STEERING COMMITTEE

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Taj P. Smith, Ed.D

 

Dr. Taj Smith is Director of Diversity Education at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Prior to moving to Rochester, he worked at Xavier University (Cincinnati, Ohio) as the Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion for 4 years. While in Cincinnati, he served as a board member for Design Impact, a non-profit social innovation firm that uses the design field to equip leaders to address community issues. 

 

Prior to joining Xavier University, Taj was Assistant Director of the Davis Center at Williams College (Western Massachusetts). He coordinated the Intergroup Dialogue Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. In 2007, he co-founded Phallacies, a performing arts education and dialogue program that invited young men to think critically about unhealthy masculine attitudes and behaviors. 

 

A native of Paterson and Passaic, NJ, Taj earned his doctorate in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, a master’s degree in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and a bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Media Studies from Rutgers University. He is also a 2019 graduate of Greater Rochester’s United Way African American Leadership Development program. 

 

His assets and talents are empathetic listening, facilitating difficult conversations, consulting on cultural humility, strategic planning, curriculum development, teaching, understanding how systems of oppression function and engaging men in critical conversations about masculinity.