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UC San Diego Celebrates Grand Re-Opening of Raza Resource Centro

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

More than 250 campus and community members gathered in Matthews Quad to celebrate the dedication of the Raza Resource Centro (RRC) on April 23. The newest resource center at UC San Diego, it was developed to support the recruitment, retention and success of historically underrepresented students. In newly renovated space on the first floor of the Student Services Center, the RRC will serve as a place for all students to form connections with peers, develop as leaders and engage in interactive learning about the diverse Chicano/a –Latino/a history and culture.

Carmen Linares

The program began with a traditional Aztec dedication performed by muralist, activist and UC San Diego staff member Carmen Linares, who honored the four elements and offered a song of goodwill, hope and courage. Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, Interim Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Carol Padden, and the center’s inaugural director, Gerardo Arellano, noted the historic occasion of the RRC opening. Jason Soto, a fourth year UC San Diego student and founding member of the center, and community member Olivia Puentes-Reynolds spoke of the importance of the center for students and the region.

“Campus resource centers play a vital role in the quality of student life and help to ensure that all feel welcome and included in the UC San Diego community,” said Khosla. “With this newly renovated space, the Raza Resource Centro will continue to provide important resources and support for our students, staff and faculty.”

Music from the Southwestern College mariachi band—led by composer and UC San Diego alumnus Jeff Nevin—drew crowds to the celebration and provided pomp during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Guests toured the facility’s large common area with meeting and study space.

Efforts have also begun to curate a book collection containing literature about the history, culture, language and architecture of Mexico and Central and South America.

Center, Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla

“We are constantly reminded that we need places, somewhere to be, somewhere to go,” said Padden. “This center will help us to reshape our campus in a new image. I invite you all to visit, join in the activities and dedicate yourself to our shared mission.”

Promoting a “mi casa es su casa” philosophy, the RRC is open to all. Begun several years ago as a student-run collective dedicated to cultivating diversity on campus, the center will host activities and events to build a sense of collectivity. Students will also have the opportunity to link theory and research in the efforts to critically examine issues of diversity.

“Our mission at the Raza Resource Centro is to win collectively,” said Arellano. “By building strong partnerships with campus centers and academic departments as well as the local community and other universities, we strive to establish pipelines for our youth and foster the next generation of leaders.”