Diversity Center

During these challenging times, Normandale Community College understands that many students may experience difficulties with basic need insecurities such as housing, food, healthcare, and more. Normandale is committed to supporting students facing barriers to their academic success by providing resources and services to help students overcome them. Please visit the Normandale Cares Emergency Grant website if you are in need of emergency financial assistance and the Student Resource Center website for resources for any non-academic needs you may have.

EVERYONE is welcome at the Diversity Center located in the Kopp Student Center, Room K-1439.

Native American/Indigenous Land Acknowledgement: The Normandale Diversity Center recognizes that Normandale Community College sits on the tribal land of the Dakota and Ojibwe (Anishinaabe), the first original peoples of U.S. America. For more than five hundred years, Native communities across the Americas have demonstrated resilience and resistance in the face of violent efforts to separate them from their land, culture, and each other. They remain at the forefront of movements to protect Mother Earth and the life it sustains. The Diversity Center wants to take this moment to honor Native communities and enact the much larger project of decolonization and reconciliation.

Announcing our NEW Mission and Vision for Fall 2019!

Our Mission:  

The Diversity Center promotes a shared understanding of respect, belonging, and inclusivity which fosters leaders to address systemic inequities in our community(ies). 

Our Vision:

Enhancing our understanding of human diversity, thereby inspiring leaders to make a positive impact locally, nationally, and globally.

Learn About The Land Acknowledgment

Why do we open an event with a land acknowledgement?

(Source: usdac.us/nativeland)

Acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of showing respect and a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase indigenous people’s history and culture toward inviting and honoring the truth

Offer recognition and respect

Counter the “doctrine of discovery” with the true story of the people who were already here

Create a broader public awareness of the history that has led to this moment

Begin to repair relationships with Native communities and with the land

Support larger truth-telling and reconciliation efforts

Remind people that colonization is an ongoing process, with Native lands still occupied due to deceptive and broken treaties

Take a cue from Indigenous protocol, opening up space with reverence and respect

Inspire ongoing action and relationship

Hashtag: #HonorNativeLands

Resources for Native American/Indigenous Land Acknowledgement:

Honor Native Land: A Guide and Call to Acknowledgement by U.S. Department of Arts and Culture 

#HonorNativeLand video (4:05 mins) by U.S. Department of Arts and Culture

Download the Guide: Honor Native Land by U.S. Department of Arts and Culture 

Learn more about the tribal nations in Minnesota by MN Indian Affairs Council

Understanding the Land Acknowledgement video (8:09 mins) by York University 


If you have Native American/Indigenous resources or suggestions you would like the Diversity Center to add to our website, please email Diversity.Center@normandale.edu or fill out this ONLINE FORM. We will review for approval before posting the resource. 


Please also review our drop down menu “Resources” and click on the link “Diversity Center Google Map Resources” to see additional resources listed on Native American/Indigenous communities.   


Diversity Center Programming

Weekly Activities 

Movie Mondays: Showcase a film revolving around diversity, equity, and inclusion

and join in a facilitated conversation afterwards.

April 13, 2020 @ 1:00pm - 3:00pm. 1:00pm - 2:30pm - Watch film.

2:30pm - 3:30pm - Participate in live Zoom discussion.

Join the live Zoom discussion HERE

Fight Over The Dakota Access Pipeline, Explained:


Tedtalk- The Standing Rock resistance and our fight for indigenous rights | Tare Houska and discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD3-6JIUF7M 

Facilitators: Zaynab Elshershaby & Pa Dao Yang

April 27, 2020 @ 1:00pm - 3:00pm. 1:00pm - 2:30pm - Watch film. 2:30pm - 3:30pm - Participate in live Zoom discussion. Join the live zoom discussion HERE

Film one - Intersectionality Discussion 

Film two - Overcoming Biases Discussion 

Facilitator: Zaynab Elshershaby

Tips Tuesdays: Invite a Normandale Staff/Faculty to the center to talk about their support services/resources for students.

April 14, 2020 @ 10:00am - 11:00am - Join in the Zoom presentation: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/5309971007

Learn about helpful resources from the Student Resource Center

Presenter: Michael Kranz and Zaynab Elshershaby

April 28, 2020 @ 10:00am - 11:00am - Join in the Zoom presentation HERE.

Learn about our Diversity Center Google Map Resources

Presenter: Zaynab Elshershaby

Wisdom Wednesdays: External community members are invited to the center to give presentations or training about their services, tools, and/or resources with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

April 15, 2020 @ 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Join the live Zoom presentation HERE

Understand the meaning of Ramadan and fasting

Presenter Abdulahi Farah, Executive Director of Al-Farooq Islamic Center

April 29, 2020 @ 2:00pm - 3:00pm - Join the live Zoom presentation HERE

Learn about Wilder Foundation, a non-profit organization located in St. Paul, MN that supports the community through social services, healthcare, equity, and more

Presenter: Pa Dao Yang


Throwback Thursdays: Engage in historical events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion that is still relevant to current events today. 

April 16, 2020 @ 11:00am - 12:00pm - Join the live Zoom presentation HERE

Mohamed Ali’s refusal into the army induction

Read: Muhammad Ali refuses Army induction

Watch video one: Muhammad Ali Mini Biography 

Watch video two: NBC News - Muhammad Ali on not going to war 

Facilitator: Zaynab Elshershaby


April 30, 2020 @ 11:00am - 12:00pm - Join the live Zoom presentation HERE

Multiracial elections held in South Africa

Watch video one: Watch Nelson Mandela Bio 

Read timeline: South Africa Holds First Multiracial Election 

Facilitator: Zaynab Elshershaby 


Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI)

*The IDI Student Leadership Program will be launched in Fall 2020. The IDI focuses on deep individual self-reflection on how one deals with cultures different from their own. Selected participants will be required to keep a personal journal, attend cultural events different from their own, and attend regular meetings with the IDI Qualifying Administrator. This program will encourage, support, and challenge individual students to think more critically on how they engage with cultures different from their own. The IDI has 5 continuums: Denial, Polarization, Minimization, Acceptance, and Adaptation. To learn more about the IDI continuum, please go to this website. If you have further questions, please contact the IDI Qualifying Administrator, Pa Dao Yang, padao.yang@normandale.edu.



