Nikole Hannah-Jones, John Leguizamo among 2021-2022 GRCC Diversity Lecture Series, Latino Heritage Month speakers

Nikole Hannah-Jones, John Leguizamo, Austin Channing Brown, and LaTosha Brown.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones and Emmy Award-winner John Leguizamo are among the speakers highlighting Grand Rapids Community College’s 2021-2022 Diversity Lecture Series and Latino Heritage Month.

The Diversity Lecture Series provides students, employees and community members access to scholars, thought-leaders, activists, and artists and is presented by the GRCC’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

“Our overarching goal for the year ahead is cultivating equity through an intersectional framework,” said Dr. B. Afeni McNeely Cobham, GRCC’s chief equity and inclusion officer. “We are adopting intersectionality from the work of professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, who describes intersectionality as an understanding of how race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, disability, physical appearance, height, and other individual characteristics ‘intersect’ with one another and overlap.”

This year’s kickoff of the Diversity Lecture Series will highlight a new initiative called Interfaith Literacy.

Keynote speaker Austin Channing Brown will lead a discussion about standing in the shadow of hope. In this context, the word “shadow” is a metaphor for patience and grace.

Brown is a speaker, writer and media producer providing inspired leadership on justice in America. She is the author of “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness.” Her workshops and lectures are incisive, fun, disarming and transformative. By using an intentional mix of humor, pop-culture, story-telling, and audience engagement, she evokes thought, feeling and action as she celebrates the possibility of justice in our organizations and communities. 

The event is planned for 6 p.m. Sept. 7.

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My Story Started at GRCC: Amanda Colegrove advocates for human trafficking victims

Amanda Colegrove smiling.

Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful.

Amanda Colegrove wanted to be sure what she wanted to do with her life before she went to college, so she went right into the workforce for a few years.

She enrolled in GRCC when she decided to pursue her passion for social justice.

“When I came to GRCC, I started in the Sociology Department, and then I took a geography class — and that pretty much changed the course of my academic career,” she said in a 2015 interview. “It was in that particular class that I came across a little paragraph about human trafficking in the world and in the U.S.”

Colegrove wanted to learn more about the issue but ran into an immediate roadblock: At that time, very little research was being done.

“About 95% of it was international,” she recalled. “There wasn’t a lot of research being done about trafficking in the U.S.”

Colegrove graduated in 2010 from GRCC, where she served as president of the Lambda Upsilon chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geographical honor society. She earned a bachelor’s degree in geography and sociology at Aquinas College in 2011 and graduated from the University of Missouri with a master’s degree in geography in 2013.

In grad school, Colegrove worked to address the lack of information about human trafficking in the United States by developing a model for assessing the risk at the local level — a huge help for communities trying to gather resources to fight the problem.

She was hired right out of grad school as a coalition organizer for the Crime Victim Advocacy Center in St. Louis, Mo., where she trained law enforcement, social service providers and health care professionals to recognize human trafficking and provide better help to its victims.

Colegrove now works with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Safe Harbor program, a statewide effort to fight sex trafficking of youth.

She credits GRCC with more than setting her on her career path.

“The variety of classes I was able to take opened up new avenues of thought that underpin much of the work I do today,” said Colegrove, who received GRCC’s Geography Field Cap Award.  

Let GRCC help you start your story. The first chapter starts at

Tech Tip: Blackboard Quota Exceeded

As we get closer to the fall semester, Information Technology wants to remind all instructors that Blackboard courses are limited to 500 MB in size. To avoid receiving a Quota Exceeded error when adding anything to your course, we recommend uploading content to a third-party site like Google Drive or YouTube where storage space is unlimited.

Once a file or video is saved to one of those resources, you can then share a link of the file or video to your Blackboard course saving lots of valuable space. Below you will find information about the Quota Exceeded error, how to share a Google Drive document to your Blackboard course and how to upload videos to a third-party site and share to Blackboard. 

