Together RIT: A Day of Dialogue

RIT launched a new tradition fall of 2022, gathering the community to engage in intentional and honest dialogue about race, ethnicity, and racism. It offered students, faculty, staff, and alumni the opportunity to share their work, passions, ideas, critiques, initiatives, performances, and artistic projects with the RIT community through sessions held in-person.

Day of Schedule

Click below to access a full schedule of the day with sessions and locations. 

View Schedule Here

Call for Proposals

We are pleased to accept proposals for Together RIT: A Day of Dialogue which will be held on October 20, 2023 from 10am-4pm. This event is only for the RIT Community. In its second year, we will focus on gender and sexuality. 

In this current social and political environment, which many view as a new chapter in the long struggle of gender and sexuality rights and inclusion, there is an urgent need for intentional education, and difficult but solution-oriented conversations. We need to explore the enduring legacy of the glass ceiling, body policing, gender affirmation, entitled chauvinism, heteronormativity, structural misogyny/misogynoir/cis-sexism, and the negative side that patriarchy can have on all genders including cis-men. 

Together RIT creates a space to ask questions, empathize, build solidarity, and give recognition to the following current and future social issues: coexistence of multiple genders, the role of violence in men’s lives, trans access in athletics, gender bias in the classroom and policies that curb some marginalized sexualities' ability to love who they want. 

Together RIT is also a time to highlight the positive contributions, joy and pride that all genders experience or can offer to our campus. Having a diverse gender student body or workforce helps us better serve students, colleagues, interact with our global campuses and the Greater Rochester community. Each gender group brings a unique perspective and approach to tasks that drive creativity, innovation and productivity. 

The event will provide RIT faculty, staff, students, and alums with the opportunity to share their work, passions, ideas, informed critiques, initiatives, performances, and artistic projects. Together RIT is a brave and accountable space, so different perspectives are welcomed. That said, we do not encourage submissions that are rooted in hate or dehumanizing someone’s existence. 

RIT has made important efforts to address some of these enduring legacies involving gender and sexuality. But there is still much work to be done to hold ourselves, the university, and its many communities accountable to its professed ideals. We can all do better. We must do better!

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, we welcome submissions that fall under one of the three main conference themes and which aim to:

  • define gender, sex, and sexuality 
  • examine how gender roles influence culture, individual attitudes and behavior
  • celebrate the contributions of women and/or members of the LGBTQIA+ community
  • define what it means to be a man and/or what is considered masculine behavior
  • understand how unhealthy practices of masculinity hurts people of every gender
  • address political, structural, and social barriers and challenges to encourage critical reflection
  • share and/or perform stories, in any media, that disrupt and challenge worldviews
  • articulate examples of inclusive and intersectional feminism
  • illuminate forgotten or silenced histories and their present-day manifestations
  • highlight the psychological/emotional/bodily effects of racialized gender
  • examine patterns of discrimination and gender/sexuality-based trauma, and/or access and achievement
  • explore issues related to teaching, learning, safety, and campus labor
  • scrutinize problematic models of structural change and gender/sexuality-based initiatives
  • examine how internalized sexism negatively impacts women, gay men or transgender people
  • explain the impact war has on different genders
  • share international understandings and practices of gender and sexuality
  • articulate the challenges of learning gender and sexuality norms and roles in a new country or environment
  • discuss the impact of masculinity in politics
  • examine the impact of gender in the workplace
  • explain the importance of safe LGBTQIA+ spaces or gender affinity groups
  • explore the importance of pronouns
  • demonstrate practical pathways for building empathy, and compassion across gender and sexuality diversity (in all their intersections)
  • present ways to expand the definitions and roles of gender while honoring individual’s choice in how they want to identify or express themselves
  • confront the recent weaponizing (us vs. them) efforts to erase histories of sexism, homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism and cissexism in K-12, university or workplace settings
  • model gender and sexuality inclusive training in public schools and college campuses
  • examining use of sexist, homophobic, misogynistic and toxic masculinity in music
  • facilitate conversations regarding allyship, social responsibility, collective action, and accountability, and/or confront complicity, performative allyship, and denialism
  • demonstrate ways one’s practice of religion can coexist or be inclusive of different representations of gender and sexual orientation
  • explain how to dismantle white supremacy patriarchy and the structures, norms, and logics that support these dynamics of power
  • articulate what men’s support of women looks like within the classroom, student organizations, co-ops or the workplace
  • offer concrete strategies to create space for difference, empowerment, affirmation, and world-building
  • offer examples of being an upstander or advocate for ending domestic violence and abuse (e.g. financial, psychological, emotional and physical)
  • center histories of intersectional social movements and their present-day legacies (e.g. women’s movements, LGBTQIA+ movements, Me Too movement, environmental movement, Stop Asian Hate, Black Lives Matter)
  • encourage self-awareness of personal action, inaction, and knowledge surrounding these issues
  • bring together a diverse group of men to talk about what it means to be a man across race, ethnic, national, hearing status, sexual orientation or socioeconomic cultures
  • propose ideas for inclusive and non-discriminatory policy development and implementation for structural transformation
  • honor historical and current LGBTQIA+ narratives, lives, identities, aliveness, community, and resiliency
  • promote the contributions of women in STEM or business
  • share stories about men’s mental health needs or experiences with abuse
  • perform affirming, uplifting, critical, or life-sustaining artistic and/or creative expressions that celebrates gender diversity or specific gender groups
  • share empowering and effective tools as a means of grappling with questions of trauma, healing, loss, belonging, and repair
  • assess data collection of gender categories for accuracy and affirmation
  • include gender and sexuality experiences to break and expand binary thinking 
  • challenge the idea that there is only one way to be man
  • design ways for bodily autonomy and healthy body images for all genders to exist

