Shakierah Smith grew up on the north-west side of the city of Rochester. A tall, self-conscious student, she loved going to school but she didn’t believe she could be academically successful. With daily inspiration from her father and encouragement from her grandmother, youth advocate and teachers, she decided to apply to college. During her senior year of high school at the School Without Walls, Shakierah was chosen to participate in the Taub Multimedia Journalism Academy held at RIT.
In her foundational book, Diversity’s Promise for Higher Education (1990), Darryl G. Smith establishes a paradigm regarding the integral and evolving role of diversity in the modern university governance, teaching, and its social milieu. Critical to her thesis is the idea that education (diversity education) can and should play a major role in fostering the kind of climate and relations between groups that encourages success for the increasing numbers of:
Being a participant in RIT’s Diversity Theatre workshops can be a growth experience for many—it certainly was for me. Sharing personal stories tends to broaden the awareness of one’s own mindsets and actions, as well as sets the stage to discover how best to understand and respond to others. This growth assists in promoting social change at the larger level. Watching personal stories played back in an improvisational theater setting with skilled actors definitely heightens the experience.
“Everyone has the right to education” according to Article 26 of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). An education “shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups.” However, this couldn’t be further from our glaring reality. Are American students getting the education that is their right?
RIT’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program hosted nearly thirty LSAMP students from Monroe Community College, Onondaga Community College, and Cornell University for the LSAMP Power Lab from March 16th-18th. The Power Lab provided LSAMP students an opportunity to learn various techniques and laboratory skills to equip them for undergraduate research positions working in faculty laboratories.