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Cultural Resource Centers

Group photo of the CRC Leadership Team in the MCC

The Cultural Resource Centers (CRCs) provide student leadership, employment, and volunteer opportunities; student resources such as computer labs, event, lounge and study spaces; and extensive programming. The CRCs are a unit of Diversity & Multicultural Student Services. All PSU students are welcome in our spaces.

Black Lives Matter Statement and Plans

The hashtag #BlackLivesMatter is a powerful and constant reminder that Black lives haven't mattered. The end of slavery was not the end of dehumanizing Black people; it was the beginning of a deliberate weaving of racism that has penetrated deep into the fabric of the American legal, educational, political, health care, and financial systems. Eric Garner couldn't breathe. George Floyd couldn't breathe (again) because law enforcement would not take their knee off his neck. Racism, police brutality, and systems of power have crippled the Black community. It is time for us to take our knees off the necks of the Black community. It is time for us to take a stance and bend our knees to kneel against oppression. The knee has become emblematic of the oppression and suppression of Black people - even as Kaepernick took a knee to protest, we have far to go.

We want to honor the memories of those folks brutally murdered and for whom justice has not been served: Eric Garner, Michael Brown Jr., Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Riah Milton, Tete Gulley, Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and many more. We say their names so we don't forget them. We say their names to work tirelessly to prevent it from happening again.

While communities of color often are grouped together when allocating resources and discussing systematic oppression, the experience of Black people in the United States is distinct in its direct connection with the country being built by, but not for Black people. Anti-Blackness is pervasive (some examples can be found here, here, and here), and isn’t only perpetrated by white people. Non-Black people of color are not automatically anti-racist and can contribute to anti-Blackness. This is important to recognize. It is crucial for white and non-Black people of color to work to dismantle systemic oppression that prevents Black people from living without the constant weight of being in survival mode. Our collective liberation depends on it.

The Cultural Resource Centers must be a space that spends energy shifting power to people who are actively working against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry. We are passionate about empowering our communities of scholars to build a just and equitable world. We recognize the power of higher education to address state-sanctioned violence, social injustice, and systemic oppression. We are committed to educating our communities on various social justice issues; committed to fostering dialogue around how anti-Blackness shows up; and committed to engaging in opportunities to better serve our BIPOC students/communities.

As the CRCs work to support our Black students, we acknowledge the labor that Black students who have come to us with concerns have contributed to our plans moving forward. We recognize the shortcomings of our unit and commit to actively engaging in actionable change. Our professional staff are working to create a plan that seeks to sustainably and effectively bring about change to uplift and support PSU’s Black students. We look forward to sharing our plans with you later this summer. For now, here are some initial commitments we make as a unit:
 

The Cultural Resource Centers: 

-Provide opportunities for educating our student leaders and staff by holding space for members to gain knowledge, awareness, and skills to take action for racial justice. This includes using our financial resources to bring in speakers from the Black community.

-We remain committed to being educated on ways to uplift, support, and advocate for the Black community; to being aware of and speaking out against injustices faced by all of our communities, but especially the Black community; to critically reflect on how our centers and programming may further harm the Black community; and to provide opportunities for folx in the community to share feedback on their interactions and experiences with our staff and our centers.

-More details will be added to this document as we work to incorporate this work into our Strategic Plan.

Read our full .

COVID-19 Updates 4/13/20:

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La Casa Latina Student Center, Multicultural Student Center, Pacific Islander, Asian, and Asian American Student Center, and Pan-African Commons are closed for the forseeable future. We will continue to provide resources, referrals, and programming remotely via our social media channels and online platforms. 

Students can email cultures@pdx.edu for more information or stay engaged by following us on Facebook () and Instagram () where we will provide connections to all of our remote co-curricular, professional development, and scholarly experiences. 

Staff across our six programs will be available to collaborate to keep students engaged and at the center of our work:

Cynthia Gómez, Cultural Resource Centers Director, gomezc@pdx.edu

Pedro S. Torres, Interim Assistant Director & La Casa Latina Student Center Coordinator, pstorres@pdx.edu

Yolonda Salguiero, Native American Student & Community Center Student Program Coordinator, yms@pdx.edu 

Bree Kalima, Pacific Islander, Asian, Asian American Student Center Coordinator, bkalima@pdx.edu

Ahmed El Mansouri, Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian Student Center Initiative Coordinator, elman@pdx.edu

Courtney Taylor, Pan-African Commons Coordinator, cotay2@pdx.edu

Andrew Morales, Office Manager, acm9@pdx.edu

Events

The events on the calendar below are produced by the Cultural Resource Centers Leadership Team. All events are free and open to all unless otherwise specified. All events are subject to change. 

