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UofA Multicultural Center thrives amidst changing campus landscape

Old Main at University of Arkansas
Kit Leong/Kit Leong - stock.adobe.com
Old Main at University of Arkansas

The Multicultural Center at the University of Arkansas is a critical component of the campus community. It supports all students by providing a safe space, regardless of background. I spoke with Adrain Smith, Bryan Hembree and Anreckez Daniels from the Multicultural Center about the recent dissolution of the DEI office, and its potential impact on the MC’s mission on campus.

"For me, it's always seek first to understand and then to be understood. So when the initial announcement came out, it was a decision that has been made. What does this mean? For me, I've always operated from the standpoint of assessing what is happening, being prepared to research and to be responsible, and then always evaluating," Smith said. "People ask 'What is the MC doing?' We are in the process. And what that means is that we're assessing, we are reviewing and researching and evaluating as a part of that process. It was no different when the announcement went out. To start with that philosophical standpoint, on my part, what does this mean, for us? In terms of how do we navigate that? For us, it was to continue to work. And that's always going to be our grounding principle, is that no matter what… we continue to work that needed work, that necessary work, within the parameters and guidelines that are set forth by policy that is out there as a part of that process."

The Multicultural Center continues to make efforts to create a sense of belonging at the University of Arkansas, despite the dissolution of the central DEI Office. Adrian says it has only brought forth increased efforts from MC staff to endorse and advocate for those directly impacted by the decision. You can find out more about the MC by visiting their Instagram page, or their website.

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Sophia Nourani is a KUAF producer and reporter.
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