Kalamazoo College students storm campus, protest for Intercultural Center

Posted at 1:06 PM, Mar 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-07 13:06:25-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Members and supporters of the Kalamazoo College Intercultural Movement gathered on the school’s campus early Saturday to rally for a permanent gathering center and a response from administrators.

Courtesy of Twitter User @Kzoo4Justice

The group called for people to come together at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Mandelle Hall on the College’s campus, holding a press conference and then leading protesters inside some of the school’s buildings.

Hoping to gain support for a permanent ‘Intercultural Center’ on Kalamazoo College’s campus, the group is asking administrators to acknowledge the importance of cultural diversity in the community.  Their facebook page says of the proposed center:

The Intercultural Center at Kalamazoo College sets out to create a permanent physical space that strengthens sustainable community-building through organic dialogues that include students of color and intersecting marginalized identities.

By fostering and exploring different identities and origins we will:

• Ensure a welcoming space for self-education
• Pursue positive and inclusive discourse on institutional structures and social issues affecting communities of color to avoid cultural tourism and other forms of tokenization
• Promote personal and professional success
• Further the progress of social and academic
development to ensure retention rates

Students Marching Towards a Board of Trustee’s Meeting Saturday Morning. Courtesy Twitter User @Kzoo4Justice

Students spoke in front of the crowd about personal experiences of dealing with racism and the importance of a center on their campus- others sharing messages and pictures via social media with the hashtag #UnsafeAtK.

After the conference, the protesters made their way into a Board of Trustee’s meeting on campus and were able to speak briefly with those seated in the meeting.