Programs and Initiatives

An FLCC student sits in front of a row of pride flags hanging on the wall.

FLCC organizes programs and initiatives that assist students of diverse backgrounds and identities thrive in college. Below are some of our most recent projects that create and sustain a campus culture that values diversity and inclusion in all its forms.

Student Initiatives

The programs and initiatives below reflect our mission to empower our students to realize their full potential at FLCC and beyond.

AALANA (African American, Latino, Asian, and Native American) is our multicultural student organization. This organization ensures that students who identify as AALANA feel connected and represented on campus while learning more about their cultures and histories. Club members have opportunities to share their traditions and values with the larger student body.

Art Force 5 visited FLCC's main campus in 2019 to create a mosaic of local civil rights leader Lucile Mallard, president of the Geneva NAACP and resource coordinator for the Canandaigua City Court. Volunteers from FLCC painted the mosaic in appreciation of her dedication to improving the lives of those in the region.

Art Force 5 is a national initiative, founded at Alfred University in 2006, that inspires creativity over conflict through non-violence workshops and impactful community based art. Nationwide, over 200 college students have participated in the Art Force 5 initiative, which recently made a mosaic celebrating the history of Atlanta for the NFL Super Bowl.

The artistic tribute to Lucile Mallard features her portrait simplified into a six-color palette. The NAACP button symbolizes her commitment and leadership to the Geneva chapter of the organization. The two stars in the mosaic represent her home in Geneva and workplace in Canandaigua, and the Canandaigua City Hall speaks to her current role within the court system.

FLCC hosts a series of diversity workshops for students, faculty, and staff. This programming addresses timely issues about diversity, equity, and inclusion that are especially relevant to a college campus community.

Some recent topics include:

  • Ageism and Recruitment
  • Autism 101
  • Backwards Design
  • Courageous Conversations
  • Creating Inclusive Spaces
  • DEI in the K-12 Setting
  • Gender Dialogue
  • Implicit Bias Training
  • Intersectionality
  • LGBTQ+ Student Panel
  • LGBTQ+ Terminology
  • Political Diversity
  • Pronouns Matter
  • Race Relations
  • What is DEI?
  • White Rage

Mix-It-Up-At-Lunch is a call to action for students of all grades to sit next to someone new in the cafeteria. FLCC participated in this international campaign by encouraging everyone to step outside their comfort zones and get to know peers in a new and refreshing way. Research has found that increasing the number of positive interactions individuals have with people from different social identities is a great way to combat implicit bias in the workplace and in the greater community.

Prism is FLCC's LGBTQ+ club on campus. Prism provides a safe and positive environment for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The club hosts events that inform the community about diverse gender identities and sexual orientations — including signature events such as a drag show and Prism Prom.

#YouAreWelcomeHere is designed to affirm that our institutions of higher education are diverse, friendly, safe, and committed to student development. FLCC joined the #YouAreWelcomeHere movement in Spring 2019 by releasing a campus-wide video message to recognize that individuals from all walks of life are welcome at Finger Lakes Community College.

Faculty and Staff Development

FLCC provides year-round programming to encourage faculty and staff development. Below is a summary of some ways the College invests in diversity, equity, and inclusion training.

The Office of the Provost — along with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — invited members of the campus community to participate in a reading and discussion group based on the book Bandwidth Recovery: Helping Students Reclaim Cognitive Resources Lost to Poverty, Racism and Social Marginalization, by Cia Verschelden. Her work focuses on identifying students' mental bandwidth loss due to social marginalization (racism, sexism, poverty, etc.) and developing strategies to assist students in recovering from that harm. Verschelden also visited the FLCC campus in March 2019 to lead a presentation on this topic.

Industry experts from Cornell University led an inclusive course design workshop at FLCC. Faculty were given an opportunity to engage with course design principles through the lens of diversity and explore strategies for creating and sustaining inclusive classrooms. FLCC's K-14 Coordinator also supported this event by inviting representatives from local school districts to participate in the exercise.

FLCC's Center for Teaching and Learning hosted roundtable conversations on classroom practices and teaching trends. Breakout discussions centered on issues selected by faculty and staff. Topics such as neurodiversity, digital distractions, and ungrading were open for dialogue and debate. Each conversation was connected to a short article, video, or audio clip that participants were invited to access beforehand so that each dialogue would benefit from a common, informed foundation.

ERGs are common workplace initiatives that help create a strong sense of community within the greater organizational community. An Employee Resource Group is a group of employees who identify with others similar to themselves. This may include race, gender, age, sexual orientation, working parents, functional level, disability, veterans, etc. The group gathers around a unifying mission. The primary aim of ERGs is to develop mutually beneficial relationships between employees and institutional stakeholders.

FLCC created six Employee Resource Groups to build a sense of community for those with a shared social identity. These include:

  • Disability
  • Faculty and Staff of Color
  • LGBTQ+
  • Veterans
  • Women
  • Young Professionals

The President's Diversity Council (PDC) is a long-term advisory and leadership team responsible for developing and supporting college-wide efforts to achieve FLCC's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a core institutional and educational value. Established in August 2018, the PDC recommends policies and practices that move the college forward in creating a safe environment for all students, faculty, staff, and community members. This group is intentionally diverse and includes representation of gender, gender expression, identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, political affiliation, and campus bargaining-units. The first major charge of the PDC was to work with Rankin & Associates to develop our campus-wide DEI climate survey.

