New in Fall 2023: Disability Cultural Center Meet-Ups!
Five Vibrant Student Spaces
The university is developing five cultural centers that will serve students who identify with the following communities:
- Asian Pacific Islander Desi American
- Native & Indigenous
The cultural centers aim to:
- Uplift, affirm, and honor the diverse histories and experiences of students who identify with these communities.
- Offer programming and resources that will celebrate cultural assets, support the transition to campus, and develop greater cultural awareness.
- Create a community of belonging and promote a sense of safety.
The cultural centers will be centrally located in renovated, accessible spaces in Cole Field House. They broaden campus’ existing network of existing spaces and resources that celebrate students’ diverse identities, such as the Nyumburu Cultural Center, LGBTQ+ Equity Center, Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy, and Agora.
Current Feedback Options:
We would greatly appreciate it if you provide us with input about the Cultural Centers. This semester's survey is available at: bit.ly/umdccf23
Additionally, Steering Committee members are coordinating feedback conversations from late October through early November.
Contact: Yvette Lerma Jones, Student Affairs Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Cultural Centers Steering Committee
A steering committee of students, staff, and faculty who have advocated for these cultural centers and their campus communities leads the cultural centers project. The committee aims to:
- Serve as a trusted source of feedback for their communities
- Center the participation of students in their communities
- Offer context about their communities to the firm that will design the cultural centers
- Adam Klager, '23
- Alex Mullen, '23, Coordinator for Latinx Student Involvement, MICA Office, Graduate Student in Student Affairs Program
- Alex Pryor, ‘18
- Amanda Vu, Psychology and Community Health, ‘24
- Ava Lamberty, General Biology, ‘24
- Benjamin Beltran, Coordinator for the Common Ground Multicultural Dialogue Program, Department of Resident Life
- Dr. Ana Patricia Rodriguez, Associate Professor, U.S. Latina/o and Central American Literatures
- Dr. Bayley Marquez, Assistant Professor, Department of American Studies
- Dr. Ronald Zeigler, Director of Nyumburu Cultural Center
- Hana Zewdie, Coordinator for Multiracial & Native American Indian/Indigenous Student Involvement, MICA Office
- Jazmin Pichardo, Assistant Director of Diversity Training & Education, Office of Diversity & Inclusion
- Jennifer Enriquez, Program Manager, MICA Office
- Jestina Ricci, Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies '24
- Justine Suegay, Coordinator for APIDA Student Involvement, MICA Office
- Kyrsha Balderas, Coordinator for Native and Indigenous Student Involvement, MICA Office
- Lasair Ni Chochlain, Graduate Student in Entomology
- Nancy Forsythe, Coordinator, DDEI
- Valeria Morales, ‘18 ‘20
- Vy Thompson,
Cultural Centers Progress
We aim to lead a co-creative development process that centers the student communities the cultural centers will serve. This timeline will be updated as we continue to make progress.
President Pines announced to the campus community the creation of cultural centers aligned with the university’s “collective goal to ensure that every campus community member feels welcomed and affirmed and experiences a sense of belonging at the University of Maryland”.
March: The Cultural Center Steering Committee was formed after recruitment through various stakeholder groups.
April: The steering committee gathered for the first time to discuss their ideas for the cultural centers.
May: The steering committee met with the design firm to provide initial information about student community needs. The design firm also toured other key cultural spaces on campus to understand current campus offerings.
October: Interactive design forums hosted with close to 100 attendees across the five sessions. Attendees represented the communities the cultural centers will serve. Sessions focused on what attendees wanted to experience in the spaces, the qualities they valued, and how the spaces would be used. Additionally, a survey was shared so individuals who could not attend could provide input.
November: Design firm presented the findings from the feedback they received and conceptual design options to address the various needs shared by attendees of the previous setting.
December: To provide an additional opportunity for feedback, a survey was distributed to gather additional input from students specifically.
January 2023: We received the next set of design documents in January. We collected feedback via a virtual community session, one-on-one meetings, and a survey.
March 2023: We offered a survey, and series of in-person opportunities to receive ideas for programming that will take place in the Cultural Centers
October 2023: We are collecting the last set of feedback for the Cultural Centers renovation and furnishings. We have a survey open at bit.ly/umdccf23. Steering Committee members are coordinating community-specific feedback conversations.
November 2023: The Steering committee will meet with the design firm and designers about the feedback collected in the weeks leading up to this meeting.
December 2024/January 2024: Renovations of Cole Head House will begin.