Black Cultural Center Opening at UW-Madison 1 Year After Racist Incidents, Protests

The Red Gym at University of Wisconsin-Madison (Facebook)
The Red Gym at University of Wisconsin-Madison (Facebook)

A year after a rash of racist incidents and student protests spread across its campus, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is opening a center for black students Wednesday in an effort to show better support for the black community on campus.


The Black Cultural Center will be located inside UW-Madison’s Red Gym, which is already home to other multicultural student organizations, and its official opening will be a day of discussions and performances, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The center will be open to all students.

The center will occupy a first-floor space that was to house a package-pickup location for, and university officials have said that building the center shows they are committed to improving the experience of black students after last year’s incidents; having a dedicated space on campus for black students was one of the goals of student activists involved in the protests last year.

Harvey Long is a doctoral student studying the history of black students at UW-Madison dating to the 1870s, and he helped plan the new center. He told the State Journal that black students at the predominantly white university have long gathered in informal places to “rejuvenate and recharge,” and the new center makes those spaces officially a part of UW-Madison.

“It matters a lot for students—but specifically black students in spaces where we haven’t always been welcome—to have a community and a space where you can be yourself,” Long said. “I think it’s vital.”

As part of Wednesday’s opening events, Long will give a presentation on his research, and he noted that a similar center for black students opened at UW-Madison in 1968, but it closed five years later when officials consolidated spaces for minority students.

He told the State Journal that it will be important for UW-Madison’s administrators to maintain their support for the center and the students it serves.


“The institution must continue to be aware of and fight for students of color,” Long said. “It’s a step in the right direction, and it’s a concrete example of what happens when students are engaged in activism.”

Read more at the Wisconsin State Journal.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.



A shithead I went to high school with wore a confederate tie and/or a confederate t-shirt under his oxford every goddamn day of high school. In our senior year, one of our teachers asked him where he was headed to college. He proudly replied, “UW-MAD!” and we had to scrape our teacher off the floor for laughing so hard, like, “you live in the midwest and could not have picked a worse place for your racist ass” laughing. And I have held on to that moment for years. Until last year.

But now, Mr. Nagis, you are semi-correct again. And *insert name of every one of the dumbasses ya’ll can preach* you are insignificant assholes, once again.