Cultural Centers

Graphic of Mount Holyoke College Centers logo

What are Cultural Centers?

Cultural Centers at Mount Holyoke are constant safe places for the purposes of support, education, networking and sanctuary. They host programming and provide resources to increase cultural awareness and inter-connectedness. These spaces are important because each supports an identities that are historically marginalized at Mount Holyoke College and beyond.

Learn more about cultural centers

  • Cultural Centers are college-owned facilities established for the designated use of groups historically targeted and marginalized within U.S. society.  They provide an opportunity for students to retreat from environments which can be alienating at times.
  • They serve an educational function by providing programming which is relevant to historically targeted groups.  The opportunity to develop such programming allow students from targeted groups to explore their own identity and develop leadership skills in an empowering way.
  • They are important campus sites for leadership development for other students as well.
  • Centers are not residence halls as they are not intended to provide alternative living arrangements.  They are not student organization offices as they are not primarily student work spaces, though that may be one of the functions they serve.
  • Centers can be reserved by any member of the MHC Community for college-related functions such as classes, public lectures, special receptions, or other large group gatherings.  Additionally, the centers can be reserved for small dinners, birthday gatherings, and meetings by individual students.

Upcoming Events at the Culural Centers

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Mount Holyoke College Cultural Centers

The Betty Shabazz House

2 Dunlap Place

Photo of the outside of the Betty Shabazz house
The Betty Shabazz House serves the needs of the African American student community. It is also used by the African and Afro-Caribbean student community in cooperation with APAU (Association of Pan-African Unity) and MHACASA.

The Eliana Ortega Cultural Center

4 Dunlap Place - left

Photo of the Eliana Ortega and Zowie Banteah House
The Eliana Ortega Cultural Center serves the needs of the Latina community.

The Zowie Banteah Cultural Center

4 Dunlap Place - right

Photo of the Eliana Ortega and Zowie Banteah House
The Zowie Banteah Cultural Center serves the needs of the Native American/Indigenous community.

The Asian Center for Empowerment

15 Woodbridge

Photo of the Asian Center for Empowerment
The Asian Center for Empowerment serves the needs of the Asian and Asian American student community.

The Jeannette Marks House

5 Faculty Lane East

Photo of the Jeannette Marks House
The Jeannette Marks House provides a safe space and community center for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied students.

The Unity Center

Blanchard Hall, Room 206

Photo of a colorful quilt that hangs in the Unity Center
The Unity Center seeks to be a valued space where students can gather to celebrate and engage in conversations and experiences across their differences.

Hours of Operation

All Cultural Center hours of operation are based on the following categories:

  • Affiliated Hours: Days and times which are designated for Student Organizations who are affiliated with the Cultural Centers
  • Programming Hours: Days and times in which non-affiliated students, organizations, academic and professional departments can reserve the Cultural Centers.
  • Open Hours: Days and times in which anyone, regardless of their student organization affiliation or cultural identity, may visit the Cultural Centers.
Ysabel Garcia, Latrina Denson and Christine Albain

Community and Inclusion Staff

Meet the staff who help develop and implement the programs and services that continue to build our inclusive community.
Photo of Millie Koong ’18, Michelle Araque Perez ’18, Gabby Hernandez ’19 and Kalea Martín ’19

From the margins to the center

An ode to the College’s cultural centers, courtesy of Kalea Martín ’19. Read her blog.