The University of Oregon broke ground Friday on a new Black Cultural Center. It’s the result of protests by black students on campus three years ago.
On the east end of campus at the corner of 15th and Villard, the Black Cultural Center is set to open a year from now. 2016 graduate Shaniece Curry was one of the students who protested against the university in 2015.
“There was a national outcry from black students,” says Curry. “And what they were voicing was that they were unsafe, there were not an adequate amount of resources being allocated to them and that we were in need of support from our institutions.”
The Black Student Task Force issued a list of demands at the time, one of which was the need for a gathering spot for African-American students.
UO President Michael Schill says he applauds their efforts.
“They had a protest and then they started working,” says Schill. “And the great thing about the students and the Black Student Task Force was they knew what they wanted. They also had things that they wanted that I could actually deliver on.”
But there’s still work to be done, says Curry. She says another demand is for the UO to hire more black professors.