Colgate’s Africana, Latin, Asian, and Native American (ALANA) Cultural Center provides multicultural exploration, social justice education, and campus community building. Students, staff, and faculty celebrate the University’s cultural diversity with an unwavering commitment to inclusivity and equity.
Mission and Vision
The ALANA Cultural Center serves as a learning place, social space, and focal point where Colgate students, faculty, and staff gather to learn about multicultural heritages, struggles, and accomplishments.
ALANA Cultural Center staff accomplishes this mission through five tenets:
- Community building
- A commitment to social justice
- Celebrating the unique cultures and histories of our students, staff, and faculty
- Helping students feel empowered to take ownership of their lives
- Peer education and engagement
The center provides a home and a meeting place for all students of every class, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. It affirms their cultural identities and histories through visual arts and reading materials, student group advising, and intellectual, educational, and social programming. ALANA supports and engages all members of the Colgate community interested in exploring issues of inclusiveness and the intersection of race and other social identities.
The creation of the cultural center was the result of a series of sit-ins led by a student group called the Association of the Black Collegians in the late 1960s.
A 70-hour takeover of Merrill House led directly to the transformation of a maintenance building (now the Michael Saperstein Jewish Center) into a center in 1970.
By April 1989, a new cultural center building was dedicated in the spirit of Colgate’s commitment to diversity.
The center was renamed the ALANA Cultural Center in 1996 as a result of students’ suggestions that the building reflect the communities that traditionally gathered there.
The center continues to thrive, welcoming all members of the campus community. It works to support students of color and their intersecting identities, while also providing education, advocacy, and empowerment to the Colgate community, so it can continue to work toward equity.
ALANA Cultural Center recognizes, with respect, the history of the Indigenous people of Onyota'a:ká or the People of the Upright Stone of Oneida Nation, whose ancestral lands Colgate University now stands. The Center recognizes our collective responsibility to acknowledge past colonial histories and is committed to social justice. Therefore, we acknowledge the history that the Indigenous people have experienced as well as its implication to the center's work related to social justice awareness and education. Please take a moment to consider the many legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that bring us together here today.