We welcomed a new Director of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion, Juliane Corpus, to the Willamette community in May. We are now pleased to introduce the community to the newly named, Office of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion, formerly known as the Office of Multicultural Affairs, to align with this new position and to better reflect the office mission. This office will continue to provide support, advocacy, education and community-building that promotes an inclusive campus environment and social justice education. While all members of the community are served and supported through the office’s educational initiatives, there is a particular focus on serving students of color and other historically minoritized students through mentoring, identity development education, cultural celebrations and opportunities for authentic relationship-building and increased intercultural understanding within and across groups. This new name more clearly states our commitment to this mission.
“It’s imperative that we continue to reflect and think critically about how groups are marginalized in society and work together on how we can tackle the deeper issues of creating an inclusive environment on and off-campus. The Office of Intercultural Engagement will continue to create and provide these opportunities through campus-wide collaboration,” said Corpus.
The Office of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion is located across from Goudy Commons in the Renjen Center, home to the Student Center for Equity and Empowerment. Similar to the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion, “the E & E” – as it is often called – provides a welcoming and inclusive space where students from various identities can find resources, support networks, and community. The E & E was created to provide students from historically underrepresented groups and their allies a space to discover and challenge themselves as active members of the academic community and as life-long learners. It offers small and large gathering space for events, meetings, studying, or socializing, in addition to a variety of books and other resources, and a small kitchenette. The Director of the Office of Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion advises the students who oversee the E & E and provides support to many of the events, culturally based student organizations, and individuals who meet in this space.
Nationally, many university offices under the “Multicultural Affairs” label have gone through renaming processes in the last decade to better capture the current needs of college campus life. The evolution is part of a long history, as these departments have gone through many names since their inception: Minority Student Services, Multicultural Services, Cross Cultural Centers, Intercultural Centers to name a few. Willamette University joins this broader movement to foster a diverse and equitable community on campus and beyond through Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion.