The African American Student Center works to educate students and the WSU community about existing racial inequalities, said Donna Arnold, associate director for Multicultural Student Services.
Arnold, a retention counselor with the center, said that through cultural programming and workshops, the center aims to heighten knowledge of African American culture.
spoke about how being an African American kid in the 1970s helped motivate her
to become an example of how to reach academic success.
was a strong supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, which allowed her
to hold the position she
is in now.
"The movement contributed to where we are today in a big way," Arnold
"But it doesn't stop.
It continues today.
Growing up in the Midwest, Arnold
witnessed first-hand the intimidation and blatant racism of the Ku Klux Klan.
determination to survive fueled her
desire to seek higher education.
"Education, family, community, employment.
There are so many things that we can see inequities in," Arnold
"We must address this issue by continuing to educate people about the needs for change.
added that she
has always been a strong advocate for the access of higher education for all students, regardless of ethnicity.
Some students who use the center said they feel that community is built and fostered first and foremost by Arnold
Along with Arnold
, Hayes understands the importance of reaching out to the entire student body, not solely the African American students.
While racial difference may detract students, Hayes holds that diversity exists beyond race.
"Most people just think that if they're not black or if they don't share the same cultural experiences, they can't come, but we want everyone to come," Hayes said.
"There is so much diversity even within the African American.
Change does not happen overnight or by itself, Arnold
said, it takes time and dedication.
"When we speak of change, I believe change comes when people are active about how to bring about the change," Arnold