Skip to main content

Overview Message

Salem State University's National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) team educates employees and students about issues of discrimination, harassment, prejudice, and diversity.


About NCBI

NCBI workshops and principles are being used on hundreds of college and university campuses, K-12 schools, corporations, law enforcement programs, communities, domestic and international political organizations, and peace negotiations. They have launched campus affiliates on sixty campuses where faculty, students and administrators have made an institutional commitment to using NCBI programs as a mechanism to provide an ongoing response to discrimination, oppression and handling controversial issues.

In 2018, Salem State University became a campus affiliate of NCBI. A team of 17 faculty, staff and students spent the past two years across two different cohorts (2018, 2019) being trained on NCBI’s "Welcoming Diversity," "Controversial Issues Process," and diversity, equity and inclusion model. We are happy to now be rolling out these consistent training and development opportunities for our campus as part of a sustained effort to shift to a more inclusive culture by continuously practicing inclusive excellence. Our team of Salem State University NCBI trainers join the NCBI Massachusetts Consortium trainers to offer professional development workshops and trainings, free of charge, to the campus and community. The NCBI Massachusetts Consortium is a partnership comprised of Cape Cod Community CollegeMassachusetts College of Art & Design (MassArt)Middlesex Community CollegeNorth Shore Community College, and Salem State University. Our campus director is Nikki Pelonia, 978.542.6521.


NCBI Theory and Philosophy

The National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) has conducted peer training to transform communities and organizations around the world. These are the operational assumptions underlying NCBI programs:

  1. Training teams of peer leaders is the most effective way to empower people to take leadership in reducing racism and other forms of discrimination.
  2. Programs to welcome diversity require an ongoing institutional effort.
  3. The establishment of proactive training programs that build strong intergroup relations are more effective than programs that respond to specific incidents of racism or crises.
  4. Programs that welcome diversity need to include all of the visible and invisible differences found in a workplace or community.
  5. Diversity training programs that are based on guilt, moralizing or condemnation often rigidify prejudicial attitudes.
  6. Anti-racism programs are most effectively conducted with a hopeful, upbeat tone.

See the national NCBI website for more detailed explanations of each of these principles.


NCBI Workshops and Trainings

NCBI has developed a training model designed to build relationships through understanding, empowering people to take leadership and be able to institutionalize the skills needed to welcome diversity and build an environment in which everyone wants to belong.

The United States Department of Education's Gender Equity Expert panel cited NCBI's work on college campuses s a national "best practice," awarding it the rating of "excellent" regarding educational significance, quality, usefulness, and replicability.

The following workshops were developed by NCBI and are facilitated by Salem State's team of NCBI Trainers.

We welcome any member of the Salem State community to attend these workshops free of charge, including all faculty, staff, and students.

Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. You may also request a workshop for your group of 15 or more participants.


"Welcoming Diversity" Workshop

This workshop consists of a series of incremental, interactive and experiential activities that help participants raise self-awareness, stretch beyond their comfort zones, and gain new understandings for change. Participants are both teachers and learners with the following learning outcomes:

  • Celebrate their similarities and differences
  • Recognize the misinformation we learned about various groups
  • Identify and heal from internalized oppression–the discrimination members of an oppressed group target at themselves and each other
  • Claim pride in group identity
  • Understand the personal impact of discrimination through the telling of stories, and
  • Learn hands-on tools for dealing effectively with bigoted comments and behavior

"Finding Common Ground: From Conflict to Coalition Building" Workshop

NCBI’s award-winning "Controversial Issues Process" trains leaders to deal constructively with tough conflicts, enabling them to move disputing parties toward future cooperation. This workshop provides a structured methodology that allows people on all sides of an entrenched issue to:

  • Express their concerns
  • Listen attentively and then
  • Reframe the issue in a way that respectfully takes into account the concerns of the opposing sides
  • Where all parties are then able to work towards a common solution.

This session is highly interactive, and leaders engage in learning by dialoguing about a real controversy that exists in the room. The skills taught in this workshop can be used by anyone in any conflict situation from simple misunderstanding to heated debate.

Please note: Although not required, it is recommended that you attend "Welcoming Diversity" before attending this workshop.


Interested in a Workshop For Your Group?

Salem State departments, organizations, and teams may request an NCBI workshop for groups of 15 or more. More details to come. For access and accommodation information, visit our page on access or email


Meet the Salem State NCBI Team

Rebecca D. Latin, Inclusive Excellence Ana Emlinger, Geography and Sustainability
Armando Martinez, Student Government Association Jobita Mao, Admissions
Kathy Neville, School of Graduate Studies Michelle Pierce, College of Arts and Sciences
Kathleen Adee, School of Nursing Rukmal Ryder, Frederick E. Berry Library
Bonnie Galinski, Enrollment Management Scott Shea, Student Life Operations
Franklin Chilaka, First Year Experience Yvonne Ruiz, School of Social Work
Nicole J. Harris, School of Education Carmen Barefield, Human Resources
Keja Valens, English Nikki Pelonia, Inclusive Excellence

How to Become Part of the NCBI Team

Salem State faculty, staff, and students interested in becoming NCBI training practitioners must meet the following obligations:

  • Participate in a One Day "Welcoming Diversity" workshop;
  • Complete the 3-Day Train-the-Trainer seminar;
  • Join the Salem State NCBI team;
  • Co-facilitate at minimum two NCBI workshops per calendar year
  • Attend one NCBI team meeting per month;
  • Assist with the implementation of team goals towards practicing inclusive excellence at Salem State.
Back to top