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Centers for Student Equity, Empowerment, and Belonging

The Centers for Student Equity, Empowerment, and Belonging (The Centers) is part of the Office of the Dean of Students within Student and Campus Life. The Centers work together to support student equity, empowerment, and belonging. This is defined as:

  • Equity ensures that students are provided the resources needed to access the same opportunities. 
  • Empowerment promotes the skills, knowledge, and confidence necessary to take control of one’s life. 
  • Belonging cultivates an inclusive community, welcomes individuality, celebrates identity, appreciates contribution, inspires connection, and supports equity.

This is accomplished through identity-based programs, resources and community spaces. Each area focuses on identity exploration and celebration, involvement opportunities, leadership development, support, and allyship. The Centers encourage students to explore and embrace the depth of their multiple identities to foster a more profound understanding of themselves and others.

The Centers are lead by a dynamic leadership team and consist of the following areas:

Asian & Asian American Center

The Asian & Asian American Center (A3C) acknowledges and celebrates the rich diversity that Asian, Pacific Islander, and Desi American (APIDA) students bring to Cornell and  actively fosters a supportive and inclusive campus community.

Black Student Empowerment 

Black Student Empowerment leads initiatives to support Black identified students and other underserved student populations, advises student organizations, implement intercultural and intersectional longitudinal co-curricular programs.

First-Generation and Low-Income Student Support

First-Generation & Low-Income (FGLI) student support promotes identity exploration, community, advocacy and empowerment for all students who identify with the first-generation and/or low-income student experience.

Gender Equity Resource Center

The Gender Equity Resource Center fosters a vibrant and supportive campus community for woman-identified and gender diverse people so that they can bring their full and authentic selves to every part of their lives.

Latinx Student Empowerment

Latinx Student Empowerment leads strategic planning and collaborative partnerships across campus to improve the Latinx/e student experience at Cornell University. This area cultivates student-centered initiatives that foster identity development, leadership skills, and a strong sense of belonging.

LGBT Resource Center

The LGBT Resource Center is the hub of LGBTQ+ student life and resources at Cornell. They provide advocacy, outreach, education, support, and community to LGBTQ+ students of all identities, backgrounds, and experiences.

Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making

OSMM supports all Cornell students of all religious identities, ethical backgrounds, and worldviews in discovering what they deeply believe, finding places of spiritual belonging, and growing into the people they feel called to become.

Undocumented/DACA Student Support

Undocumented & DACA Student Support serves as a resource to undocumented, DACAmented students, students from mixed-status familiar, and their allies. This is done through facilitating referrals, advising, and collaborating widely with campus partners to host presentations and undocu-ally trainings.

Get involved with The Centers

  • Join individual CampusGroups pages and follow us on Instagram.
  • Attend the variety of events offered throughout the academic year.
  • Visit our office spaces in Anabel Taylor Hall, Barnes Hall, Willard Straight Hall, and 626 Thurston Ave. to meet students and staff and find community and resources. 
  • Register your student organization or club for an Equity, Empowerment, and Belonging training or workshop (see below).

Join us on this transformative journey as The Centers for Student Equity, Empowerment, and Belonging collectively support students as they explore their identity development and create positive change. Together, we can build a more equitable, empowering, and inclusive Cornell student experience!

Purpose Statement

The Centers enhance equity, empowerment, and belonging to support students through advocacy and the transformational learning that takes place outside of the classroom.

Support and Resources

Find a Confidential Resource 

The university offers a number of confidential resources for individuals who are looking for support, or an opportunity to consider next steps, who need care or who may be unsure about whether to report incidents to the university or police. This includes individuals needing support for incidents related to bias and gender-based violence.

A list of confidential resources can be found at:

Find mental health resources

Mental Health at Cornell offers support for mental health and well-being of Cornell University students, staff, and faculty with a wide range of resources. 

Student Support and Advocacy Services

The Office of Student Support and Advocacy Services assists students in navigating difficult life events and crisis situations that impact their ability to be successful. They utilize a student-centered and individualized approach to support and empower students. The office serves as the central point of contact for students, families, and community members, and collaborates with campus partners to holistically support students.

