Student Multicultural Center prepares to celebrate a ‘monumental’ 50 years


Sarita Kande, Imani Rodgers and Kandi King the SMC street team tabling for the anniversary of the SMC Sep. 6, 2018.

Nyla Henderson

The Student Multicultural Center originated in the Human Resources department as the Office of Minority affairs. What once started as a small division of student affairs, now celebrates half a century of existence.

“The Office of Minority Affairs started off focusing on the needs of our African-American students,” SMC Director Dr. Talea Drummer-Ferrell said. “Then over the 50 years, we have grown into looking at our African-American, Latino-Hispanic, Native, and multiracial (students), but then also educating the overall community.”

This upcoming week the SMC plans to celebrate its achievement by hosting multiple cultural events.

“Now, we’re not as much of an academic space, but we really do focus on the cultural affirmations piece,” Drummer-Ferrell said.

Some of those events include a cook-off, drum circle and a SMC trivia night. The first 50 people to each event will receive exclusive SMC merchandise.

One of the main focuses of the SMC is connecting the rest of the Kent community to different cultures. Over the past 50 years, this connection has grown immensely.

Sarita Kande, a sophomore VCD major said, “One of the things I hope to see over the next 50 years would be the SMC creating a bigger village.”

Although the 50th anniversary extravaganza is only scheduled to be a week long, the SMC plans to incorporate more celebratory events throughout the year.

“It’s so monumental we can’t just celebrate it for a week we want to continue to celebrate it throughout the academic year,” SMC Assistant Director Ashley Williams said.

Nyla Henderson is the Diversity Reporter. Contact her at [email protected]