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.”

2024 Let Freedom Ring

7th annual Let Freedom Ring Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Krystle Ellis is a multidimensional powerhouse, owner of Ellis K Consulting, and Interim Executive Director of the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley. Known as "The Culture Broker". She sits on multiple boards and has been featured in national publications because of her work as a diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioner.

Krystle is a philanthropist and founding member of the Rochester Institute of Technology Sentinel Giving Society. She firmly advocates for the rights of women and providing equitable access to healthcare for children. She believes in having transparent conversations that inspire people to soar higher and values the currency of transformational love and honor.


Past Speakers


Dr. Katrina Overby is an Assistant professor in the School of Communication at RIT. As a virtual and digital ethnographer whose research, rooted in Black feminist thought and critique, Dr. KO investigates and explores broadly communication, race and identity. Specifically, she analyses Black social media usage, primarily Black Twitter, online discourse by and about Black women, Black women’s epistemology and praxis in, through and out of the academy, and race and gender in sports communication. She has recently instructed the courses Communication and Identity, Reporting on Racial Justice, and her favorite Public Speaking.  


Thomas Warfield is senior lecturer in the Performing Arts Program and the director of dance at National Technical Institute for the Deaf. He is a singer, dancer, educator, activist and a past president of the William Warfield Scholarship Fund. As the nephew of world- renowned classical singer and actor William Warfield, he played an instrumental role, along with RIT, in the recent unveiling of a bronze bust in his uncle’s honor.

Photo of Joshua outside

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.

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.