Who we are The Cross Cultural Centers plays an active role in creating a culturally rich environment at Cal Poly and within San Luis Obispo, which instills understandings of diversity and inclusive excellence that cannot be separate from learning, teaching, collaboration, trust and community. The Cross Cultural Centers is made up of four centers: Gender Equity Center, Men & Masculinities, MultiCultural Center and the Pride Center.
What we do The work led by the Cross Cultural Centers (CCCs) touches every student at Cal Poly and a select number of prospective students. Internships, volunteer opportunities, services and resources are all interconnected but can be understood in the following ways: Basic needs, education, community building and engagement, and Learn by Doing in action. The CCCs serves all students and goes beyond simply supporting underrepresented students.
Basic Needs It is simple, as human beings, we would all like to feel a sense of belonging. Increasingly, current research indicate that degree completion and success hinge on students feeling a sense of connection and sense of belonging. Programs in the CCCs aim to create these feelings and work to eliminate instances of isolation and discrimination. Our partnerships across campus also reflect our values and lead to student empowerment.
Education Education remains a large part of what the Cross Cultural Centers does. Education in the CCCs are delivered in the form of workshops, trainings, and awareness campaigns. These focus on identities and intersectionality, power and privilege, microaggressions, and allyship, just to name a few. Some of the goals of our education program include:
- Provide students the ability to identify acts of discrimination
- Support students in their creation of strategies that confront acts of discrimination
- Create a connection between Cal Poly values around diversity and inclusion and what it means to be a Cal Poly Mustang
Community building and Engagement Affinity-based dialogues remain a key part of programing for the Cross Cultural Centers. These dialogues create spaces for Women and Men of Color, Mixed Race, Latinx identities, and many other identity groups. Some goals of these dialogues include:
- Creating affirming spaces that facilitate identity appreciation and development
- Provide a space where students can build new relationships and trust
- Students gain an appreciation for the differing experience of people in their same minority group
- Students explore different ways to work with others
One of our newer and more popular programs, the State of Diversity Event Series, explore various identity groups at Cal Poly. The ultimate goal of the program is to share experiences of the various marginalized identity groups on campus and to co-construct ways of improving campus culture that can be applied almost immediately. Some of these goals include:
- Celebrating minoritized identities on campus
- Having critical conversations on what we can do as a campus to support and retain students, faculty and staff from underrepresented backgrounds
- Explores the richness in diversity that exists at the intersections of people’s narratives and identities
Learn By Doing in Action
Learn By Doing opportunities fit within the overarching framework of Cal Poly. Students are able to work as student assistants, interns and volunteers supporting programs that have been traditional housed in the Cross Cultural Centers, new programs that satisfy requirements to graduate, and other programs the build bridges to other university departments. Some of these programs include: CultureFest, PolyCultural Weekend, Cross Cultural Experience (New Student Transition Progam), and Alternative Break (Center for Service in Action)
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are many ways to support the Cross Cultural Centers! We always encourage parents and supporters, alumni, faculty and students to volunteer for one of our events. However, we understand that volunteering isn’t always possible. Consider giving to support one of the initiatives and services that lead to student success at Cal Poly and beyond!
A contribution of just $10 can be impactful by helping us purchase items for self-care essentials such as pregnancy tests, tampons, condoms, etc. Providing these resources allow for :
- Students to acknowledge a space that align with their needs
- Normalizing discussions around women’s health
- Students to focus on their sexual health and wellbeing
- Empowering students to explore their sexuality safely
$25: Help provide better food options for students at events such as dialogues.
$50-$200: Support to student organizations who are hosting events that align with forming community and awareness.
$100-$400: Help us continue to support students going to conferences to learn about their identity, cultural backgrounds, or how they can make an impact in the world using their passion for diversity and change with what they learn in the classroom.
$3,500: Give a student an opportunity to work with the Cross Cultural Centers in leading all of the work that shapes campus culture. An assistant ship can last 9 months to a year. This provides students the opportunity to support themselves and do work that they love and relevant to their future
$4,000: Help us continue to support underrepresented and low-income students in experiencing another country through the alternative break program offered by our campus partners.
- Opportunities to explore other cultures
- Personal and professional growth
- Understanding and pride in students’ cultural or ethnic identities