Greenfield Community College

Greenfield Community College

Inclusion & Diversity Center

Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me.
Carlos Fuentes
AboutHistory & MissionResourcesFaculty Mentor

GCC’s Inclusion and Diversity Center, located in N328, is a dedicated physical space promoting community, equity, unity, social gathering, and cross cultural understanding among students. All are welcome, especially those traditionally underrepresented in college. In addition to offering a student kitchen area with snacks, microwave, coffeemaker and refrigerator, there is a sunny student common room with comfortable seating, games, books, and magazines; a faculty mentor (Lillian Ruiz) is also housed in the area as a resource for student support and guidance.

Diversity, in all of its incarnations, nuances, and multiple identities, is not about division, but connection. The GCC Inclusion and Diversity Center promotes relationships that honor and celebrate commonalities and appreciate and embrace differences through shared experience and interaction.

If you have questions, ideas, feedback, or want to get involved, please contact: Lillian Ruiz, N328, ruiz@gcc.mass.edu, 775-1236.


The Inclusion & Diversity Center officially opened on April 13, 2018, with a student panel on campus discussing the topics of inclusion and diversity, followed by cake and conversation at the new center itself. View former president Bob Pura’s opening remarks →

In December of 2016, Greenfield Community College started Just One Thing, a campaign for faculty, staff, and students to support and empower community building among vulnerable populations, actively strengthen and increase inclusion on campus, and offer suggestions about diversity and inclusion resources to help students feel more welcome. This initiative, following a particularly divisive U.S presidential election in November 2016, resulted in an idea to build and support diversity by creating a cultural space at GCC, with a faculty mentor, so to offer these students personal, academic, and social support. In the Spring Semester of 2018, this idea became a reality with the opening of the GCC Inclusion and Diversity Center. The Center includes an inviting student common room, a student kitchen, and a faculty mentor available for support and guidance.

Mission

Diversity and inclusion, in all its incarnations, nuances, and multiple identities, honors and celebrates commonalities and appreciates and embraces differences through shared experience and dialogue. The Inclusion and Diversity Center, N328, provides a physical locale for community building and on-site faculty mentorship to students supporting the ideals of inclusion and diversity. The Center promotes diversity, equity, unity, cross-cultural interaction, social gathering, connection, and self-discovery.

Diversity at GCC

Student Clubs

International Students Club — Sponsors social, educational, and cultural events in order for international students to meet each other as well as other GCC students. This group is open to all students. Advisor: Christopher Tibbetts; meets Wednesdays from 12-12:50pm in N332.

Social Justice Club — Builds equity and understanding at Greenfield Community College. It will work to raise student awareness about relevant cultural issues.  The Social Justice Club will provide students with a platform for change and action, through justice education, consciousness raising and activism.  It will give students the tools to make lasting changes in their lives and communities. Advisor: Linda McCarthy

Videos

Upworthy: Overcoming Prejudice

Verna Meyers: How to Overcome Our Biases

Gary Orfield – The Civil Rights Project

Judge Victoria Pratt on the Power of Treating People with Respect

Web Links

My name is Lillian Ruiz. I have been a faculty member at GCC since 1993, teaching English, public speaking, and media/popular culture courses.

Both my maternal and paternal grandparents, parents with young children and a desire to improve their lives and the lives of their children, emigrated from Puerto Rico to the Bronx in New York City.  Three of my grandparents had a third grade education, typical in rural Puerto Rico at the time.  My fourth grandparent had no formal education at all; none of my grandparents spoke English.  My parents learned English as children in the Bronx, and advanced their education to high school.  I, a first generation college student born in the Bronx, continued my education with college and graduate school, financing both with scholarships, student loans and work.

My story has many similarities to the stories of GCC students, and I remember well the challenges and anxieties of pursuing higher education.  My role as faculty mentor is to offer you support and assistance as you navigate your own college education.  Feel free to stop by my office, N328A, to introduce yourself, chat, or seek guidance.

My office hours are 12-1 on M/W and 9-10 on T/TH in N328A, or feel free to contact me to schedule another time.  My phone number is 413-775-1236 and my email is ruiz@gcc.mass.edu

Best wishes on your time at GCC.  I look forward to seeing you soon.