Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Cultivating Diversity in the Classroom and the Workplace

Students in courtyard

Inclusion Initiatives

The NCCC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee was created in September 2016. It serves as an initiative to actively engage the whole college community in recognizing the importance of diversity for assuring the success of all members of our college community, including students, staff, faculty, and administration, in an ever-increasingly global environment. The 2020-2021 committee members consist of Jonathan Bellomo, Will Brinson, Catherine Brown, Suzanne Buffamanti, Phoebe Giandomenico (student), Erika Grande, Chris Herbeck, Angela Jackson, Maurice Jackson (student), Kareen Klettke, Karen Kwandrans, Monica Lopoyda, Julia Pitman, Harsh Sharma, John Strong, Rhonda Bivins-Talley, Gail Tylec, Heather Trumble.

Meeting Schedule: 10/8, 11/12, 12/10 at 2pm

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 – October 15

Hispanic Heritage Month began as Hispanic Heritage Week. Hispanic Heritage Week was established by legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal of Los Angeles and was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. In 1988, the commemorative week was expanded to a month (September 15 to October 15) by legislation sponsored by Rep. Esteban Edward Torres (D-Pico Rivera), amended by Senator Paul Simon, and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the commemoration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Hispanic countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, who all declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21 respectively. National Hispanic Heritage Month was first proclaimed by President George H. W. Bush on September 14, 1989, in Presidential Proclamation 6021. Since 1989, all Presidents have given a Presidential Proclamation to mark Hispanic Heritage Month.

We at Niagara County Community College hope that you will take some time this month to delve deeper into your understanding and appreciation for this rich cultural heritage that is an important part of the American identity.  Stay tuned for programming that celebrates this significant commemoration.

Will Brinson


Will Brinson

Brinson applies his passion for diversity and students to his work as the Advisor to the Black Student Union which, according to Brinson, “Serves as a conduit of communication amongst diverse minded students and diverse minded institutional employees. The goal is that through a host of discussions, programming, multicultural activities, and guest speakers, we will attain and spread a certain level of respect for cultural diversity, peaceful coexistence, and inclusivity.” When asked what his favorite part of his job is, Brinson responded, “I love it all. In particular, the students.”


  • Anti-Racist Training was provided for all full-time faculty facilitated by the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee trainers during this year’s All Faculty Meeting.
  • New Faculty Orientation presentations provided for new Faculty partners to acquaint them with our campus community.
  • Students and staff attended the UB Speaker Series featuring speaker, Angela Davis, an American political activist, Academic, and former Black Panther.
  • NCCC had the honor of hosting Keith Boykin, as a guest speaker for a workshop on the importance of inclusiveness in higher education, the workplace, and society.
  • National Coming Out Day was celebrated with students in the Learning Commons in collaboration with the Office of Student Life.
  • The Committee organized a series of ‘Brown Bag Lunches’ with employees to discuss topics such as “Diversity in the Workplace,” “Are Diverse companies really more innovative?” “How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time” and “Color Blind or Color Brave”.
  • A Diversity Panel Discussion took place during NCCC’s Professional Development Days to address EDI on the NCCC campus.
Keith Boykin

Keith Boykin, author, actor and a contributor on CNN, speaks at NCCC on September 26, 2019.

John Strong

John Strong
Chief Diversity and Equity Officer
Phone: 716-614-5900
Email: jstrong@niagaracc.suny.edu
Location: H-162

Read Mr. Strong's biography

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