News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2020-11-25-multicultural
November 25, 2020

College to Open Multicultural Center

On Monday, Nov. 30, College of the Canyons will host a virtual soft opening of its Multicultural Center, which will provide safe and brave spaces for historically minoritized and marginalized groups on campus with the goal of increased diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the college’s fabric.

Creating a space on campus to provide students with a sense of belonging, community, empathy-building and empowerment has been years in the making, said Flavio Medina-Martin, director of diversity and inclusion at the college.

“This soft virtual opening is extremely significant, because it brings us one step closer to having a physical space where inclusion and diversity can live, flourish and impact student life at College of the Canyons for years to come,” said Medina-Martin. “We invite our students and our campus community to participate, listen and learn the various perspectives and life experiences of our campus life.”

The all-day event will include discussions regarding the Multicultural Center’s mission, vision, guiding principles, and historical efforts led by COC student leaders, faculty and staff members.

The celebration will also include a virtual ribbon cutting event by Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook.

“By showcasing a rich variety of thought and perspectives, the Multicultural Center will create new possibilities for dialog and provide a place that offers appreciation, care and compassion to our students,” Chancellor Dr. Dianne Van Hook said. “The welcoming environment will enable students to find their voice, realize their potential, and make their own unique contributions to fostering the inclusivity and togetherness that mark our campus culture.”

The Multicultural Center also reflects the college’s longstanding commitment to meeting the needs of its changing student body by removing barriers that inhibit student access, engagement and success.

College of the Canyons was designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education beginning in 2011. Its innovative approach to English and Mathematics assessment and course sequence design resulted in increased student completion in transfer-level English and Mathematics, which greatly reduced equity gaps, especially among Hispanic students.

As a result, College of the Canyons was recently ranked nationally No. 22 and 26 in The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine for enrolling the largest number of Hispanic students and granting the most degrees, respectively.

The Multicultural Center grew out of an idea proposed by a team of college employees participating in the Leadership Education in Action Program (LEAP), the college’s leadership development program that fosters innovation by encouraging faculty, classified staff, and administrators to evaluate the feasibility of launching new programs and services.

The Multicultural Center’s virtual soft opening will also include the introduction of the campus series “The Happenings of the World” and a Muslim Appreciation Series.

The day will end with an open mic and spoken poetry reading session.

The virtual celebration will begin at 10 a.m. via Zoom.

For more information, please email flavio.medina-martin@canyons.edu.