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Diversity Education Programs

Learning Outcomes

Each year, the composition of faculty, staff, and students at RIT changes.

This leads to a more complex, potentially richer, and dynamic educational campus environment in which learning occurs, if it is facilitated so as to provide the skills and perspective by which to do so.

As an educational institution, RIT’s Division of Diversity & Inclusion offers a variety of educational programs annually that

  • provides meaningful learning opportunities that support the holistic range of services which enhance access and success for all underrepresented students, faculty, and staff; and
  • provide educational experiences which help to ensure a welcoming inclusive vibrant and accessible environment everyone.


The menu of diversity programs offered by Diversity Education include the three following areas:

Traditional Programs

Partnerships in Pluralism

Partnerships in Pluralism is a unique program that builds campus relationships and develops an understanding of diversity through dialogue.

It does so by annually connecting interested faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds to review or discuss various diversity-related issues and help reduce stereotypes, while gaining multicultural competencies.

More information about Partnerships in Pluralism, participant ratings, and how to enroll can be found at The Partnerships in Pluralism page here.

Bridges Multicultural Competency Certificates Program

Multicultural Competency Certificates Program for Faculty and Staff: Bridge. Bridges offers five certificates, each comprised of four (approximately two hour) programs:

  • Certificate #1: Group Communications: Inclusive Approaches
  • Certificate #2: Group Dynamics and Diversity
  • Certificate #3: Ally Development
  • Certificate #4: Sustainability and Social Change
  • Certificate #5: Unconscious Bias

General information about the courses and descriptions of each course, along with participant feedback can be found at Bridges page here.

Information about enrollment may be found by searching for the program title at The Center for Professional Development website.

Race Talks

A weekly discussion program held in the middle of each semester, that allows faculty, staff, and students to discuss pertinent issues regarding perceptions, issues, and social challenges surrounding race – in a safe environment.

Between the Lines

A semesterly diversity book reading group offered periodically throughout the year, which is open to faculty, staff, and students, focusing on the reading and interpretation of a relevant book which yields meaning insights in twenty-first century issues. Books are generally free to participants who sign up.

Special Programs

Free Standing Electives/Programs in Diversity (Scheduled Throughout the Year or Upon Request)

  • Elective: Understanding Your Organization’s Inclusive Efforts
  • Elective: Bystander Awareness – Building Awareness (Academic Setting)
  • Elective: Bullying and Bystander Advocacy (Spread the Word to End the R-Word Program, offered in spring semester)
  • Elective: Strategies for Enhancing Multicultural Advising


Custom Diversity Programs for Organizational Units or Student Organizations

Occasionally, either professional or student leaders may wish to seek educational programs for diversity issues that are unique for their situation. These programs may require specialized research, unique activities/assessments/debriefings to address the specific behaviors or group dynamics that the group is experiencing.

The Director of Diversity Education may, in conjunction with others, entertain proposals from across the campus on a select basis to create programs which help to address these unique issues.

Diversity Curriculum for Undergraduate Students: Inclusive Leadership Course

The Inclusive Leadership class is a Wellness Class offered by the Director of Diversity Education, under the auspices of Student Affairs.

This interactive course examines how:

  • distinctive populations
  • when properly integrated and included as equals
  • can enhance performance within working teams and organizations, foster innovation, and attain common goals and functioning.

**Fee: A course fee applied via SFS bill, as comparable with all Wellness Courses.

Learning outcomes focus on:

  • The behavioral outcomes of inclusion in teams or groups;
  • Key Communication skills including: Effective Listening, Conflict Resolution, and Group Facilitation;
  • Enhanced problem solving strategies when involving diverse populations; effective empathy;
  • Developing effective strategies by which to enhance the status of all members;
  • By-stander behavior and strategies for effective innovation;
  • Unconscious Bias.


Inclusive Leadership Grants

Each year, the office of Diversity and Inclusion and International partners with another department on campus (i.e., International & Global Programs) to sponsor the Inclusive Grant Initiative.

The purpose is to provide one-time funding for faculty, independently, or in conjunction with graduate students/teaching assistants, to develop and implement proposals that promote research, strengthen teaching, pedagogical practices, or promote programs with diversity implications for our increasingly multicultural community and student populations enrolled at RIT.

The grant outcomes advance several initiatives related to the RIT Strategic Plan:

  • Innovative approaches to credit bearing classes (i.e. inclusive curriculum development, or cross disciplinary efforts to infuse diversity topics);
  • Progressive pedagogical approaches to STEM curricula; address the shifting needs of an increasingly multicultural student population; and
  • Research projects with diversity, inclusion and multicultural implications.
  • Programs that enhance the retention of underrepresented undergraduate student populations.

Applicants should demonstrate an interest in:

  • the shifting demographics of the RIT student population;
  • the learning needs of current and future RIT students in the classroom;
  • research with a meaningful connection to diversity; or
  • the professional learning needs of faculty and staff.

Announcements regarding the Inclusive Grant are e-mailed to all faculty and graduate students during the early fall semester. The following members of the RIT community are eligible to apply for Inclusive Grant Initiatives:

  • tenured and tenure-track faculty;
  • full-time lecturers;
  • full-time graduate students assistants (in conjunction with faculty/lecturers);
  • full-time students who are teaching assistants (in conjunction with
  • faculty/lecturers).


Faculty & Research Series

semester, a call is made to faculty, staff and graduate students to submit proposals regarding research and related diversity projects, proposals or findings resulting from their work at the university or scholarly work. Upon review of the submissions, the Faculty & Research series is finalized, and each submitting person is scheduled to present their program and finding in an intimate campus environment.


Taj Smith
Director of Diversity Education