History of the UF Division of Student Affairs - Page 87

87 Multicultural & Diversity Affairs Multicultural & Diversity Affairs promotes an inclusive campus community by creating environments in which students learn about themselves and diverse others, engage in meaningful inter- and intra-cultural dialogue, and enhance their leadership and commitment to social justice. Multicultural & Diversity Affairs educates, empowers, and mobilizes students, campus and community partners, and creates cutting edge programs and opportunities in the areas of multicultural education, self-awareness, advocacy, intercultural understanding, and social justice with a commitment toward creating an inclusive, affirming and just campus community. The roots of Multicultural & Diversity Affairs can be traced to when the Center for Latin American Studies was established in 1930, and the Chinese Club was created in 1948. The Institute of Black Culture was established in 1971 under the Dean of Students Office and later an Assistant Dean for Minority Affairs was added in the 1980s. In 1994, the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures was added. In 2002, the Dean of Students Office developed Multicultural & Diversity Affairs to support all students and to unify diversity efforts. Five areas fall under the umbrella of this department: the Institute of Black Culture; the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs; Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs; and Intercultural Engagement. The history of Multicultural & Diversity Affairs lies within the histories of each area. I n s t i t u t e o f B l a c k C u lt u r e In April 1971, the Black Student Union (BSU) submitted a list of demands to then president, Stephen O’Connell, calling for a number of programs and initiatives to improve the campus climate for Black students. The BSU leaders argued that many Black students were “excluded from meaningful social and cultural endeavors on this campus” and were in need of supportive resources. A Black Cultural Center was one of the student demands. When the UF administration failed to act upon the student demands, a number of student protests and demonstrations were held, culminating in the occupation Depa rtment histor ies : multicultur al & diver sity affai rs