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Multicultural Center

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The Multicultural Center, based on the EMU student union hall, ideally aspired to be a center “where all students would be welcomed to meet, plan, and help with educating the community about diversity.†The student-funded MCC was approved in the mid-1990s and became the catalyst for a series of changes. The MCC is a hub of activism, connecting students of all races and backgrounds, especially by listserve and computer bulletin boards to encourage collaboration around diversity programming and education. The MCC has sponsored annual conferences on diversity, featuring renown keynote speakers including historians Howard Zinn (author of People’s History of the United States), professors Angela Davids, poet/playwright Amiri Baraka, actor edward James Olmos, activist Bobby Seale, Father Roy Bourgeois, global performance artist Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Yolando King (daughter of MLK), the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Adelina Anthony, Elaine Brown, Athen’s Boys Choir, among Many others. The MCC accommodates any meetings of student unions, educational and cultural workshops, guest speakers and artists, art displays, open mic spoken word events, hip hop concerts, etc. The MCC also houses a resource library of books and videos, and a small computer lab for students to work on academic and union projects. The MCC provides potential coalition space for disparate groups in one physical location, encouraging dialogue and cooperation towards achieving common goals, as well as union general meeting space.

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A significant result of the struggle in 1999 against a campus hate crime against women of color, and part of the overall effort to achieve more equity and a climate of fairness and safety on campus, was the initial project of 10 student interns who researched and formulated a new diversity initiative plan. The diversity interns defined the concept of diversity in a broad inclusive way, combining gender and ethnic constituents’ concerns and derhands:

“It (diversity) means recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio0economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained in each individual.†(from original U.O. diversity internship web site)

Since then, the student staff, student volunteer base and faculty/staff allies of the MCC have taken up numerous campaigns to improve the climate of the campus, including the effort to rid the campus of its past contractual affiliations with hate radio; to stop institutional efforts to cut back staff at the Office of Multicultural Academic Success; and to resist culturally incompetent assaults by EMU administrators on the MCC and its staff; as well as to coalition with faculty and the ASUO to departmentalize Ethnic Studeies and Women’s Studies etc.

“In the next millennium, the University of Oregon will continue to change. Students of color have become agents of change, altering and adding value to educational policies, changing the direction of curriculum; and calling attention to an unfriendly campus climate that has too often tolerated racism, (sexism, homophobia, and other oppressive behaviors.) Working together in coalitions as well as in separate groups, students of color (and other underrepresented groups) have been instrumental in pressing for progress. By questioning and challenging the university’s academic and social life, students have advocated for improvements that build a safe and culturally pluralistic learning environment.â€

– excerpt from the book Making a Difference? University Students of Color Speak Out, (chapter 6) by Donna Wong and Julia Lesage (Littlefield Publishers)

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Historical Summary

The Multicultural Center was founded, sustained, and developed by student activists of diverse backgrounds and cultures, resulting from historically recent efforts to create a more inclusive and diverse campus community since 1995. The MCC was born and developed out of the campaign for a multicultural curriculum requirement that would encourage scholarship, a more tolerant respectful campus community, and a more accurate, truthful and inclusive pedagogy to prepare students for an increasingly diverse world. It was formed to fill the needs of students of color and other marginalized students that were not sufficiently addressed by the university’s other programs and services.

Upcoming Events

Image description:    A dark red square with white text is on the top right of the graphic. Behind it is a picture of an adult and a child walking through a forest. The leaves are yellow, and some have fallen to the ground.    The text says: "The LGBTESS & OP present: Hike at Hendricks Park. January 22 1-3:30pm. Meet at the QA3. 3.5 miles."   End description.

Join us Saturday, January 22nd at 1pm for a 3 mile hike through Hendricks Park. This is a great opportunity to explore the outdoors and meet new...

1/22 1pm
Image description:  Graphic has a purple background with darker purple text in the middle and sky blue sparkles against the background color.  At the bottom of the graphic is two images of popcorn cartons and two film reels. One reel has light orange accents and orange film and the other has black accents and grey film.  The text in the middle says: "Virtual movie night! Sun, January 23rd, 2 - 4 pm. Taking place on the UO LGBTQIA+ Discord server!".  End description.

Hello folks! We're hosting a virtual movie night on Sunday, January 23rd, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM! If you need access to the UO LGBTQIA+ Discord server,...

1/23 2pm
Image description:  Slide 1: The first slide has a pink background, black text at the top, a flag in the center, and a black blob at the bottom right which covers part of the flag in the center.  The text at the top says: LGBTQIA+ Affinity Groups: Trans & Nonbinary  The flag is the trans flag. The white text within the black blob says: Every other Sunday, UO LGBTQIA+ Discord, 5 - 6 PM, Odd weeks (1,3,5,7,9).  End description.

This is the identity subgroup for trans and enby UO students! This subgroup is a communal space for students who are anywhere on the transgender and/or...

1/23 5pm
Image description:  The background of the image is a photo of the progress pride flag. In front of it is black text.  From top to bottom, the text reads:  "JEWISH LGBTQIA+ STUDENT COMMUNITY! Weekly social hour every Monday, 4-5 pm on Zoom. Email talia@oregonhillel.org for the zoom link and to be added to our private community groupme!"  End description.

Hey folks, here's the info for the Jewish LGBTQIA+ Social Hour that occurs weekly, hosted by Oregon Hillel! Here's the group description: We are an...

1/24 4pm
Image description:  The background is white with a few jiggly shapes of varying colors. Notably, there is a pink circle in the bottom left with black text in it, and a hand holding a small lesbian flag to the right of it. Above both of these, in the white void, is larger black text.  The text, from top to bottom, states:  "LGBTQIA+ affinity groups: Lesbian Legion. Mondays at 5-6 pm in the LGBTQA3 Office (EMU 022)."  End description.

The Lesbian Legion is the club subgroup for sapphics. Our group is focused on making space to foster connection and community for lesbians at UO. The...

1/24 5pm

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