Harper’s Multicultural Center Opening
Building D, above Starbucks
We are pleased to announce the upcoming return of a multicultural center to Harper’s campus.
A multicultural center provides a space where students and employees can develop a sense of belonging by building images that share their story, help decrease stereotype threat and identity threat, and provide academic and social counterspaces (learn more about counterspaces).
The multicultural center will address issues related to student and employee equity by:
•Providing a welcoming and identity-affirming space
•Supporting an authentic sense of self
•Being conducive to collaboration
•Encouraging cultural awareness
•Improving social capital through effective communication
•Creating self-realization through culturally responsive imagery
Help Us Name the Center
A space designed for you deserves to be named by you. Please help us by suggesting a name for the center that you feel best reflects the goal of the center.
Submissions will take place between April 5 and April 26, 2021. The chosen name will
be announced in May 2021.
What Is a Counterspace?
Counterspaces can provide opportunities to increase human, cultural and social capital that is often limited to lower-income and racially marginalized communities. They provide space for students and employees who come from oppressed and marginalized populations to feel validated and appreciated for their stories, and allow them to unpack other challenges and questions they have.
- Counterspaces provide safe spaces that simultaneously validate and critique one’s interconnected self and group identity—that would enable radical growth. (M. Keels, pg. 2).
- Counterspaces are known to become effective spaces where students can feel safe and comfortable, where they can get back a bit of their mental bandwidth that is depleted by daily pressures (Cia Verschelden, Bandwidth Recovery, pg. 97) and one model is commonly known as a multicultural center.
- A center, like the one opening in the early fall at Harper College, can also be seen
as identity-affirming spaces to help students maintain a strong sense of self while
striving for school success (M. Keels, pg. 34).