Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Enrich and strengthen
the college experience.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are fundamental aspects of RIT’s identity.

We strive to create a welcoming campus and ensure that we are recruiting world-class students, faculty, and staff whose experiences and viewpoints vitalize the academic and student life experience.

RIT’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion offers numerous programs and services to RIT students focused on academic support, leadership development, tutoring, and scholarship.

Read the stories below and explore some of the featured scholarships, programs, and services available to our students that benefit greatly from donor support.

For additional information, please email us at givetorit@rit.edu.

Alum assists in building the legacy of black fraternity with scholarship

A man posing with his wife and son.

Marcus Parker BS ’98, MS ’02 has devoted the last nine years to inspiring others and helping to build a culture of philanthropy at RIT. As the primary fundraiser to launch the Alpha Phi Alpha Mu Sigma chapter endowed scholarship, Marcus’s hope is to change the narrative—educate others and transform preconceived notions regarding beneficence—and help empower the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. as leaders on RIT’s campus.

Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. exists to develop leaders and promote brotherhood and academic excellence while providing service and advocacy for their respective communities. In 2013, Marcus and his wife, Meta, created the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Mu Sigma Endowed Scholarship to provide support for RIT students—without restriction—who demonstrate the aims of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Marcus has enabled the fraternity to act in a leadership capacity; the members are responsible for helping other students across campus and overseeing the disbursement of funds to any student. To date, five recipients have been named.

Marcus and Meta have hosted several networking events in their Severn, MD home to further the engagement of alumni in his region. Most recently the Parkers hosted “Building Your Legacy,” an intimate gathering where Marcus shared his heartening story of building the endowed scholarship from the ground up. Marcus exemplifies the passion for helping RIT students harness their full potential, which he hopes to ignite in others by encouraging either their involvement with Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Mu Sigma, or the creation of new scholarship programs.

The service-based fraternity of Alpha Phi Alpha, whose motto is “First of All, Servants of All, We Shall Transcend All,” was founded in 1906 and was the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American Men. The Mu Sigma chapter was charted in 1977 and encompasses the campuses of RIT, University of Rochester, St. John Fisher University, and the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Research labs for accessibility and technology innovation

headshot of Saad Hassan

"I think the sense of satisfaction that I get is from actually creating technologies that people around me can directly benefit from. I want to keep into account people with all sorts of backgrounds and communities that were often ignored."

- Saad Hassan Ph.D. ’23

Read more about Saad's story here

Campus events and clubs bring studies to life

headshot of Fabian Sanchez

Starting college amid a pandemic was not how Fabian Sanchez BFA ’24 envisioned he would begin his undergraduate experience, but his first year at RIT was both rewarding and fulfilling. As a film and animation major, and scholarship recipient, Fabian keeps busy with his coursework and is also an active member of several clubs on campus including the Animation Club and the Game Development Club. His involvement in these clubs has been one of the most enjoyable experiences during his first year at RIT by not only bringing his studies to life, but also giving him insight into the industry through presentations from outside organizations and professionals in the field. A highlight for him was participating in Art Jam, a community event where students draw together in a shared digital workspace. At a time when in-person events were limited, Fabian truly enjoyed having the opportunity to collaborate with fellow students in a non-traditional way.

Fabian has big ideas for the future. He would very much like to co-op or intern at Dreamworks furthering his studies in animation, but also study abroad in Japan to learn more about their unique style of animation and the culture. When asked about how he’d like to use his degree after graduation, Fabian shared a myriad of ideas including working in animation rigging, the technique used to create the skeletal structure of a 3D model, and bringing more diversity to the world of animation. Specifically, Fabian dreams of “creating an animated series with a diverse cast and crew that features underrepresented populations allowing viewers to see into their worlds.” Fabian shared his gratitude to RIT donors “that provide so many resources for students to take advantage of, and opportunities for us to explore and learn.” He is optimistic about what lies ahead and looks forward to exploring more of what RIT has to offer in in his remaining time here.

Making influential connections at RIT

Wilfredo Alvarez speaking in a meeting.

"My relationship with my academic advisor and members of my fraternity were perhaps the most influential elements of my college experiences. Those individuals provided perspective, guidance, and support whenever I needed it, and it made a significant difference between me staying at RIT and returning to the Bronx."

- Wilfredo Alvarez BS ’02

Read more about Wilfredo's story here

Encouraging impactful artwork

headshot of Jolene Rickard

Dr. Jolene Rickard BFA ’78 is a visual historian, artist, and curator interested in the intersection of Indigenous knowledge and contemporary art with an emphasis on Haudenosaunee aesthetics. She is an Associate Professor in the departments of History of Art and Art, and the former Director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program 2008-2020 (AIISP) at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

"During the admissions process, my portfolio was reviewed by the former Associate Dean Kener E. Bond, Jr. (d.2016) of the College of Art and Design. He recognized my last name and mentioned that his families' land and lake bordered the Tuscarora Nation territories. Bond's Lake was adjacent to my grandfather Clinton Rickard's land, and we determined that our families knew each other. This association made my parents feel more comfortable with RIT and encouraged me to attend once accepted. Dean Bond was very supportive during my education at RIT and remained in contact after I graduated with encouragement."

Read more about Jolene's story here