Resources to understand Race, Racism, Systemic Racism, and Antiracism

The information below is intended to serve as a resource for our Cornell community to deepen our antiracism work and encourage dialogue among students, staff, faculty, and community members. We encourage you to review the materials below, share them with others, and take action. 

The Division of Student & Campus Life joins President Pollack in recognizing the critical work we as a University must do to address systemic racism as an institution and as a community. While Cornell has a proud history of promoting an inclusive campus environment, we know there is still much work to be done to make us a more equitable and just community. One small step is to participate in the community book read of “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. We encourage you to join us.

Additional Common Read Resources:

Please note, this page and the resources list below will be maintained and updated as additional tools and action items are identified.

Recommended Resources from The Centers for Student Equity, Empowerment and Belonging.

The Centers team has collected and reviewed the following list of resources to help guide you in your understanding of race, racial justice and equity:

Understanding Racism

Understanding Anti-Racism

Anti-Racism Workshops and Tools:

Re-centering the Voices of Black Leaders

Understanding Whiteness and White Privilege

Understanding Racism in Medicine

Understanding Racial Politics and History

Understanding Anti-Blackness in POC Communities

Understanding Spirituality and its Relationship to Race and Racial Justice

  • Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative
  • Jewish Social Justice
  • angel Kyodo Williams and Lama Rod Owens, Radical Dharma: Talking Love, Race, and Liberation (Berkely, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2016)
  • angel Kyodo Williams, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace (New York: Penguin, 2000)
  • The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism (Amazon Prime Series)
  • Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice, Spiritual Practice and Social Justice  
  • USCCB Combatting Racism (Catholic Bishop’s website on racism)
  • The Episcopal Church Racial Reconciliation
  • Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (New Haven: Yale, 2011)
  • Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America (St. Martin's Press: 2017)

Training and Workshops to support Equity, Empowerment, and Belonging

Equity, Empowerment, and Belonging Trainings and Workshops

The Centers are thrilled to offer a variety of workshops and trainings on topics related to equity, empowerment, belonging. Read below to learn about our core offerings, and how to request a workshop. These sessions are available to all student groups and student organizations. 

Please fill out the following form to request a workshop and/or tell us about the workshop you hope to customize.

Please contact Kelli King ( for any questions.

Inclusive Language: 1 hour

In this workshop, participants will learn what inclusive language is and why it is important; concepts such as microaggressions, the golden rule and the platinum rule, intent versus impact; the importance of taking feedback; and examples of inclusive language related to many various identities and diversity and inclusion content areas. The presentation includes a variety of modalities: PowerPoint slides, small group discussion, short video clips, individual reflection, and large group share-out. 

The Importance of Gender Pronouns: 1 hour

This workshop is designed to offer a deeper dive into inclusive language, specifically addressing gender pronouns. The presentation will include an overview of what gender pronouns are, how to use them and ask for them, and opportunities to practice and ask questions of facilitators.

Cycle of Socialization: 90 minutes

This introductory level workshop introduces the concepts of socialization, social identities (including the concept of agent and target identities), oppression, and the continuous nature of socialization as a system. Participants will learn key terms and concepts, and be invited to reflect on their own socialization process and identities. The presentation includes a variety of modalities: PowerPoint slides, short video clips, small group discussion, individual worksheet reflection, and large group share-out.

Creating an Inclusive Campus Environment: Skills and Practice: 2.5 - 3 hours

This in-depth workshop is designed to take diversity education from theory to practice. Participants will examine their potential unconscious biases and implicit assumptions, explore the skills necessary to be an active ally, identify the obstacles that stop them from being an active bystander, and add communication tools to their toolbox. This highly interactive workshop includes PowerPoint presentation, short video clips, activities, small group work, scenarios, and role plays.Are you looking for workshops that focus on leadership?  Check out all that Campus Activities have to offer here.

Campus-wide resources for Equity, Empowerment, & Belonging

Report an incident or concern

Reporting, understanding, and preventing unacceptable behaviors such as bias, sexual misconduct, and hazing are essential to maintaining our caring community. Below are avenues for reporting these incidents as well as receiving confidential care and support if you need it.

See the following link to view more information on reporting: