Diversity at ݮƵ

Art and Design Thrives Through Diversity

We are a community comprised of beliefs and backgrounds from every corner of the world. That’s why we elevate, support, and empower our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters to celebrate their differences in an environment of trust and respect.

Art and design exists and thrives through diversity. Diversity of thought and perspective shapes cultures and conversations. It comprises the foundation on which ݮƵ College is built.

Every member of our community adds to who we are: a dedicated, curious, quirky, and talented blend of creatives. We are relentless in our pursuit of brilliance and uncompromising in our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

And you are welcome here.

Letter from President

Letter from President Thompson

Dear Members of the Community:

Diversity and inclusion are core principals at ݮƵ College of Art and Design. As evidence of that belief, we are dedicated to ensuring and fostering expansive thought and creative open-mindedness in respect of the magnificent diversity of our students, faculty, and staff. We firmly believe the exchange of different ideas, experiences, and perspectives are essential ingredients of a world-class education and global citizenship.

We are very proud of our culture and success in supporting our students without discrimination based on their national origin, religious beliefs, physical characteristics, sexual orientation, gender identity, health, or any other factor. Indeed, everyone is welcome here at ݮƵ College.

And, everyone means everyone, without exception.

I encourage you to visit our campus and get acquainted with our extraordinary community of thinkers, makers, and doers. I’m sure you’ll find it an inspiring and collaborative place to live, learn, work, play, grow, and thrive.

Very truly yours,

Dr. Larry R. Thompson
President, ݮƵ College of Art and Design

We Are ݮƵ

Principles That Define Our Community

We strive to be a diverse educational environment of inclusive acceptance.

We celebrate our diversity.

We are a community that embraces learning from the differences in people, ideas and opinions.

We are a campus community of shared responsibility, working together to enable each person to learn, grow, and realize their full potential.

We care about each other, each other’s feelings, and each other’s successes.

We value fairness.

We respect the dignity and humanity of each other and work to treat each other with civility.

We value kindness.

We nurture the uniqueness of each individual.

We value engagement and encourage contribution to this community through leadership and service – through the sharing of the unique creative talents and gifts that each member of the community brings.

We encourage responsible decisions and actions, ones that will hopefully make you, your family, your friends, and ݮƵ College proud.

We care about this special place called ݮƵ College of Art and Design and all members of our community.

Land Acknowledgment

Land Acknowledgment

ݮƵ College of Art and Design acknowledges that we are standing on the ancestral, occupied land of the Seminole, Angola Maroon, and Calusa people – land that we now call Sarasota, Florida. We pay respect to the Seminole, Angola and Calusa elders, past and present. Please, take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that place us together on this land today. Reflect on what your responsibility is to tell historical truths and how you and your organizations, communities, and families support indigenous people of whose land we work, live, and learn.

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Committee’s Mission

The purpose of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion is to elevate our welcoming campus climate, which supports the rights of all individuals and reflects respect for diverse cultures, backgrounds, and ideas.

The Committee will work to identify ways for ݮƵ College to further embrace and share our campus culture as one of inclusion and support for the diversity of all people within our campus community. This will be done through support of ݮƵ, communication, mentoring, modeling, and education.

Join us in making ݮƵ College more inclusive.

Center for Diversity and Inclusion
Ulla Searing 2nd Floor in the Student Life Suite

Learn how you can support and participate at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.


ݮƵ has a thriving LGBTQ+ community. This page celebrates the members of our community who have taken steps to promote equality, understanding, and advancement for the LGBTQ+ community both on the ݮƵ campus and in society at large. Here, you can find information, resources, and helpful links to connect you with organizations, groups, and individuals doing work within the community and on campus.


You are now able to update your preferred pronouns and gender identity in. You are not required to declare either of these—they are 100% optional. If you choose preferred pronouns they will be visible to all administrators on campus. More importantly, they will be very prominent to your instructors in the class lists they access every semester. Gender identity will only be visible to select administrators in Advising, Student Life, The Counseling Center, and Housing. This information will be used to enhance student services on campus.

You also have the option to update your displayed first name in the system we use on-campus. Because of the complexity of keeping every system synchronized we ask that you visit the Registrar’s Office in the Ulla Searing Student Center for the form.

Pronouns: A How-To Guide

Subject: 1 registered to vote.

Object:They tried to convince 2 that giraffes could fly.

