Multicultural Resource Center Opens its Doors

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

After a year of planning, the Multicultural Resource Center is open for business—the business of promoting diversity and inclusion at UCSF.  

Next step: building relationships with all groups on campus to create an inclusive and welcoming community, says MRC Director Mijiza Sanchez. A grand opening for the Center is scheduled for Oct. 24.

“Now that we have a space, I am hoping to get in touch with the multicultural and international RCOs <define RCO?> to learn how I can support them in the work they’re doing,” said Sanchez.

Located in MU 123, the space once occupied by the Synapse newspaper, the Center has a contemporary, yet warm, atmosphere with sleek red and metallic furniture that’s highly configurable. The room is equipped with a flat screen TV, white board, refrigerator, microwave, and a podium.

“The students wanted a lounge space,” said Sanchez. “They wanted a place where they can have movie nights, but also a place where they can practice giving presentations. It’s really a flexible space.”

The Center is open to all students from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Groups will need to book the room for meetings.

Programming at the Center will include:

  • mentorship dinner series,
  • services for first generation students,
  • art exhibitions and receptions.

A photo exhibit of 82 portraits celebrating the multiculturalism of the <multi-ethnic??>UCSF community, entitled “100% You,” is on display at the Center. The exhibit was first displayed in Millberry Union’s Golden Gate Room during Martin Luther King Week in January 2012.

The photos, shot by UCSF School of Dentistry photographer David Hand, is based on the “Hapa Project” of Kip Fulbeck, an author, artist, slam poet, and filmmaker. Fulbeck, who teaches art at UC Santa Barbara, gave a multimedia presentation on Jan. 17 in Cole Hall Auditorium.

The Multicultural Resource Center was created in response to letters from students and faculty members asking for a gathering-place to promote a culture of inclusion and equity, cultural competency, and inter-professional collaboration.

Sanchez plans to form an advisory board of students, staff, and faculty and will conduct focus groups to learn how to better support RCOs and develop programs, events and services for the UCSF community.

“My goal is to build a community highlighting how multicultural we are at UCSF,” said Sanchez.