The Multicultural Center is currently located in Heller Lounge in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union. It opened in February 2005 and is host to many types of events, including cultural celebrations, forums, films, lectures, conferences, readings, and the like. It also functions as lounge space for students to relax, socialize, and study.
The goals of the Multicultural Center are to
- provide an educational space for the critical study and practice of multiculturalism
- provide a welcoming, inclusive space for students from different cultures
- provide an alternative space for cultural expressions and identity exploration
- build community among Berkeley’s diverse students
The Multicultural Center resulted from the 1999 Ethnic Studies agreement reached between students and Chancellor Robert Berdahl. Specifically, the language stated:
“The University will identify temporary space for a multi-cultural student center with the expectation that it will be available by fall 1999. The multi-cultural center will be funded by registration fee funds equivalent to registration fees allocated to similar resource centers. Eventually the center will be permanently housed in the space being created for a new student activities center. Students will participate in the planning process.”
A comprehensive campuswide planning process was carried out beginning Fall 1999 which resulted in modest space being made available in the Cesar E. Chavez Student Center and modest staffing to develop programs. Another planning process in Summer 2004 resulted in an agreement between the ASUC Senate and the Chancellor’s Office for the use of Heller Lounge in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union as a temporary Multicultural Center through June 30, 2008.
The campus is undertaking a process to create a permanent Multicultural Center as part of an overall revitalization of space for student services on central campus.
Programming at the Multicultural Center is overseen by an eleven-member Programming Board, comprising ten students and one staff member.
The Multicultural Center at Heller Lounge is available for reservation by individuals and groups for multicultural and cross-cultural events. Events must be open to the entire campus community and entry to the event must be without cost. Inquiries about reserving the space should be directed to Lisa Walker.
Coordinator, Cross Cultural Student Development
Phone: (510) 642-4270
Address: 243 Cesar Chavez