Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Westchester Community College Official Diversity Statement
Westchester Community College fosters an intentionally inclusive campus culture that celebrates and respects the diversity of the community while acknowledging the differences among the lived experiences of individuals. The college will promote equity, disseminate knowledge, and take visible actions to remove barriers to access and advancement that adversely affect individuals from marginalized communities.
As a Westchester Community College core value, the work of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion belongs to every member of the WCC community and includes ensuring greater representation of individuals from all backgrounds in every part of the college. The mission of the college focuses on providing accessible, high quality and affordable education to meet the needs of our diverse community, especially since WCC has the distinction as both a Minority-Serving and Hispanic Serving Institution. Through our daily interactions throughout the WCC community, we seek ways to actively promote and recognize principles of fairness and equity. This is done in collaboration with various members of our community, including faculty, staff and students. Our office is led by Dr. Rinardo Reddick, who serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at WCC.
The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is committed to the urgent, sustained, and comprehensive work of creating a welcoming campus climate in which all members are valued and have a voice. We do so by keeping fairness and accessibility in higher education at the heart of our policies and procedures. We value a deep, collective understanding that an institutional and personal commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is a genuine commitment to meaningful, lifelong learning.
The DEI office strives to promote stimulating conversations, fostering an environment that promotes civic engagement, widening perspectives, encouraging innovation and connecting people.
Defining Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at WCC
At Westchester Community College, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is central to our mission as an educational institution. We work to ensure that each member of our community has full opportunity to thrive in our environment. We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are the keys to individuals thriving, educational excellence and the advancement of knowledge. WCC understands that by building a critical mass of diverse groups on campus and creating a vibrant climate, we can more effectively leverage our resources to advance our collective capabilities.
Diversity: Diversity refers to all aspects of human difference, social identities, and social group differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, socio-economic status, language, culture, national origin, religion/spirituality, age, (dis)ability, military/veteran status, political perspective, and associational preferences.
Equity: Equity refers to fair and just practices and policies that ensure all campus community members can thrive. Equity is different than equality in that equality implies treating everyone as if their experiences are exactly the same. Being equitable means acknowledging and addressing structural inequalities — historic and current — that advantage some and disadvantage others. Equal treatment results in equity only if everyone starts with equal access to opportunities.
Inclusion: Inclusion refers to a campus community where all members are and feel respected, valued, heard, have a sense of belonging, and are able to participate and achieve to their potential. While diversity is essential, it is not sufficient. An institution can be both diverse and non-inclusive at the same time, thus a sustained practice of creating inclusive environments is necessary for success.
In efforts to continuously improve the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a team of campus partners work together to envision a strategic plan that embodies the mission and vision of the institution. Here you can find the current plan.
DEI Advisory Committee
The college’s dedication to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion is fostered by the administration and supported by various committees:
The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion has developed various Action Teams that are working collaboratively to examine various institutional policies and procedures to ensure compliance and to ensure that DEI Core values are engrained in the general college operations. These teams include faculty, staff and students.
Each time the college forms a Search Committee for a new employee, a member of the committee serves as the Affirmative Action Representative, to ensure that there is a commitment to review qualified applicants with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The college has a variety of active committees who work on extensive, annual celebrations, such as Hispanic culture, African American culture, Asian culture, and LGBTQI+.
Awards and Achievements
In addition, the college was honored in 2009 with a Northeast Regional Equity Award from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) making the college eligible for the prestigious Charles Kennedy Equity Award.
Dr. Rinardo Reddick
Chief Diversity Officer and Title IX Coordinator