MRC started in 1987 and is a small, grassroots 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Ithaca, NY. We offer a number of programs and cultural celebrations throughout the year, diversity workshops and trainings, and a lending library with resources on undoing racism and diversity education.
The idea for MRC began in a basement downtown, when a group of students decided to band together to help their communities become closer and more understanding of one another. These students came from all walks of life and backgrounds, the only things in common being their age group and the fact that they all studied at the same university.
The project took on a life of its own when the group secured a small grant from city hall, to help them build their organization. In a short time, the NGO has its own board, a handful of dedicated volunteers and shared a meeting and event space at the local bingo hall. From these inauspicious beginnings grew an organization that became extremely valuable in the increasingly diverse community around it. School groups, church groups and other NGOs began collaborating with the MRC to create and explore together, to build bridges between people and expand their understanding and empathy. Not bad for a crazy idea from a group of idealistic students!
Now, several decades after that momentous basement meeting, the MRC is currently staffed by one full-time director and one part-time special projects coordinator. Our staff and nine-member board of directors represents a diverse cross-section of the larger community.
The mission of MRC is to create dialogue around diversity issues, particularly racism, in Tompkins County, and to facilitate community leadership on these issues by helping to empower people to embrace our community’s ethnic and cultural diversity.
Our goals are to:
- Advocate for disenfranchised and underrepresented groups within our community
- Expand diversity within community agencies and organizations
- Promote cultural awareness for an inclusive environment in our community
MRC boasts an active lending library that is available to the public every weekday. In addition to this resource, MRC also provides consulting and advocacy services, as well as many cultural events throughout the year. We accept donations to keep our library up to date – if you can give money or even old books you think should be on our shelves, we would be most grateful! Our library is supplemented by the generous donations of our community and help us understand what our library users prefer to read.
If you would like to be involved in the work of MRC, or might simply enjoy learning more about what MRC can offer you, please feel free to contact us via email, Facebook or telephone. To hear about our upcoming events, please sign up for the mailing list. We look forward to hearing from you!
MRC is a member of the Tompkins County Diversity Consortium.