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Partnerships in Pluralism

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


To help facilitate a more connected and enlightened employee base regarding a broad range of diversity and cultural populations, that makes the environment more welcoming. It does so by annually connected interested faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds to review or discuss various diversity-related issues and help reduce stereotypes, while gaining multicultural competencies. Outcomes of the program include:

  • Enhancing community spirit
  • Unifying our campus, and
  • Increasing our efficiency and effectiveness when serving students.


Faculty and staff can enroll annually, by either responding to the university-wide invitation on e-mail or looking on the Diversity Calendar, within the first 2-3 weeks of the school year.

Rationale: History and Educational Model

The Partnerships in Pluralism initiative has provided an opportunity to build trust and credibility among our community members through genuine dialogue.

The dialogue model is rooted in the One America initiative created by U.S. President Bill Clinton (1998).

  • The model, adopted by RIT’s Commission for Promoting Pluralism in 2004, was initially as a featured program in RIT’s Campus Week of Dialogue.
  • The dialogue has been instrumental in heightening the awareness and understanding of diversity at RIT.

Specifically, its’ simple methodology is to create diverse pairs of colleagues within the community, who:

  • might not otherwise be able to easily connect, and
  • who experience structured opportunities to become familiar with each other’s demographic and cultural background (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, international background, veteran status, religion).


What are some of the evaluative comments that participants say about Partnership in Pluralism?

“Partnership in pluralism was a great way to meet people whom I would not have met and not have had the opportunity to discuss our similarities.”

“I really enjoyed the connection I made with my partner.”

“By being very open and honest with one another, we found common ground and were able to relate to one another in ways we had not expected we would.”

“It was a very enriching experience”

“I had the opportunity to examine my own cultural beliefs system as well as enhance them.”

“Encourages me to get out of my "bubble" in my office and talk to people who I might not otherwise meet.”

“It gave me perspective that I would not have had if I did not participate in this initiative. It was a rich experience.”

“It is refreshing to meet people across campus that you normally wouldn't interact with. Cluster meetings always feel like a kind of fun "family-bonding" experience. I'm looking forward to continuing to be a part of it!”