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New Multicultural Center Captures Past, Present and Future of UC Merced

June 13, 2019
UC Merced's new Multicultural Center opened last month after years of searching for a permanent space on campus.
UC Merced's new Multicultural Center opened last month after years of searching for a permanent space on campus.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are pillars of UC Merced’s mission to serve, teach and conduct research. After years of working to find a permanent support space for students of all demographics on campus, the campus unveiled its new Multicultural Center last month.

The center, on the first floor of the library where the Bobcat Lair used to be housed, features a community mural created by UC Merced students. The mural — a semester-long project by students in faculty member Richard Gomez’s class — represents the past, present and future of the university, and highlights the campus’s values of social justice, education, coalition building and collective healing.

Students unveiled a mural that represents the university's past, present and future at the opening ceremony for the Multicultural Center.
Students unveiled a mural that represents the university's past, present and future at the opening ceremony for the Multicultural Center.

“The Multicultural Center serves as a space for young scholars alike to share a space while they navigate their Bobcat experience in creating an inclusive and thriving campus,” said Onar Primitivo, assistant director of social justice initiatives and identity programs. “It is with great honor to those who have come before us — who have worked and committed their time and leadership to ensure the Multicultural Center space can be where a student can find others who share the same values and opportunities for authentic connections.”

Students, staff, faculty and alumni took part in the center’s opening, which included performances and speeches by various campus groups and leaders.

UC Merced has also made a commitment to a LGBTQ+ Center, scheduled to open this fall near the Multicultural Center.

UC Merced's Step Team was among the performers at the opening ceremony for the Multicultural Center last month.
UC Merced's Step Team was among the performers at the opening ceremony for the Multicultural Center last month.