Cultural Connections

Centers Devoted to Creating Cultural Connections

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs supports centers, offices, and organizations across all IU campuses that focus on cultural awareness and cross-cultural competencies. On the IU Bloomington campus, there are six cultural centers. These community learning spaces provide an array of unique programming, events, and personal and academic support, while also serving as a home away from home for many students and a reminder of one's culture and ancestry.

Asian Culture Center

More than 2,500 Asian and Asian Pacific American students attend Indiana University, with each bringing a diverse culture and unique talent. Founded in 1998 and located on the Bloomington campus, the Asian Culture Center is designed to promote an awareness, understanding, and acceptance of Asian and Asian American cultures. It accomplishes this work through advocacy, institutional resources, cultural and educational support, and community outreach activities.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Prioritizing requests based on direct student services, mental health, stress, and wellness.
  • Developing and implementing programs and initiatives, offering support for students in crisis, facing adversity, or challenges.
  • Advising the IU community on best practices based on insights gained from relationships with organizations such as Great Lakes Asian American Student Services.

First Nations Educational & Cultural Center

Founded in 2007, the First Nations Educational & Cultural Center supports the retention and recruitment of American Indian, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian students, faculty, and staff. Its mission is to build a Native community within the university, enhance the recognition and reputation of these communities, and provide educational opportunities that further awareness of the First Nations people.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Hosting the 10th annual Powwow in the Ray E. Cramer Marching Hundred Hall on April 9, 2021. Juaquin Hamilton, a Sac and Fox Nation historical researcher, served as emcee of the event and master of ceremonies for IU's first virtual powwow. The event attracted hundreds of visitors across the country and boasted a line-up of nationally known dancers and singers.
  • Participating in the 6th Annual Big Ten Native Student Gathering at Northwestern University.
  • Hosting Steven Paul Judd's artwork project to kick off Native American Heritage Month. The special event entailed Judd—one of today’s most prominent contemporary Native American artists—painting a large-scale portrait of legendary athlete and former IU coach, Jim Thorpe. The portrait now hangs prominently in the Indiana Memorial Union.

Jewish Culture Center

The Jewish Culture Center is a welcoming gathering space for approximately 4,000 Jewish students who attend Indiana University. Working in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, the new Jewish Culture Center offers events and activities, as well as cultural and social programming opportunities, to Jewish students, faculty, and staff. It is also open to those wanting to learn more about Jewish culture and traditions.

Yearly Highlights: 

  • Establishing the new Jewish Culture Center in May of 2022.
  • Launching a national campaign titled #EndJewHate in partnership with JewBelong. The campaign was intended to inspire “Jewish joy.” Among other things billboards were designed with messaging to uplift and encourage the Jewish community.

La Casa, the Latino Cultural Center

La Casa, the Latino Cultural Center, serves as a vital link between the university and the Latine community. Building on a strong campus climate, La Casa provides programming, support, and opportunities to foster a sense of belonging and pride for Latine students, while also assisting in their academic, leadership, professional, and social development.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Providing community members with opportunities to explore Latine voices, experiences, and culture through the Latine Book Club.
  • Organizing a weekly virtual "Writing and Thinking Without Borders" (Silent Writing/Thinking Group) in partnership with the Latino Faculty and Staff Council. This initiative provided focused time for participants to tackle various projects from books to research papers.

LGBTQ+ Culture Center

Since 1994 the LGBTQ+ Culture Center has been a gathering and community space for the LGBTQ+ community at IU Bloomington. While the LGBTQ+ Culture Center focuses on providing the community at large with larger programs and events, it also works individually with students. Whether connecting them to emergency financial support, scholarship opportunities, HIV testing services, or counseling, the LGBTQ+ Culture Center is a place where students can build connections and find a sense of self.

Yearly Highlights:

  • Launching "The Training Outreach Program (TOP)" to help departments, offices, and student organizations build institutional equity for LGBTQ+ community members. The two-hour sessions reached 420 participants.
  • Continuing the "Intersections Series" with a focus on queer visibility. Five sessions were conducted for 304 participants.
  • Holding nine "Public Training Series" presentations for 245 participants via 90-minute Zoom sessions on Sexuality, Gender, Oppression & Joy, Intersectionality, How to Be an Effective Ally, and Mental Health.