New Intercultural Center supports community and belonging

Oglethorpe University’s first-ever Intercultural Center is now open to the campus community. Located on the second floor of the Turner Lynch Campus Center, the student-focused collaboration space will be home to community events with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the year.

Students in the Intercultural Center
Students meet at the open house for the Intercultural Center.

The new Intercultural Center is many things all at once: a place to study or relax during the day, an event space, a place to learn or exchange ideas, a resource and a safe space. A large, modular design outfitted with plenty of seating — big, comfortable chairs included — the IC can be transformed to accommodate any of the programming that will take place in the space.

Every Tuesday from 1 – 2 p.m., “Together Tuesdays” will feature activities that help facilitate important group dialogues and bring the community together.

At its core, though, the IC is a place that will foster a sense of belonging — a safe, respectful and welcoming community at Oglethorpe.

Headshot of Marisol Zacarias
Marisol Zacarias, Director of the Intercultural Center

Under the leadership of launch director Marisol Zacarias, the intercultural center will host programming that celebrates the rich diversity of Oglethorpe’s campus, including the commemoration of heritage months and identity acknowledgements. It is her goal — and the IC’s goal — for these events to propel meaningful conversations that span differences.

Zacarias began at the university last May, and is thrilled to welcome students into the newly-renovated space for the first time.

“I hope that the Center will cultivate learning opportunities for all to engage in respectful inter-group dialogue,” says Zacarias. “I hope that having the space open to students will encourage collaboration among student organizations. And that we can inspire and nurture community action.”

The IC’s mission continues to evolve with input from students. Zacarias has been engaging with student groups across campus to learn more about how the university can create space for different identities. The IC will also host listening sessions throughout September. Check OU Connect for details.

“Students have a say in shaping the mission, the programming, and how the Center looks and feels.”

Students and staff in the Intercultural Center