Born out of the civil rights movement in the 60s, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), then known as the Office of Minority Affairs has changed and adapted to the times. When it first opened its doors in 1969, support services were tailored specifically to African American students. But today, OMA is home to programming that highlights identity and intercultural issues and several organizations and services that support marginalized groups on campus. “OMA is a place where all students can explore who they are in all of their identities. It’s a place where all of our students, but especially our students of minoritized identities can find respite—a place where they don’t have to code switch or perform their identities, but come and be seen for who they are. It’s a place for folks to find connection, resources and support,” said Michelle Kim, director of the office of multicultural affairs.
The 50th anniversary of OMA celebration, titled Legacy of Connections and Tradition of Action allows the SU community to reflect on the values of education, connection and advocacy has influenced students and the campus as a whole. “This theme of connection and action speaks to what we are about. It honors the fact that without our students advocating and pushing for change, we would not be sitting here 50 years later,” said Kim.
OMA will be hosting a 50th anniversary alumni reception before its annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The event will feature alumni and current student speakers as they reflect on the influence OMA had on their Seattle University experience. “I believe that OMA’s responsibility is to serve as a role model for our campus. It’s our responsibility to build bridges and create connections,” says Kim.
Find out more about the OMA 50th Anniversary and register here.