Diverse community is the touchstone of Mount Holyoke's identity. We believe that education thrives when the views, cultures, and values of the entire community are fully engaged. Our cultural centers offer students a place for learning and supportive community. The centers are open to all members of the Mount Holyoke community, and most have space that can be reserved for special events.
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.
Asian Center for Empowerment
The Asian Center for Empowerment serves the needs of the Asian and Asian American student community.
Betty Shabazz Cultural Center
The Betty Shabazz Cultural Center provides cultural space for students of African descent. The space is used throughout the academic year for members of the Mount Holyoke College community to gather and to hold classes, lectures, or social events.
The center was established in 1973 and was originally known as the Martha Rolston Perkins Cultural Center. Ms. Perkins was, at the time, the oldest living African American alumna (class of 1898). In 1980 the name of the center was changed to the Betty Shabazz Cultural Center to honor the wife of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X.
Eliana Ortega Cultural Center
The Eliana Ortega Cultural Center provides cultural space for students who identify as Latina or whose heritage is Latina. Classes, lectures, receptions, and a variety of social events are held there.
The center was opened in the fall of 1995, although La Unidad, the student organization which maintains this center, has been a part of campus life for more than 20 years.
Zowie Banteah Cultural Center
The Zowie Banteah Cultural Center provides cultural space for students who identify as Native American or have Native American ancestry. During the academic year, students host various programs, both academic and social, in the center.
The center was opened in the fall of 1995 and was originally known as Native Spirit. In the spring of 1997, the center was renamed the Zowie Banteah Cultural Center to honor the alumna who was instrumental in founding the house.
Jeannette Marks House
The Jeannette Marks House provides a safe space and community center for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied students. The space’s resources include a queer-friendly library.
The house, established in 1999, is named after Jeannette Marks, a Mount Holyoke professor and partner of former president Mary Woolley.