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Home :: Campus Life :: Multicultural Committee :: Expanding Awareness, Developing Tools: In-Depth Diversity Training

Expanding Awareness, Developing Tools: In-Depth Diversity Training
For Farmingdale State College Students - Postponed

The Diversity Training workshop set for Friday, October 25, 2013, has been postponed until further notice.


These workshops are being made possible thanks to a SUNY Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’s Explorations in Diversity and Academic Excellence Grant and with the support of the FSC Administration. This workshop is the direct result of a campus-wide survey conducted in 2012 to assess the needs of the FSC community. We invite faculty and staff who teach/advise our students to the second workshop of this kind on our campus. Under the direction of Long Island’s Erase Racism organization and facilitated by its President, Ms. Elaine Gross, those attending will gain a better understanding about the systems and persistence of inequalities in areas such as: education, race, gender, disability rights, and LGBT issues. Most importantly, we will be provided with real-world practices to help us all in recognizing and addressing problems and disparities on campus.

Our aim is to disseminate information about diversity and to contribute to the creation of a well informed and supportive community through practical engagement. In keeping with the Farmingdale State College Mission, our goal is to promote a culture of diversity and mutual support, so that students and the community know that Farmingdale State College and the State University of New York are committed to fostering a culture of equality, one that celebrates multiculturalism, and stands for equality.

V. Elaine Gross, President Erase Racism

Elaine GrossMs. Gross has extensive experience in research, program development and evaluation at public and private agencies in Boston and New York. She earned her MSW from Boston University, with a focus on policy, planning and non-profit management. Throughout her career, Ms. Gross has focused on exploring the systemic causes of social, political, and economic inequities and finding ways to counteract those inequities.

While working in Boston, an example of her experiences include developing and managing human service delivery systems and tenant advocacy initiatives for the Boston Housing Authority. She was also Deputy Director of the Boston Housing Partnership, a premier public/private partnership supporting community development and affordable housing in fragile inner-city neighborhoods. Subsequently, in New York, Ms. Gross served as a Program Officer for the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock and developed a portfolio of grants across the U.S. focused on human rights and economic development. She then served as the founding Executive Director of Sustainable America, a national NGO that promoted sustainable, equitable development practices and policies.

Ms. Gross was hired by the Long Island Community Foundation to launch the ERASE Racism Initiative in June 2001. In 2004, ERASE Racism became an independent New York State not-for-profit corporation. Ms. Gross has successfully led ERASE Racism, bringing together a cross section of Long Island leaders to discuss and formulate remedies to persistent regional inequities, resulting from imbedded institutional and structural racism in health, education and housing. Under Ms. Gross' leadership, ERASE Racism has been recognized locally and nationally for its cutting edge work addressing institutional and structural racism, especially in the area of housing and community development. Ms. Gross has received numerous awards and is a frequent presenter on the topic of structural racism. Recognizing Ms. Gross' leadership and expertise, one of the Ford Foundation divisions invited Ms. Gross to be one of three presenters at an international foundation staff retreat.

Ms. Gross is a former member of the Long Island Regional Planning Council. Most recently she was appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to The Long Island Regional Economic Development Council. She also served on the Advisory Committee of the Long Island Index of the Rauch Foundation and the Advisory Board of The Energeia Partnership, The Academy of Regional Stewardship at Molloy College. She has published opinion articles and received numerous awards, including the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Long Island Business News.


Olivia Ildefonso

Olivia IldefonsoMs. Ildefonso is a consultant for ERASE Racism as well as the organization’s former Housing Coordinator and Communications Coordinator with responsibilities that included conducting research in housing, expanding the Housing Project, and managing social networking sites.

In 2007 she was the program manager for the International Center for Tolerance Education, where she oversaw the International Guest Program, which aids activists from around the world to network and promote their cause. In 2008 Ms. Ildefonso became an organizer with Rhode Island Jobs with Justice and helped develop campaigns for workers’ rights.

Ms. Ildefonso holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Brown University were she concentrated in Ethnic Studies. She has extensive experience conducting both qualitative and quantitative research. From 2007 to 2009 Ms. Ildefonso conducted a primary source research project to document the history of I.L.A. Local 1329, which was one of the first unions in the nation to be founded by people of color. During this time she was also awarded a grant from the Public Interest Law Program at Yale Law School, in which she worked with ERASE Racism to investigate discriminatory mortgage lending on Long Island.

Ms. Ildefonso was born and raised in Bethpage and is passionate about ending racial segregation on Long Island. She has demonstrated her commitment to bringing about racial equity through her participation in a number of activist groups including Amnesty International, the Social Justice Network, and the League of Human Rights. Prior to joining ERASE Racism Ms. Ildefonso was awarded a Language and Cultural Assistant grant from Spain’s Ministry of Education and worked in Mallorca as a teacher in two public schools.


Please direct inquiries regarding registration to the Project Director:
Anjana Mebane-Cruz, PhD. cruza@farmingdale.edu

Additional inquires may also be made to Multicultural Committee members and volunteers: Maria Nikolaidou: nikolam@farmingdale.edu; Sylvia Nicosia: nicosise@farmingdale.edu; Theresa Dember-Neal: nealt@farmingdale.edu; Sarbjit Singh: singhs@farmingdale.edu; John Gao: gaogj@farmingdale.edu; Fran Cherkis: cherkif@farmingdale.edu; Xu Zhang: zhangx@farmingdale.edu