The Betty Shabazz Cultural Center

The Purpose of Betty Shabazz Cultural Center

As the first cultural center on campus, The Betty Shabazz, commonly known as the "Betty", assists and supports students who identify within the African Diaspora (including but not limited to African, African American and Caribbean) through interactive programming and as an overall space to come together and celebrate.

Advisor: Latrina Denson, Associate Dean of Students for Community and Inclusion

The History of the Betty

In 1967, The Afro-American Association (AAA) of Mount Holyoke College was formed when there were only 25 black students on campus.  The Association made a proposal for a Black center and was provided Woodbridge Hall, in 1968. In January 1969, after the Woodbridge Hall was destroyed by fire.  The AAA was subsequently given an abandoned house located beyond the Health Center, the building where the current house stands.

In 1980, the Association of Pan African Unity (formerly known as AAA) dedicated the black center to Dr. Betty El Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, who spoke at Mount Holyoke during a week devoted to black culture. The Betty Shabazz was to be a daily reminder of the contributions of Shabazz and her husband, leaders of the Black Movement in New York City and South Africa. Betty Shabazz was also a member of Pan African Congress of Albania.

The Betty Shabazz House
Photo of the outside of the Betty Shabazz house

The Betty is located at 2 Dunlap Place, near Kendall Sports and Dance Complex.

Janiqua Davis ’23, Building Manager / Program Assistant for the Betty Shabazz Cultural Center

Building Manager/ Program Assistant: Janiqua Davis, ’23
Major: Psychology
Nexus: Law, Public Policy and Human Rights

Open Hours and Upcoming Events