Dinner, Diversity, and Community Building at IU, Bloomington

As an Emissary, responsible for recruiting diversity to the Indiana University, Bloomington graduate school, I have become much more familiar with the spaces designed specifically to expose grad students to others from the campus community who may differ in culture or background.

Just last night, I was fortunate enough to have dinner at La Casa. This Latino Cultural Center has been vibrant in the local campus community since its inception in 1973. With the rising numbers of the Latino population rapidly increasing both in terms of representation at IU and across the U.S. La Casa serves as a constant reminder of the need for others to have at least a basic grasp of Latino culture in all its complexity.

Over a free (and amazing) meal, we discussed developments for La Casa as well as the tentative future plans for a Latino Learning/Living Center. Rather than simply discussing the theoretical implications behind our ideas, we as a group were involved in a critical discussion where perspectives were asked of undergrads, graduates, and faculty. More importantly from my perspective, not everyone was Latino.

For myself, the ultimate manifestation of diversity is not when people of similar backgrounds clump together, but rather when people of divergent backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives can come together in attempts to not only expose oneself further to diversity, but also to develop consensus building across groups.

In addition to the great food, great community, and opportunity for exposure to divergent culture, La Casa is one among other cultural centers on campus that provides tutoring in certain subjects as well writing tutorial services in house. However I have not done justice to all the resources and opportunities available at La Casa.

SOOOOOOOOO……..

Below are links to the Cultural Centers on Campus: Asian Culture Center, Latino Cultural Center (La Casa), and the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center. Please take advantage of these opportunities!!!!!

Asian Culture Center: http://www.indiana.edu/~acc/mission.html

First Nations Educational and Culture Center: http://www.indiana.edu/~fnecc/

La Casa Latino Cultural Center: http://www.indiana.edu/~lacasa/

Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center: http://nmbcc.indiana.edu/about