Possessive: 3 bike is unlocked.

Possessive Pronoun:That notebook is 4 .

Reflexive: 1 spilled tea on 5 .


Pronouns: A How-To Guide

Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the nation’s largest family and ally organization.

Uniting people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) with families, friends, and allies, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG has 400 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This vast grassroots network is cultivated, resourced, and serviced by PFLAG National, located in Washington, D.C., the National Board of Directors and 13 volunteer Regional Directors.

GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) was founded in 1990 by a small, but dedicated group of teachers in Massachusetts who came together to improve an education system that too frequently allows its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students to be bullied, discriminated against, or fall through the cracks.

Over 25 years later, that small group has grown into the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.

Trans Student Educational Resources is a youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for trans and gender nonconforming students through advocacy and empowerment. In addition to our focus on creating a more trans-friendly education system, our mission is to educate the public and teach trans activists how to be effective organizers. We believe that justice for trans and gender nonconforming youth is contingent on an intersectional framework of activism. Ending oppression is a long-term process that can only be achieved through collaborative action.

Campus Pride represents the only national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. The organization is a volunteer-driven network “for” and “by” student leaders. The primary objective of Campus Pride is to develop necessary resources, programs and services to support LGBT and ally students on college campuses across the United States.

Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.We envision a future where gender self-determination and authentic expression are seen as basic rights and matters of common human dignity.

Equality Florida consists of two organizations – Equality Florida Institute, Inc., our 501(c)(3) educational charity and Equality Florida Action, Inc., our 501(c)(4) advocacy organization. Together, these organizations form the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

ALSO Youth was created in 1992 by individuals who were alarmed at the statistics documenting high rates of suicide among gay and lesbian teens. In cooperation with other local organizations such as Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG); Planned Parenthood; and YMCA Youth and Family Services, volunteers were recruited to conduct a support group for Sarasota area youth. Upon realizing that more comprehensive services were needed throughout the community, ALSO’s founders initiated contact with school officials and implemented a training program for educators. The types of services and numbers of youth and community members served have steadily increased.

Today, ALSOYouth is a Non-Profit Charity thatprovides peer support services, educational programs, advocacy, and referrals for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning youth ages 13 to 21, their families and friends, and the community, thereby enhancing self-esteem, promoting healthy dialogue, and increasing awareness of sexual minority youth issues.

Founded in 1973, Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest national legal organization whose mission is to achieve full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.

We bolster the strength of local LGBT activism in rural enclaves, small towns and cities nationwide. We build grassroots political muscle at every level by training activists, strengthening the infrastructure of local and state allies and organizing broad-based campaigns creating public support for full equality of LGBT people. Learn more about our Organizing & Training and Movement Building efforts.

Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization and an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations.) We organize mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community for social and economic justice.

Is a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging in effective advocacy for transgender people in our society. The TLPI brings experts and advocates together to work on law and policy initiatives designed to advance transgender equality.

Students of Faith

Spiritual Development

Are you looking to join a community that will allow you to explore and embrace your faith? Our Campus Ministry works with students of all religious affiliations to find the support and services they seek for their spiritual lives. Whether you are looking for a place to worship in the community, need resources related to spiritual practices, or simply need a safe and confidential space to talk – our Campus Minister is here to help.

Campus Ministry provides quality ݮƵ throughout the academic year to encourage the campus to learn about various cultural and religious traditions – with a spirit of respect and a mindset towards peace & justice. Campus Ministry also supports student-led groups on campus like FOCAS (Fellowship of Christian Artists) to bring in speakers, participate in community outreach, and to do life, together. We are a member of the Hillel Chapter of Manatee County with robust student participation in semi-regular Seders. We also support regular Catholic mass on campus. Campus Ministry also provides leadership\professional development through a paid internship program where students work closely with the Campus Minister throughout the academic year. Regardless of your faith perspective, we welcome you, we support you, and we’re grateful that you are a part of the diverse landscape of ݮƵ College. You can contact our Campus Minister, Rev. Melanie Y. Kim by email atmkim1@ringling.eduor by phone at 941-309-0200 (Student Life Office) or 763-443-4668 (Mobile – good for texting).





(List of all the Hindu Temples in Florida)

Unitarian Universalist


(Non Denominational) (Non Denominational) (Non Denominational) (Non Denominational) (Episcopal Church)