A safe zone is a confidential place where all people can bring their authentic selves and feel safe, welcome, and included. The Director of Student Life and Chief Diversity Officer offer Safe Zone trainings for faculty and staff. The training strives to develop, enhance, and maintain environments that are culturally competent and supportive to LGBTQ+ individuals, as well as straight, cisgender people who advocate for diversity, equality, and inclusion.

Community Engagement

FLCC's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion extends beyond the college campus. Below are some examples of initiatives the College has supported in Canandaigua and the surrounding community.

ArtSpace36 unites communities through art and education. ArtSpace36 events and programming are diverse, and the workshops, artist lectures, exhibits, and performances are open to the public.

ArtSpace36 recently hosted Cocoa Rae David as a visiting artist. David creates captivating portraits and art of unique and diverse people and captures their true essence. Her style consists of vivid colors, Afrocentric shapes, and bold lighting techniques. Cocoa's goal is to create a new style of photography and art that promotes individuality, authenticity, body positivity, and self-love. This event was an important addition to the college's mission to promote greater cultural competency because of the artist's way of communicating a concept that aligns with acceptance, embracing difference, tolerance, and human connection.

The FLCC History, Culture, and Diversity series is a dynamic interdisciplinary project designed to widen our students' perspectives on cultural and social issues. Under the direction of Dr. Robert Brown, the series brings an array of academics, scholars, authors, and guest speakers to campus to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within and outside our institution. Each session brings members of the public and FLCC students into dialogue with one another, which enhances FLCC's role as a cultural hub in the region and strengthens its position as an educational leader in our community.

The series creates space for meaningful, sustained collaboration between the organizers, which includes student groups (ALAANA, Prism, and Student Corp), local organizations (Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, Korean War Legacy Foundation, NYS Museum, Susan B. Anthony House, Harriet Tubman House, Veterans Administration of Ontario and Monroe Counties), and personnel from nearby colleges and historical societies.

Some recent speakers include:

  • Ashley Hopkins-Benton, senior historian and curator of social history at the New York State Museum, "Leading the Charge: The Fight for Women's Suffrage in New York and Beyond"
  • Peter Hayes, professor of History, German, and Holocaust Studies at Northwestern University in Illinois, "Why? Explaining the Holocaust"
  • Paul and Mary Liz Stewart, co-founders of Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc., "People of Courage, People of Hope, Seekers of Justice: The Underground Railroad Revisited"

FLCC regularly invites industry experts to campus to present on various aspects of diversity and help the College improve our DEI support services. Some recent keynote speakers include:

  • Laura Rothstein, University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, "Americans with Disabilities Act in Higher Education: Best Practices and Student Success"
  • Thomas J. Tobin, faculty associate and conference programming chair in the distance teaching and learning department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Reach Everyone, Teach Everyone: Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education"
  • Theresa A. Conroy, partner at Harter Secrest & Emery LLC, "Raising the Level of Civil Discourse"
  • Sangita Kasturi, "Higher Education Organizational Sustainability in the Era of COVID-19: What steps can community colleges take to remain viable and how can personnel pull together to support the students we serve?"

The award-winning writer, speaker, educator, and former undocumented immigrant Reyna Grande visited FLCC in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. Grande garnered a standing-room-only audience reading from her memoir The Distance Between Us, which was the 2017-2018 selection for the Rochester Reads program and taught by several instructors at FLCC. Grande returned to FLCC by invitation from AALANA to perform a public reading and book-signing for her follow-up memoir, A Dream Called Home, followed by two events just for members of the FLCC community: a student discussion and a celebration of hispanic culture.

Since the tragic death of George Floyd in 2020, the Chief Diversity Officer has been conducting implicit bias trainings with local law enforcement agencies. Implicit bias is a form of prejudice that occurs unintentionally and impacts an individual's judgments and behaviors. These biases create significant structural barriers to fair and equitable treatment for diverse populations.

Some recent law enforcement clients include:

  • Auburn Police Department
  • Canandaigua Police Department
  • Cayuga County Sheriffs
  • Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy
  • FLCC Campus Police Department
  • Geneva Police Department
  • Newark Police Department
  • Ontario County Sheriffs
  • Seneca County Sheriffs
  • Seneca Falls Police Department
  • Waterloo Police Department
  • Wayne County Sheriffs

Clubs and Communities for Everyone

Meet new friends through an exciting range of clubs and co-curricular opportunities. The Office of Student Life enhances the college experience by providing resources and communities where students can connect with a diverse student population and explore new interests. Fill out an interest form to find out ways to connect with any one of our 20+ students groups.

Get Involved with Student Life


Sim J. Covington, Jr., Ed.D.
Chief Diversity Officer & Dean of Student Athlete Development
Room: 3756
Phone: (585) 785-1790

Sim is available to speak at your next event or organize a diversity training. Contact him to learn how he can help your organization meet its DEI goals.