Harper’s Cultural Center
Building D, Room D-281 (above Starbucks)
Hours of operation (August through May):
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m. to noon
Dr. Avis Proctor led the opening of the Cultural Center in November 2021, thanks to the research and request of many Harper employees and students. The Cultural Center at Harper College is a culturally-affirming, educational lounge and event space for students and employees. Serving as an academic and social counterspace (learn more about counterspaces below), the employees and students are encouraged to build connections, express their identities and values, engage in dialogue, and enjoy a place where they can have a sense of belonging on campus. Brittany Barber serves as the Manager of the Cultural Center.
The Cultural Center enhances the Harper community by:
- Providing a culturally-affirming place for studying and conversation while listening to diverse music
- Creating opportunities for students and employees to engage in social, cultural, and educational events
- Offering meeting space for employee and student organization meetings
- Encouraging and supporting an authentic sense of self
The cultural center offers:
- A kitchenette for use by students and employees
- Three computer stations
- Large and small conference rooms with large televisions. Each conference room is equipped with technology for Bluetooth, virtual cameras for streaming and conferences, and internet access.
- Bean bag chairs
- Books and articles on a variety of diversity, equity, inclusion topics
- See a list of our programs and upcoming events.
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).