We especially encourage submissions that confront or otherwise consider how the above issues manifest in structures and at the institutional level, rather than in individual and interpersonal ways. We are open to receiving submissions from any and all mediums, including conference papers, works of art, film, photography, interactive pieces, performances, digital media, collaborative or multi-media projects, roundtable discussions, poster boards, or other creative modes of expression. While we seek submissions from anyone who can earnestly speak to these and other subjects, we are particularly interested in submissions from those who identify as women and/or members of the LGBTQIA+ and two-spirit communities. We also welcome submissions from those who want to focus on their marginalized intersectional identities.

Planning Committee

Special thanks to the planning committee: Daniel Amburgey (student), Barbara Contreras Mora (staff), Chris Hinesley (staff), Kelly Kamish (staff), Darci Lane (staff), Shawna Lusk (staff), Gayle Macias (staff), Erin Murphy (staff), Kathrine Ehrlich-Scheffer (staff), David Stevens (staff). Chaired by Taj Smith, Director of Diversity Education.


Save the date—Together RIT: A Day of Understanding, Solidarity and Racial Reconciliation on Oct. 21, 2022

RIT will launch a new tradition this fall, gathering the community to engage in intentional and honest dialogue about race, ethnicity, and racism. The first Together RIT: A Day of Understanding, Solidarity, and Racial Reconciliation will take place Friday, Oct. 21 from noon to 4 p.m.

Together RIT is one of several initiatives launched as part of the RIT Action Plan for Race and Ethnicity. It will offer students, faculty, staff, and alumni the opportunity to share their work, passions, ideas, critiques, initiatives, performances, and artistic projects with the RIT community through sessions held in-person. The call for proposals is now open and submissions will be accepted through June 30. The full schedule will be posted in September and updates will be posted on the Division of Diversity and Inclusion website.  

Mark your calendars now because we want the entire RIT community to participate in these events. We encourage faculty with interests in this area to consider presenting. We also ask that faculty plan for this in Fall 2022 syllabi by avoiding major exams or other due dates on October 21 and considering how the event can be folded into their curriculum. All managers are asked to make accommodations so staff can participate. This will be an important opportunity for us all to learn, build solidarity, and problem-solve issues related to racism.

For more information, visit the Diversity and Inclusion website. For questions, contact Director of Diversity Education Taj Smith.


David Munson, President
Ellen Granberg, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Keith Jenkins, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion