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. It’s also a space to come together and celebrate. The Betty is located at 2 Dunlap Place, near Kendall Sports & Dance Complex.

The Betty Shabazz Cultural Center

Affiliated student organizations

The history of the Betty

In 1967, some of the only 25 black students on campus came together to form the Afro-American Association (AAA) of Mount Holyoke College. The Association made a proposal for a Black center and was provided with Woodbridge Hall in 1968. In January 1969, after the Woodbridge Hall was destroyed by fire, the AAA was 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 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.

Janiqua Davis,

Building manager

Janiqua Davis ’23
Major: psychology
Nexus: law, public policy and human rights
Email: davis32j@mtholyoke.edu

Program assistant

Gloria Kodua ’23
Email: kodua22g@mtholyoke.edu

Contact Us

The Betty Shabazz 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.

  • 2 Dunlap Place, near Kendall Sports and Dance Complex
Latrina L. Denson
  • Associate Dean of Students, Community and Belonging