Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives at NYCC
In its commitment to continuously build an inclusive and equitable environment for learning, New York Chiropractic College is implementing initiatives to better support its diverse community and ensure the College always remains a place where all of its community members can thrive.
Strategic planning around initiatives to advance diversity, equity and inclusion on campus is ongoing; the planning involves a number of students and is being led by the Office of Student Engagement.
Moving Forward, Today
College initiatives include the creation of an updated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Faculty Advisor Training; participation in the region’s 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge; and the continuation of Compassion Circles. These efforts are designed to encourage NYCC community members to unite in learning and growth as well as prompt meaningful change on campus.
While diversity is currently being widely discussed, it has always been an important topic, especially in higher education, said Assistant Director of Student Engagement Mara Casler, who led the recent faculty advisor training. "The important thing is to identify areas where we can grow and be better," Casler said as she spoke to the faculty via video.
Moving Forward, Together
NYCC also invited its faculty, staff and students to join in the United Way of Rochester's 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge. One of the hundreds of institutions and businesses joining forces regionally to participate in the challenge, NYCC is eager to help promote the education of how inequity and racism affect people and their communities.
The Office of Student Engagement launched the challenge in February 2021 and facilitated activities and discussion by presenting a focus each day. Topics ranged from "What to Expect," to "Tools for the Racial Equity Change Process." During the challenge, NYCC participants were able to share ideas and group chat in a private online setting.
Another opportunity for open discussion, rooted on the NYCC Seneca Falls campus and also available via Zoom, is a forum known as Compassion Circles. NYCC Clinical Counselor Heather Frederick worked with students to develop this safe space in the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in 2020.
Student Ulysses Estrada (D.C. '21), both a facilitator and a participant of Compassion Circles, said that while the personal stories don't leave the room, attendees are able to apply the lessons and knowledge they learn to help facilitate difficult conversations outside of the group.
College Efforts Ongoing
The recent initiatives around diversity, equity and inclusion parallel the over-arching vision of the Office of Student Engagement, which looks to plan and deliver programming, resources and services that serve all NYCC stakeholders
"Together we share a commitment to develop programming and services that recognize and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion," said Carol Faivre executive director of the Office of Student Engagement.
The office pledges to continue its development and learning to create an environment that is accessible, inclusive, and expansive. "It is our belief that through the diversity of our lived experiences we can further enhance our personal growth and that of our campus," Faivre noted.
Working with students to advance diversity awareness and inclusion efforts, NYCC has found a strong collaborator in student Soudi Taha (D.C. '22). Member and former president of the Students for Social Diversity and Awareness (SSDA) club on campus, Taha has been part of a student panel working with the Office of Student Engagement and, along with other members of SSDA, also shared feedback with NYCC President Dr. Michael Mestan and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Anne Killen.
"I think the events stemming from (the death of) George Floyd opened a lot of people's eyes, and institutions wanted to know what they could do," Taha said. "NYCC has done that and opened some insightful conversations to make the college a more inclusive place."
NYCC prides itself on being a diverse community and values the thoughts of all its students. The College will continue to foster conversations as they work together with students to meet their needs and further advance diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.