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Session Title

1108: Repositioning cultural centers to better leverage our social capital

Session Times

Tuesday, May 28: 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-5:30 p.m.


This session should particularly benefit staff and faculty who work within and alongside cultural centers. This session will also benefit those in the process of establishing cultural centers at two-year and four-year institutions. 

As we continue to meet the challenges of the dynamic demographic shifts in our country and the rise of student activism, American institutions of higher education must re-position themselves to remain relevant while under a microscope. In this educational enterprise, cultural centers continue to assume vital roles as partners, collaborators, and safe havens for exploration and problem solving. Cultural centers support, facilitate, and enhance the multicultural mission of higher education and are integral to institutional strategies and long-range planning processes involved in organizational development and change. The Cultural Center Establishment and Growth Model developed by the California Council of Cultural Centers in Higher Education (CaCCCHE) will be presented and utilized. Through dialogue, activities and case studies this institute will provide participants with tools and strategies for the application of the model on their campus. 

As Dr. Lori Patton states, "In addition to providing social and psychological support for students of color, well developed centers also serve as an important educational corrective." Cultural centers have become the lens in which many historically oppressed communities navigate through the university. Although universities have seen a major shift in the demographics they serve, many of these centers have remained in the same position within the overall hierarchy of institutions. 

This interactive workshop is designed to strategize how cultural centers can re-position themselves within their current structure in order to increase their influence and capacity to serve students.


William Vela, MA, Director, El Centro Chicano, University of Southern California

Rosalind Connerly, EdD, Director, Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, University of Southern California

Koby Rodriguez, MA, Associate Director, UC Davis Cross Cultural Center, University of California Davis

Chaz Cruz, MA, Assistant Director, Cross Cultural Centers, California State University, Los Angeles