Let Freedom Ring

RIT offers experiences that change lives, change perceptions and change the world.

Our Let Freedom Ring program, held each January, is a campus-wide event that honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It brings exciting speakers to campus who challenge us to think deeper, to broaden our horizons and to express our individuality.


Let Freedom Ring is the brainchild of RIT President David Munson.

In 2018, he came up with the idea as a way for students, faculty and staff to celebrate the federal holiday named in Dr. King’s honor. Let Freedom Ring programming compliments RIT’s Expressions of King’s Legacy, which has been an annual tradition for close to four decades.

Dr. Munson said at that time, “RIT has long recognized the importance of diversity to organizational growth and synergy. “Beginning in the 19th century, when we welcomed women into our classes, decades before other colleges even considered co-education, we have intentionally sought students, faculty and staff from multiple backgrounds, ethnicities and countries. In 1968, the addition of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf brought an intellectual, linguistic and programmatic diversity to RIT that is unmatched in higher education. We are likewise proud of the growing number of underrepresented and international students enrolled at RIT. The unmatched diversity of our academic programs is a direct result of the diverse voices, in Martin Luther King Jr.’s stead, that constantly participate in the RIT conversation.”

2021 Let Freedom Ring

Join us for our 4th annual Let Freedom Ring Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"A Moment in a Movement" featuring keynote speaker Joshua Rashaad McFadden, Assistant Professor in the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences in RIT's College of Art and Design.

joshua in outdoor scenery"A Moment in a Movement" 
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Throughout history photography has given us the opportunity to capture an intimate look into a moment of time. From historical moments like Dr. King standing the Lincoln Memorial during his I have a Dream Speech to images of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations around the globe, a picture captures a moment in time that stays with us, impacts me and becomes imprinted in our minds. Join us Joshua Rashaad McFadden guides us through his images of moments in the movement as he shares his personal journey and the stories behind his images.

Joshua is an American visual artist whose primary medium is photography. McFadden explores the use of archival material within his work and is known for his portraiture. He also conceptually investigates themes related to identity, masculinity, history, race, and sexuality.

We are delighted to welcome Patrick Edwards, President of ALANA Collegiate Association as our MC for the event.

Register here

Past Speakers

William Davis at a podium

William Davis, a longtime Rochester area business owner who reflected on his years living in the segregated south. As a college student, he attended Dr. King’s funeral in 1968 while pledging Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.-the same fraternity to which Dr. King belonged.

Greg Pollock speaking

Greg Pollock, an RIT alumnus and vice president at PNC Financial Services. Pollock is recognized by many in the industry as a staunch advocate for people with disabilities and addressing the needs to make workplaces accessible. As a student at RIT, Pollock at RIT, served as President of RIT’s Student Government (2010-2012), the only Deaf RIT Student Government President to serve two terms.

Nicole Doyley at a podium

Nicole Doyley, director of Prayer and Care Ministries in Rochester and the author of three books including When Life is Winter: Navigating the Seasons of Life.