What We Do

  • Provide resources for a diverse array of identities and community groups including but not limited to: American Indian/Native America, Disabilities, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Pan-African, Pan-Asian, Veterans, and more. We provide resources regarding community organizations, civic engagement, leadership development, conferences, trainings, podcasts, and more. 
  • Intercultural Development Inventory training for student leaders
  • Provide programming that addresses diversity, equity, and inclusion 
  • Plan diverse events/programs to support student development and leadership

Leadership Conference Opportunities

  • Kente Summit: For Collegiate Black Men (St. Paul, MN) - Oct 18, 2019. To learn more about the conference, go HERE. *PASSED
  • Overcoming Racism Conference (St. Paul, MN) - Nov 15 - 16, 2019. To learn more about the conference, go HERE. *PASSED.
  • Power In Diversity Conference (St. Cloud, MN) - Jan 30 - Feb 1, 2020. Hosted by St. Cloud State University. Go HERE to learn more about the conference workshops/schedule. We are sponsoring 10-15 students to attend the conference this year (a $95 value - registration fee). Hotel, transportation, and some meals will be provided for students selected. Normandale Deadline: Jan 23, 2020. *PASSED.
  • Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference - MBLGTACC (Kalamazoo, MI) - Feb 14 - Feb 16. A traveling conference within the Midwest. Go HERE to learn more about the conference. Normandale Deadline: *PASSED
  • Pan-African & Ally Student Summit (St. Cloud, MN) – March 20 – 21, 2020. Hosted at St. Cloud State University. Go HERE to read about the conference. We are sponsoring 10 students to the conference (a $15.00 value). Registration, hotels, meals, and transportation will be provided. APPLY ONLINE to be considered for the conference. Normandale Application Deadline: PASSED. 
  • Mid-West Asian American Student Union (Mpls, MN) – March 20 – 22, 2020. Hosted at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Go HERE to read about the conference. We are sponsoring 10 students to the conference (a $75.00 value). Only registration is paid for (some meals included). Transportation is on your own. No hotels included. APPLY ONLINE to be considered for the conference. Normandale Application Deadline: PASSED.   
  • Indigenous Men & Men of Color Student Leadership Conference (Brooklyn Park, MN) - April 17, 2020 @ 8:00am - 2:00pm. A conference put together by the Minnesota State Colleges and University system. It is a traveling conference amongst the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. This year it will be held at North Hennepin Community College. Please keep checking back for more details on registration and contact. 
    Indigenous Men and Men of Color

Diversity Library

In collaboration with the Diversity Club, we are forming a Diversity Library to be added into the Diversity Center! Please help us build this library by giving some suggestions of authors or books that you know of. We highly encourage authors and books including but not limited to American Indian/Native America, Disabilities, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Pan-African, Pan-Asian, Womyn, and Military/Veterans experience/perspectives. Please email: Pa Dao Yang 


The Diversity Center is currently seeking suggestions for the following categories:
  • Authors/Books
  • Guest Speakers 
  • Trainers  
  • Performers (musician, visual artist, poet, dancer, drummers, etc)
  • Restaurants/Business Owners 

To uplift the voices of underserved and underrepresented populations, a high preference is going to be given to communities from American Indian/Native America, Disabilities, Latinx, LGBTQIA+, Pan-African, Pan-Asian, and/or Womyn. Please send your suggestions/recommendations to Pa Dao Yang 


Use our Diversity Center Google Map Resources!

*The Diversity Center at Normandale Community College does not assume responsibility for the quality of services provided by outside agencies or websites listed. Inclusion in the list does not imply endorsement nor does omission indicate disapproval.
Minnesota Councils:

Reserving the Diversity Center

If you wish to reserve the Diversity Center, please contact Pa Dao Yang or call 952-358-9104 (office) or 952-358-8436 (Diversity Center). 

The Diversity Center has priority to schedule programming, events, training, and workshops before allowing student clubs and outside departments to reserve the space. 

Diversity Center Advisory Committee

The Diversity Center has an Advisory Committee made up of students, staff, and faculty that support and guide the center's work. Below are our 2019-2020 members: 

Beena Cook, Tutoring Center Coordinator, Tutoring Center
De'Andre Avaloz, TRIO Upward Bound Advisor, TRIO Upward Bound
Estefany Lisseth Mejia Rodas, Student, Diversity Club
Hao Taing, Student, Diversity Club
Jennifer Bouchard, French Instructor, World Languages
John Parker-Der Boghossian, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Human Resources
Kenny White, TRIO Upward Bound Advisor, TRIO Upward Bound
Lauren Schumann, Access Program Coordinator, Office for Students with Disabilities
Naimo Osman, Student, Diversity Club
Njia Lawrence-Porter, Academic Advisor, Advising and Counseling
Willie Johnson, Instructor, Communication     
Vichetra Heng, Student, Diversity Club

If you are a student who is interested in joining the Diversity Club, or if you are a staff or faculty member who is interested in being a part of the Diversity Center Advisory Committee, please contact the advisor, Pa Dao Yang.