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James M. Sauceda, Ph. D.

James M. Sauceda

The Declaration of Interdependence: Renewed vision for the Multicultural Center

As the 2011-2012 academic year begins, CSULB approaches the 20th anniversary of the campus Multicultural Center. The year also marks a radiant reconstruction of the MCC’s mission and a fresh design change to its institutional structure. As of fall 2011, the Multicultural Center has moved into the embracing arms of the Student Services Division and will no longer be housed under the organizational structure of Academic Affairs.

As the founding director of the MCC, I have long believed that our campus could, and indeed will, become the CSU flagship and role model for advancing a truly multicultural practice of compassion and peace. I believe that the campus community is ready for “the next step forward,” that is, to move far beyond events that only feature cultural “food and fiesta.” This means creating galvanizing encounters that both fire and inspire a deeper respect, and a nuanced understanding of culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and all facets of our opulent diversity. It is time for the labels of “color” and “race” to give way to the opening of a broader appreciation of our spiritual kinship and unity.

A new, and unprecedented, commitment has been made to further the MCC’s goals. The student excellence fund, for the first time, establishes a direct student connection and link to the Multicultural Center. And now the MCC will help to provide a positive support system for student organizations to encourage the creation of a more vibrant campus “community”—one that reaches past provincial “race” and ethnic backgrounds and views the entire campus as a partner and an ally. Add to this the center’s longtime philosophy of “interdependence,” i.e., that our individual cultural histories are, in fact, intertwined and engendered by contributions from many “other” cultures. For example, over time, the cross cultural nature of the Civil Rights and Farm Workers movements has been overlooked. To that end, the MCC’s Resource Library provides students, faculty and staff with a plethora of documentaries, books, films, magazines and newspaper archives for research into these and many other cultural histories and justice movements, including veterans and LGBT issues. We at the MCC look forward to forging new alliances and cross cultural collaborations with all of the Division of Student Services.

 

The Multicultural Center is located in room 3 of Faculty Office Building 3. For more information about the center, call (562) 985-8150 or go to http://www.csulb.edu/mcc.