Unable to Add Content in Blackboard – Quota Exceeded

Sharing Files in Google Drive Video

Sharing a Google Drive Document in Blackboard

Upload Videos to Share on Blackboard

For more information and helpful tips, please visit the IT Customer Support Portal or contact the IT Customer Support Desk at x4357.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing 

Volunteers needed for Information Stations August 16-20, Aug. 23-27 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1

It’s that time: We are looking for volunteers to help with the Information Stations! As you may know, volunteers at the Information Stations help our students feel welcome and find their way around campus. This will be especially important this semester!

This year, we are holding an information table outside of the new Enrollment Center prior to Fall start. The first three days of Fall start will be the stations set up around campus like in the recent past.

As you look at the volunteer sign-up sheet, please take note of the three different tabs to sign up accordingly!

  • RJF Info Station Week 1: August 16-20 from 10:00am-3:00pm
  • RJF Info Station Week 2: August 23-27 from 10:00am-3:00pm
  • Semester Start Stations: August 30-September 1 from 7:00am-6:30pm

Sign up here

Details about Information Stations that may look a bit different this semester:
We are inviting two volunteers to each station, but please prioritize filling each station so we can guarantee coverage for the 2-hour commitments.

  1. Please follow the current campus protocols while working at the information station to minimize contact and germ spreading.
  2. Each station will have two tables and 2 chairs in addition to plexiglass barriers and signs indicating wayfinding.
  3. Instead of having a binder of information that everyone thumbs through, a Google doc. will have all relevant information. This will allow us to keep information up-to-date as things change.
  4. Please bring your GRCC-issued laptop or tablet to access the Google doc. of information (again, to minimize the spread of germs).
  5. Handouts at each station will include campus maps, Sneden shuttle flyers and GetHelp cards.
  6. Please plan on bringing your own water and snacks as these will not be provided.

There will be hand sanitizer at each table. We will also have antibacterial wipes so the table can be wiped down at the end of each shift.

If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Fox, Student Resources Coordinator, at (616) 234-2543 or

Raider Rally is BACK – volunteers needed!

We are very excited to announce that Raider Rally will be back for Fall 2021 kick off on Saturday, August 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Juan R. Olivarez Student Plaza

We are looking for volunteers to help us pull off this wonderful event. Help is needed to greet and direct students, check them in, hand out goodies, and more. Please sign up here. 

If you have any questions, please email Lori Cook at

Welcome back to campus Ice Cream Social with Ohana Ice

Ohana Hawaiian Shaved Ice logo with a picture of a turtle and flowers.

Reconnect with your GRCC Family and enjoy a frozen tasty treat!

The Ohana Hawaiian Shaved Ice truck is visiting the Tassell MTEC, DeVos Campus, and the Main Campus, so be sure to save the date on your calendar!

Tuesday August 24

11:30am-1:00pm at the Tassell MTEC (near front entrance)

2:00-4:00pm at the DeVos Campus (Admin. Bldg parking lot)

Wednesday August 25

12:30-3:00pm at Main Campus (at the South end of the Commons)

Coming Soon: Fall 2021 employee learning opportunities

Coming to an Online Center enrollment tile near you! Your patience is appreciated as an excellent schedule of learning opportunities for faculty and staff is curated and developed. 

New sessions on new topics as well as popular favorites will be available this Fall. Some are in person, others are virtual.

Watch for another announcement in GRCC Today when the sessions are open for registration — it should be by the end of this month!

Any requests? Questions? Contact

Thank you for your support of employee learning!

Tech Tip: Student employee access extension

Do you have a student employee who will be working with you again next semester? Now is the perfect time to request for their access to be extended with the IT department! If you weren’t aware, access for student employees is only granted on an academic semester basis. 

We’ve simplified the process for you! Please navigate to the Network Account Provisioning Form  on our Support Portal and under request type select extend current access. From there you add the student’s information and submit the request. IT will make sure your student employee’s access is extended for them when they come back to work the next semester. 

For other great tips, visit the IT Customer Support Portal and search the Knowledge Base for other articles.

If you have a suggestion or a Technology Tip you think can be useful, you can submit them by emailing