Collaborate with us

We seek to collaborate with students, community partners, university units, and student organizations. Collaborative events include the use of Cultural Resource Centers staff time, resources, and systems beyond our physical spaces. Submit a request 

Mission

The Cultural Resource Centers create a student-centered inclusive environment that enriches the university experience. We honor diversity, explore social justice issues, celebrate cultural traditions, and foster student identities, success, and leadership.

Values

The Cultural Resource Centers value diversity, social justice, cultural traditions, student identities, success and leadership.

Learning Goals

Leadership: Leadership is more than holding a position, it is a process. We recognize that leadership is approached and perceived in diverse ways throughout our various communities. Students will learn to develop a culturally responsive leadership lens by cultivating a comprehensive set of practical skills including time management, self-care, meeting facilitation, group dynamics, and team building.

Intercultural Communication: Students will learn how to communicate effectively utilizing listening skills, verbal and non-verbal language, and written word. Students will learn how to identify their own unique communication styles in order to develop relationships, manage conflicts, and work within diverse cultures and communities.

Identity Development: Students will gain a greater awareness of their own personal identities and how that interacts with their life experiences and environments. Students will explore the interconnectedness of social categories such as race, class, and gender. They will gain knowledge of how multiple layers of oppression impact overlapping identities. 

Social Justice: Students will gain knowledge of diverse cultures, the dynamics of privilege and oppression, and the uses of power between groups. They will learn to act out of humanitarian values, such as being committed to social justice, engaging in social responsibility, and serving as positive social change agents.

Healing: Students will have opportunities to analyze how they can move toward healing (i.e., self-care, community care, de-stigmatization of mental health, etc.). Through self-care and community care, student will gather strategies and information needed to remedy personal and community challenges through action.

Our Collective Agreement 

The Cultural Resource Centers Collective Agreement, developed by our Leadership Team, directly guides the work of the five centers. We ask that all who access and use our space read and understand the agreement.

  • PSU students are at the center of our work.
  • Community growth depends on the inclusion of every individual voice.
  • We respect others and ourselves.
  • Our goal is not to agree, but rather, to gain a deeper understanding.
  • No alcohol or drugs on the premises or in the body.
  • We do not tolerate hate speech, derogatory language/actions, or oppressive language/actions.
  • We reserve the right to refuse service.
  • Our student centers are vibrant and lively and not noise controlled spaces.

Accessibility

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to participate in all Cultural Resource Centers activities, programs, and leadership opportunities. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in our activities, please contact us by emailing cultures@pdx.edu / 503-725-5351.

There are two accessible entrances to the Smith Memorial Student Union - on the North and East sides of the building. Please see the SMSU floor plan for more information.

For more information about accommodations, the Disability Resource Center drc@pdx.edu / 503-725-4250 is an excellent resource. While Service Animals are always welcome, the Cultural Resource Centers do not allow pets in our spaces. 

Land Acknowledgement 

Ʊע58Ԫ is located in the heart of downtown Portland, Oregon in Multnomah County. We honor the Indigenous people whose traditional and ancestral homelands we stand on, the MultnomahKathlametClackamasTumwaterWatlala bands of the Chinook, the Tualatin Kalapuya and many other indigenous nations of the Columbia River. It is important to acknowledge the ancestors of this place and to recognize that we are here because of the sacrifices forced upon them. In remembering these communities, we honor their legacy, their lives, and their descendants.

Learn more about how you can incorporate this Land Acknowledgment , courtesy of the Native American Student & Community Center. 

Syllabus Statement 

The Cultural Resource Centers (CRCs) create a student-centered inclusive environment that enriches the university experience. We honor diversity, explore social justice issues, celebrate cultural traditions, and foster student identities, success, and leadership.

Our centers include the Multicultural Student Center, La Casa Latina Student Center, Native American Student & Community Center, Pan African Commons, and Pacific Islander, Asian, Asian American Student Center and the Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian Initiative. We provide students with employment, volunteer, and leadership opportunities. Along with extensive programming, our spaces offer resources such as computer labs, lounge areas, and study spaces.  All are welcome!