include Effective Teaching and Learning, Technology, Interpersonal Growth, Deaf Culture/Education, and Wellness. Learn more at NTID's Professional Development Program.
The NTID Self Instruction Lab (LBJ 3205) supports American Sign Language and spoken language skill development through individual practice. Our resources are useful for communication skills practice; auditory training for cochlear implant users; supplementing course materials; and preparing to take the Sign Communication Proficiency Interview. SIL resources can be an invaluable support to all RIT faculty, staff, and students who desire to improve expressive or receptive sign language skills or spoken language skills.
Provost Summer Intensive American Sign Language and
Deaf Culture Experience
June 16 to 27, 2014
This program is now closed to applications.
Provost’s Development of ASL Communication Skill at RIT
August 4-8, 2014
This program is now closed to applications.
Special Group Instruction (SGI)is offered through the Faculty/Staff Sign Language Education Program (FSSLEP) in the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Education (ASLIE) at NTID. This program provides customized ASL training to meet the needs of your specialized environment. Through learning, practice and activities, your group will experience the opportunity to apply your new skills to help you effectively communicate with all of your RIT customers.