Ball State’s Multicultural Center is the epicenter of the University’s commitment to cultural diversity. The center serves as a resource for the recruitment, retention, and enrichment of students of color. This year, the center is in the process of taking on a new look and relocating from the south side of campus to a more central location next to Bracken Library.
“I’m looking forward to a bigger, more convenient space,” Jaylyn Graham said. “I feel like a lot of people—including myself—don’t go to the Multi because it’s not a very large space and it is pretty far from the center of campus. Additionally, I’m just excited about having a brand-new inclusive space to relax, study, and partake or host programming in.”
Although the impact of the Multicultural Center is not contained to the walls of the building itself, it will be an improvement for the center to relocate to a more central place on campus to help bring more attention to their mission and goals.
The mission of the Multicultural Center is to promote multicultural understanding through opportunities for cross-cultural connections. It also provides programs and services to address the co-curricular needs of all students and celebrates the historical contributions of diverse groups.
“My hope for Ball State’s future is for not only students of color to feel a sense of home in the Multicultural Center, but for the entire campus as well,” Ida Cage said. “Ball State has made good efforts in the past for inclusion, but this is the time to push harder. Students of color matter just as much as anyone else, and together we can make our presence known and appreciated.”
In addition to many inclusive programs and seminars, the Multicultural Center is also home to a computer lab, kitchen, the Harry Watkins Conference Room, and the Malcolm X Library. This library features many books about various cultures and issues ranging from African-American social injustices to difficulties faced by the LGBTQ+ community. This space has become a popular, quiet atmosphere around campus.
“Alumni and donor support allows the Multicultural Center to enhance and develop new initiatives, programs, and services,” Bobby Steele, Director of the Multicultural Center, said. “Volunteering, mentoring, and networking are also great ways to support students.” A recent substantial gift from alumnus Tim Andrews, ’84, is one such example of this—the endowment created from his gift will fund a graduate assistantship for the center that is focused on LGBTQ+ studies.
To learn more about the Multicultural Center, please visit their webpage and social media. To support the Multicultural Center and its programs, contact the Ball State University Foundation or make a gift here.