Activism, enacted mainly by students, marks the collective origin story of our spaces starting in the 1960s. Since then, we have fought for resources to maintain our existence on our campuses. From our inception to more contemporary societal events, the continued history of activism is incredibly relevant as we determine how our spaces will thrive and uphold the mission of serving Black students and our extended communities.
- How do we advocate for the importance of culture centers particularly when countless institutional attempts to erase Black culture are present?
- How do we support student activism and the development of student leaders?
- What have we learned/can continue to learn from the activist efforts that birthed our spaces and other Black-centric entities such as HBCUs, faith communities, and civic organizations that have transcended time and space?
- How do we promote/engage in the other side of activism, prioritizing self-preservation, wellness, rest, and taking care of ourselves and others as forms of resistance?
Black culture is embodied through various forms of music, dance, literature, visual arts, cinema, poetry, and other artistic media. Some of our greatest work has been witnessed through the arts. Given such, higher education is the ideal location for intersecting artistry, creativity, and critical thinking. For many of our Black culture centers and similar spaces, the arts have been the conduits by which our stories are disseminated and celebrated.
- In what ways do culture centers advance the arts as valuable cultural preservation sites? And how do the arts contribute to maintaining the sacred spaces that are our culture centers?
- What innovative and sustainable program initiatives – curricular and co-curricular – exist on our respective campuses and through our centers? How are they executed?
- What opportunities exist for building new cultural arts-infused programs and initiatives that are student-centered and university-supported?
- What is the BCC's role in cultivating and supporting the artistry of Black students, faculty, and staff?
A people without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots. – Marcus Garvey
While storytelling has been central to the transference of history within Black communities all over the globe, we must consider how to safeguard our stories for future generations. Archiving historical moments, people, places, and things properly reflect our efforts of being good stewards of our stories. The archives allow us to pursue research of our spaces by asking thoughtful questions, discovering and collecting artifacts, and making meaningful connections to our space in the broader university context. We must consider ways to preserve/protect the remarkable work happening within Black culture centers.
- How do culture center leaders establish an archive in our centers?
- In what ways do our centers utilize archives to preserve the legacy of Black culture and existence on our campuses?
- How do we support Black students in positioning their narratives into a more extensive culture center legacy?
- How do we envision the role of culture centers in the near future?