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Culture centers

IDS FILE PHOTO BY MALLOREY DAUNHAUER IU freshmen Stephanie Belmontes, left, and Jennifer Arteaga Gil, right, work Sept. 29, 2021, in the La Casa Latino Cultural Center.

Culture centers celebrate diversity

By Meghana Rachamadugu


IU Bloomington is home to students of a variety of ethnicities, nationalities, beliefs and sexualities. The six culture centers strive to celebrate diversity, promote advocacy and make all students feel included, according to The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.

The African American Arts Institute, located at 275 N Eagleson Ave., shares African American culture through programming like Black music and dance performances.

The AAAI has three performing groups: the African American Choral Ensemble, the African American Dance Company and IU Soul Revue, according to the AAAI website.

The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, located next to the AAAI, is dedicated to hosting programs that support Black student development and success on campus.

According to the center’s website, the IU community can attend First Fridays with themed events like poetry slams and game nights.

There is also a Mid-Day House Party every month that allows center staff to connect with students informally. During Black History Month, the NealMarshall center said it invites students and faculty to discussion panels, performances and other activities.

The Asian Culture Center, located at 807 E 10th St., promotes awareness and acceptance of Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures.

The ACC celebrates several events such as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May, the Lunar New Year and Holi, according to the ACC website. Another ACC program is Over a Cup of Tea, a monthly discussion program that analyzes racial justice, cultural identity and other similar topics.

The First Nations Educational & Cultural Center, located at 712 E Eighth St., provides an inclusive space for Native and Indigenous students to discuss their heritage.

The FNECC celebrates its Native American Heritage Month every November. Students can also participate in film showings, as well as attend lunchtime speaker presentations and artist workshops, according to the FNECC website.

The LGBTQ+ Culture Center, located at 705 E Seventh St., emphasizes an open learning environment. Center programs include an LGBTQ+ Mentorship Program for incoming freshmen and an LGBTQ library for academic and recreational purposes.

The center also offers a sequence of workshops discussing important themes in the LGBTQ community. Past workshops include “How to be an Effective Ally” and “Intersectionality & Identity.” The center recently established a Gender Affirming Closet that students can donate to and access.

La Casa Latino Cultural Center, located on 715 E Seventh St., advocates for the Latino community at IU. Students can access interpreters, tutoring services and other resources for academic and social support.

The La Casa recognizes important Hispanic and Latino figures in history during National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. The center raises awareness regarding Latino activism during March through the Cesar Chavez series and invites students to discuss Latina campus issues at the monthly Collectiva dinner.