Kaleidoscope: a new center of diversity
Juliann Robey (Spanish, Foreign Affairs ’96)
Posted July 2004
Juliann Robey (Spanish, Foreign Affairs ’96) was president of the Class of 1996 when her fellow graduating students decided to raise funds for a multicultural center as a gift to the University.
As a second-year Darden student, Robey spoke at the formal opening of the Kaleidoscope Center for Cultural Fluency in Newcomb Hall in February.
“A kaleidoscope is a rapidly changing series of scenes and patterns,” she said. “We hope this too will be a continually changing place where one can find the candid exchange of viewpoints.”
The idea of creating a multicultural center, proposed at various times not only by the Class of 1996 but also by other groups, took on renewed strength last spring when racial tensions arose on Grounds. The student-led Minority Rights Coalition began meeting with administrators to discuss the possibilities.
The infrequently used Informal Lounge on the third floor of Newcomb was renovated for the center. Double doors of glass allow an open view into the room, and a dry-erase “graffiti wall,” filled with congratulatory wishes in different languages the day of the opening, invites free expression. The room’s focal point is a 61-inch plasma-screen TV.
Programs at the center include Monday Lounge nights, sponsored by Student Council. How diverse are they? Co-hosts of the first Lounge Night were N.O.W. and the College Republicans.