Kent State’s Student Multicultural Center Celebrates 50 Years
Cheers to 50 years of embracing diversity and empowering students of color to be successful. These and more are what Kent State University’s Student Multicultural Center is celebrating as it marks its golden jubilee this year.
Beginning in the fall of 1968, the Office of Minority Affairs was created within the Human Relations Center to serve as a liaison with and provide consultative and special services to minority groups, students and organizations at Kent State University. The overall goal of the Office of Minority Affairs was for the students it served to realize their full educational potential as noted by Milton E. Wilson Jr., Ph.D., in April 1970.
Over the years, the name would be changed from Office of Minority Affairs to the Office of Cultural Diversity since there was, and still is today, a negative connotation with the word “minority.” In 1991, Kent State President Carol Cartwright mentioned the office in her new Diversity Plan for Kent State University. Later in 1998, the name of the office would change to what we know it as today, and that is the Student Multicultural Center.
For 50 years, this area has had a charge to support students of color in their growth and accessing their full potential here at Kent State. Today, the Student Multicultural Center works to make sure students feel culturally affirmed and that they have a sense of belonging here at Kent State though individual student support, cultural events such as Kupita/Transiciones (Kent State's cultural orientation) and Karamu Ya Wahitimu/Celebración de los Graduados (Kent State's cultural pre-Commencement event), and providing a welcoming space for students.
To commemorate this milestone, the Student Multicultural Center will host a series of events throughout the week of Sept. 10. The center will also celebrate the last 50 years with food, music and honoring our past. As a part of this celebration, the Student Multicultural Center is working to establish an emergency fund through the support and donation of those who believe in the center’s work. Although this week of events will officially kick off the Student Multicultural Center’s 50 year celebration, the center will celebrate this milestone all year long though various events and initiatives.
For more information about the 50th anniversary celebration of Kent State’s Student Multicultural Center, visit www.kent.edu/smc/50th-anniversary.