Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity Named, Grand Opening Being Planned WARRENSBURG, MO (Aug. 31, 2016) – Contributing to the University of Central Missouri’s efforts to create an atmosphere of openness and acceptance for the campus community, the Board of Governors recently approved the naming of the new Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity (CMI). Board action on this naming opportunity took place during the plenary session Aug. 18 in the Elliott Student Union.  The CMI is related to the university’s mission and core values, which include a commitment to attracti g and supporting a diverse body of students, faculty and staff members. The center has opened in renovated space located on the third floor of the Elliott Student Union, south of the English Language Center, and is continuing to be developed by the Office of Mentoring, Advocacy and Peer Support (MAPS) .  Student-focused, the CMI has features that include two classrooms which may be reserved by university organizations, Central Missouriorganizational storage space, an office with four cubicles, high-definition televisions, Wi-Fi access,and tables, which can be used by students during meetings in the office or simply to relax and visit with friends.

With the opening of this new center, the university also has named a new multicultural outreach specialist, Alesha Bowman, who will begin her duties in the CMI Sept. 12. Also planning to work out of this facility is Tara Napoleone-Clifford, MAPS IDEAS coordinator, who is relocating from an office in Dockery Hall. “The MAPS office is very excited to announce the opening of the Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity,” Napoleone-Clifford, said adding that grand opening activities will take place later this fall.  “Organizational planning for this celebration is underway, but the CMI will be offering opportunities for students to get involved.” “CMI is looking forward to listening to the campus community for suggestions and paths to follow as the CMI is a product of more than the MAPS office, it is a community entity,” Napoleone-Clifford said. According to Board of Governors’ documents, in leading the charge for this new facility, the MAPS office was directed to “help create a center that leads and supports the development and facilitation of positive and proactive initiatives that increase access, opportunity, equity, diversity and inclusivity in all aspects of university life. UCMInherent in this charge is the intent to develop an awareness of social, political, cultural, and ethical issues in the belief that this awareness will lead to concern for, participation in, and improvement to society.” To achieve this goal, board documents note, “it is understood that students must learn how to interact with and understand people who are ethnically, racially, and culturally different from themselves as we strive to create a community free from bias and harassment.” The CMI will have extended hours that are conducive to the student environment, and will welcome people of all backgrounds, identities and perspectives as the university strives to create an atmosphere in which all people feel welcome and secure. Funding for this facility is derived from university auxiliary funds, however, some additional expenses related to titling, including printed materials, will be funded by MAPS.