Diversity Education

Each year, the composition of faculty, staff, and students at RIT changes. This leads to a more complex, richer, and dynamic educational environment in which learning and meaningful interaction can occur.

In order to leverage the local, national and global diversity of our campus, it is important we provide the knowledge and skills to ensure our students, staff, and faculty work toward cultural humility.

Cultural humility is a life-long self-examination and accountability process that helps people think critically about their own assumptions, beliefs, biases, and values in order to address historic and current inequalities. While uncomfortable learning moments will arise, this process is designed to create humble and emotionally intelligent people rather than “perfect” experts.
Working Toward Cultural Humility

The Director of Diversity Education, the Division of Diversity and Inclusion and other university partners offer a variety of educational programs annually that:

  • Provide educational experiences which help to ensure welcoming and open-minded environments
  • Provide meaningful skill-building opportunities that actively support inclusive practices and intercultural engagement in and outside of the classroom as well as in the workplace
  • Assess attitudinal, structural, and cultural change that contributes to the common good and RIT’s values

Interested in understanding what RIT is doing in terms of diversity education for faculty and staff? Then view the Diversity Education Year 3 Impact presentation below where Dr. Taj Smith, Director of Diversity Education shares with you the impact of his work during his third year on campus.

Diversity Education Year 3 Impact Presentation

48%

of employees have engaged in at least one diversity education program (Year 3)​

1,044

employees have enrolled in the 6-part Cultural Humility Certificate Program (Year 3)

259

have completed the certificate program to date (Year 3)

9

skills learned including self-reflection, active listening, empathy, using micro-affirmations and problem solving from different viewpoints

Programs

Breaking Bread

Building relationships across difference require intentionality. This program offers two tiers or ways for you to accomplish that by learning how to build solidarity with others and how to actually dialogue rather than debate.

Pairs: In pairs, using Zoom and assigned prompts, you will engage across differences and find solidarity among your commonalities with someone different than you. Six meetings in total. Four of those are with your pair during an agreed upon time. Program operates from January 31 through March 11. Faculty and staff only. Applications due January 24​.

Circles: In a 15 person group, join a group of faculty, staff and students for the intentional practice of dialoguing across difference of identity, experience and opinion over a 5-week period. Each cohort's topic will be informed by a kind of media to guide conversation. Program operates from February 14 through March 25.  Open to students, staff and faculty. Applications due by February 4.

Spring 2022 cohort topics include: 

  • Can The Climate Crisis Be Solved or Are We Just Kidding Ourselves? This circle will explore whether our efforts to address climate change is making a difference. Facilitated by Enid Cardinal, Senior Advisor for Strategic Planning and Sustainability and Neha Sood, Assistant Director of Campus Sustainability. Held on Wednesdays, 10am-11am.
  • Food: Cultural Appropriation or Appreciation? This circle will focus on questioning whether specific kinds of food are being authentically appreciated or appropriated to benefit people not from the culture. Facilitated by Stella Lee, Assistant Director of Diversity Education. Held on Fridays, 12pm-1pm.
  • Is Inclusion Inclusive? This circle will focus on whether inclusion is always inclusive. We will apply the concept to three different social issues to determine to what level can inclusion occur. Facilitated by Dr. Taj Smith, Director of Diversity Education. Held on Mondays, 3pm-4pm.

Sign up

Cultural Humility Certificate

Each participant must complete six workshops. Four are considered core requirements. The remaining two workshops are electives that each participant can choose from a list of yearly offerings. Once completed, participants will receive a downloadable certificate and a sticker to indicate you can serve as a diversity champion on campus. This opportunity is only available for faculty, staff, and graduate students. Employees sign up via Talent Roadmap and type in “cultural humility” into the search engine and click on “instructor-led.” 
Faculty/staff sign-up through Talent Roadmap 
search for “cultural humility” and select “instructor-led” under Delivery Type
Participants Are Saying

Diversity Theater

RIT Diversity Theater uses theater based methods, initiatives and hands on experiences to explore what it means to successfully cultivate a community rich in diversity and inclusion.
Programming reaches across the RIT campus and is open to students, faculty, and staff.
Learn more

Gray Matter

A discussion series designed to promote critical exploration of provocative topics related to the world, higher education and the RIT campus. Volunteer faculty, staff or student facilitators are welcomed. Must attend training offered at the start of each semester. 
Learn more on the Gray Matter Facebook page

Into the Roc: The People’s Track

A limited number of students, staff, and faculty are welcomed to sign up for free regional trips to learn about different groups’ history, present, and to converse about their future.
Student sign-up

Online Teaching Circle: Inclusive Pedagogy 

Each semester, a 7-week learning community is offered online via MyCourses. This learning community focuses on how to incorporate inclusive teaching activities and habits into the classroom experience to better serve today’s college student’s culturally-informed learning. Tenured, non-tenured, adjunct faculty, teaching staff and graduate students are welcomed to participate. 

Register here

Inclusive Hiring Practices Training

In partnership with the Provost, the Office of Faculty Affairs and the Office of Faculty Diversity & Recruitment, this in-person experience is offered separately for faculty and staff as each group and individual search committee members look to ensure inclusive hiring practices are incorporated into future hiring processes.
Register here

What's Your Diversity

This bi-monthly storytelling experience invites employees, students and alums to share their definition of diversity and explain how its impacted their lives. The program occurs on Wednesdays with alternating start times (9am and 12pm US eastern) in a given month to allow our global campuses to participate. Episodes are recorded with permission of the storytellers and can be viewed on RIT's Diversity and Inclusion YouTube channel.