University participates in annual Stand Against Racism rally April 25

New constituents groups represented for RIT’s Cross-Walk: Embracing Intersectionality event

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A. Sue Weisler

RIT students, faculty and staff participate annually in the Stand Against Racism, a national initiative established by the YWCA. This year’s event, “Cross-Walk: Embracing Intersectionality” begins at 11 a.m. April 25 at the Sundial, on RIT’s residential side of campus, and concludes with a presentation at the Atrium in the College of Science.

RIT will take part in the annual Stand Against Racism rally and discussions on Friday, April 25. The university will be among many individuals and organizations across the country joining forces with the YWCA for this national initiative to stamp out racism in communities.

More than 100 RIT students, faculty and staff have participated in each of the previous years’ events. This year, participants will gather at 11 a.m. at the Sundial, on RIT’s residential side of campus, and walk together to the Atrium, located on the lower level of RIT’s College of Science, for a rally and presentation titled “Cross-Walk: Embracing Intersectionality.”

Each year, more local and campus organizations become involved, including RIT, the student organization OUTspoken, which will co-sponsor the event with RIT’s Center for Campus Life, the Division for Diversity and Inclusion, and the AALANA Collegiate Association.

“As major student organizations that represent some of the most marginalized students, the collaboration between ACA and OUTspoken is a great opportunity for education across these communities and to call attention to the similarities between the student experience being part of one or more of these communities,” said Jill “Jay” Strobeck, student-president of OUTspoken. “On a personal level, this collaboration means a lot to me as a queer Native American person. Through all of my years of work within the queer community at RIT, this is one collaboration I would have never dreamed of because of the homophobia and transphobia that exists. The fact that Cross-Walk is happening with so much support from students, staff and administration makes me so proud to be an RIT Tiger.”

Lydia Moore, student-president of ACA agreed: “This is just the first step. I want to see an RIT where major student organizations will represent everyone in their constituency. This Cross-Walk is an opportunity for everyone to be involved without needing to label themselves. It is most important to me that people are realizing that we are more than just our labels; that I am more than just AALANA. Although I am a part of this organization, it doesn’t mean that it is all I should support. We live our lives in a bubble of labels and we forget that we, the human race, are so complicated and diverse. If do not embrace and celebrate our ‘intersectionality,’ we are ignoring what makes us awesome.”

Participants can learn about other events for RIT’s Stand Against Racism initiative online, including the special presentation, “Race, Privilege and Poverty,” by author-activist Tim Wise at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 30, in Ingle Auditorium in RIT’s Student Alumni Union.