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Tennessee Technological University. Division of Student Affairs. Office of Multicultural Affairs



The Office of Multicultural Affairs began as the Black Cultural Center in 1989. In 1988, the Black Student Organization surveyed Black students at Tech on their interest in a center for Black students. The Black Student Organization and the student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers presented a proposal advocating for the creation of a space and programming to support the academic, personal, and cultural development of Black students to the Commission on the Status of Blacks and President Volpe in January 1989. University administration approved the creation of the Black Cultural Center. Work began on converting space in the University Center in the fall of 1989. The Black Cultural Center formally opened in August 1990.

In the 1994 bulletin, the Center advertised its functions as: “offer[ing] students an opportunity to learn more about the African American culture through books, photographs, and works of art. It is a place for gathering with friends and a place to unwind after a full day of classes. The Black Cultural Center also schedules events such as the Annual African Market Fair and a variety of educational programs and social events.”

By 1995, Tonia Duncan-Rivers wrote a proposal to establish the position of Coordinator of Minority Affairs, which became the Director of Minority Affairs. The new Office of Minority Affairs represented the needs of underrepresented students to the university administration and managed the Black Cultural Center. The Office of Minority Affairs was housed in the Black Cultural Center. In 1996, the Center adopted its new name, the Leona Lusk Officer Black Cultural Center, to honor the first African American graduate of Tennessee Tech.

By the Fall 2014 semester, the Office of Minority Affairs changed its name to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. As of 2020, the mission of the Multicultural Affairs Office is to provide support for the personal, cultural, social, and academic growth and development of students from underrepresented ethnic populations.

Administrators and staff in the Office of Multicultural Affairs have included:

Mayme D. Martin, Director, 1990-1992

Rosa Stokes, Interim Coordinator, at least Fall 1993-Spring 1994

Tonia Duncan-Rivers, Director, April 1995-June 1997

Mitzi Hill, Secretary, Fall 1996-?

Tammy Reynolds, Director, 1997-2000

Jennifer Smith, Assistant, at least 2000

Jamie E. Mells, Director, July 2001-September 2005

Cheryl Christensen, Secretary, 2002-?

Elizabeth D. Ojo, Assistant Director, 2006-April 2017

Corinne Johnson, Administrative Associate, circa 2000s-

Robert Owens, Director, 2006-2014; Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, 2014-2019; Vice President of Student Affairs, 2020-

Charria Campbell, Director, 2019-

Found in 11 Collections and/or Records:

Administrative Files, 1989–2020

Scope and Contents The series consists of documents created over the course of administering the Black Cultural Center and Office of Multicultural Affairs. Materials include the original proposal to create the Black Cultural Center, Tech publications created for recruiting and supporting underrepresented students, clippings, financial records, newsletters, and notes. The bulk of the series are event planning files, which document programs held on campus and that the Multicultural Center supported students in...
Dates: 1989–2020

Black Cultural Center oral histories

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 2021-0130
Dates: 2020 - 2021

Black Firsts calendar, 2000

 File — Box 16, Folder: 10
Scope and Contents From the Collection: This collection is comprised of various newsletters and publications distributed from Tennessee Technological University as well as other institutions in or relevant to the Upper Cumberland area, which date from 1951 through 2020, with the bulk of the records dating from the 1970s through the 2000s. The records are all text-based, and include department newsletters, faculty and staff memos, student literary journals, library professional development newsletters, student-made publications,...
Dates: Publication: 2000

Charlette Clark email

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 2020-0028
Dates: 2020-12-02

Charlette Clark email about the Black Cultural Center

 Digital Record
Identifier: SC_Clark_20201202_access
Dates: 2020-12-02

Impact, 2020 Fall

 File — Box 6, Folder: 12
Scope and Contents From the Record Group:

Documents related to the operation of the Tennessee Tech University Division of University Advancement, which includes the Crawford Alumni Center and University Development. Materials include meeting records of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, event planning files, photographs curated for alumni events and publications, publications, and Tennessee Tech ephemera.

Dates: Publication: 2020 Fall

Multicultural Affairs records

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 2020-0008
Dates: 1990 - 2020

Office of Multicultural Affairs records, 1989 - 2021

Scope and Contents

The records document the founding of the Leona Lusk Officer Black Cultural Center in 1989 and efforts by the university to support the personal, cultural, social, and academic growth and development of students from underrepresented ethnic populations. Materials include administrative files, event planning files, posters, flyers, photographs, and scrapbooks.

Dates: 1989 - 2021

The Black Flash newsletter

 Digital Collection
Identifier: RG143_BlackFlash
Dates: Publication: 1995-10 - 2002

University Advancement publications

 Unprocessed Material
Identifier: 2021-0090
Dates: 2020 Fall - 2021 April

Additional filters:

Unprocessed Material 5
Archival Object 4
Digital Record 2
African American college students 6
African American college administrators 5
African American -- Societies, etc. 3
African American young adults 3
African American young women 3