Diversity and Inclusion College-Wide

Colleges serve as cultural hubs in society, and Cincinnati State takes pride in offering students a collegiate experience with a focus on individuality, inclusivity, and diversity.

The diverse organizations and clubs on campus strive to provide platforms for students of all backgrounds to build strong networks and support systems inside and outside of the classroom. Students can discover many opportunities to collaborate, advocate, and lead during their time at Cincinnati State regardless of race, gender, class, or sexual orientation.   

In the Zone (ITZ)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) students are now more comfortable and open than ever on college campuses. Though they remain both sexual orientation and gender-identity minorities, they have more freedom to express their beliefs and authentic selves.

At Cincinnati State, In the Zone (ITZ) is a student organization that focuses on community engagement and education surrounding all LGBTQIA+ topics. ITZ presents a safe, supportive environment where everyone can be themselves. Students are encouraged to be proud of who they are, celebrate what makes them unique, and express their needs.

In The Zone is founded on the idea of creating a learning environment and safe space for students to be vulnerable, take risks, and learn in the face of stigmatizing social pressures. The overarching goal is to help students use these experiences and lessons in order to create a similar environment for others in their lives.

The broad promotion of diverse intersectionalities is a primary focus of ITZ. Cincinnati State understands that colleges and campus leaders have an obligation to advance LGBTQIA+ student development and learning. Improving campus climates and increasing inclusion is vital.

Each year ITZ boldly supports Pride Month and has become a founding component and dynamic participant in Cincinnati’s pride parades. ITZ partners locally with other colleges and institutions, such as the University of Cincinnati’s LGBTQ Center and The Edge House to spread awareness and support. ITZ members are always working on finding new partnerships throughout the area and across the country to promote equality and freedom.

During the 2022-23 school year ITZ will be offering new activities, such as a new Brave Conversations series and Safe Zone training. Such opportunities are designed to compel thoughtful and productive dialogue in a safe and respectful setting. Students can discuss and address fears, concerns and opinions on any inclusion or diversity topic in an open and honest way.

ITZ is also working on a potential collaboration this year with the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQIA+ youth. In addition to fielding thousands of crisis calls, this nonprofit is the first to connect to youth nationally through digital spaces, such as the TrevorChat instant messaging service and the TrevorSpace social network.

Whether students are an ally, looking to become one, or just have some questions, In The Zone is an outstanding starting point for anyone at Cincinnati State.

For more information, contact faculty advisor Dr. Ronnie Gladden at ronniegladden@cincinnatistate.edu.

Dr. Ronnie is a tenured professor, motivational speaker, and author with proven success working with at-risk people to improve educational and equity outcomes.

Black Male Initiative (BMI)

Diversity and inclusiveness are valued in Cincinnati State’s college community and they strive to support and hear all voices. A diverse student population is vital for everyone’s success.

Cincinnati State recognizes the importance of helping minority students build strong social networks within academia, and provides many platforms for groups to collaborate and advocate.

The Black Male Initiative organization stands out on campus as a means for support and encouragement for the inclusion and success of underrepresented groups in higher education. In particular, BMI provides a community and a forum for discussion of issues unique to black men.

BMI is open to anyone who has an interest in understanding and tackling challenges facing black men in college and society. Members can partake in a variety of educational and social events that promote academic success, personal growth, and professional development.

Throughout the year, BMI teams up with local colleges and institutions to provide additional layers of academic and social support through events such as educational summits. These summits provide seminars, workshops and community awareness education concerning topics such as the importance of higher education, black male retention, leadership, organizational activism, and black mens’ mental health and awareness.

These events work towards bridging the identifiable gaps relating to social opportunities, innovations, and professional networking for black males. Action-oriented projects and events throughout the year work to help underrepresented students overcome inequalities and continue succeeding. These activities and celebrations have led to increased retention rates and elevated success potential across the Cincinnati State student body.

BMI also offers other all-inclusive social activities and celebrations for the Cincinnati State community. In the past, BMI hosted events such as a talent show, to showcase students’ unique skills, talents, and artwork. The show focused on the theme of “empowerment toward our dreams.”

BMI recently hosted the “Game-ON Challenge” for all students, faculty, and alumni. The event served as a creative way for everyone to come together, network, and challenge one another in an engaging and entertaining atmosphere.

For more information, contact BMI advisor Bryan Dell at bryan.dell@cincinnatistate.edu.

Juneteenth Celebration (will be an annual event)

Cincinnati State encourages everyone to honor and celebrate those who have paved the way in support of freedom and liberation. Cincinnati State hosted a special Juneteenth celebration on Thursday, June 16, in the ATLC Courtyard on Clifton Campus.

Professor Daniel Anderson gives a history of Juneteenth

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Black Independence Day, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day, about two months after the Civil War ended, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas. They brought the message that President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, abolishing slavery about two and a half years earlier, and ensuring that all enslaved people be freed.

Cincinnati State’s President, Dr. Monica Posey, and history professor Daniel Anderson spoke at the event about the meaning and importance of this holiday. DJ Butch Gibson followed with lively music alongside displays by local artisans.

Attendees celebrated with a commemorative cookie and a food voucher for the Overlook or the Fish D Chicken food truck. Despite the lines, the wait time was short and the food was delicious.

Established as a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth was commemorated by Cincinnati State for the first time by closing on Monday, June 20th, 2022.

Dr. Monica Posey (middle, Cincinnati State President), with Gretchen Cook (left, Perkins Pathway and Transition Manager), and Rita Graf (right, Career Tech Pathway Manager)

These are by no means all the inclusive events, activities, and organizations to be found at Cincinnati State. More assemblies and opportunities can be discovered with the help of the Student Activities group – you can learn more about their services and events at Student Activities and check out the campus clubs and organizations listed at Clubs & Organizations

Cincinnati State Equity Statement We believe in contributing to a socially and economically equitable society. We honor the diversity and inclusiveness of our College community and strive to hear all voices.

At Cincinnati State, equity is a primary pillar upon which our college was built, and is part of our Mission, Vision and Value statements. By emphasizing equality across our collegiate community, we can promote character, pride, and education in all forms in an arena of trust, freedom and safety.