EMCEC: new understanding

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Editors Note: this article was written on Feb. 3, 1971. The EMCEC had just started in what is now the Honors Cottage. 

A really beautiful thing has happened at UNI. A truly rewarding, educational thing has been offered to us. It happened Sunday and its going to continue to happen for a long time. Its called the Ethnic Minority Cultural and Education Center and it is fantastic. 

Most of the people who attended the Sunday opening had little or no idea of what they might find there. They left the center with a new understanding of minority peoples and a tremendous admiration of what has been accomplished here. 

Its difficult, if not impossible, to isolate one or two things which stand out in your mind about the center. Certainly you can mention the moving paintings by UNI black co-ed Betty Hooper, or the striking honesty of the African and Mexican artistry. You can talk about the vivid, almost frighteningly beautiful murals by UNI bkacj student Palmer Byrd, or the solidifying atmosphere in which these things exist. But to really appreciate the full thrust of the center one must view the total product, and if you do that you will surely agree that is is real, that it is valid and that it is relevant. 

At the risk of leaving someone out, we must salute those people who made this thing happen. People like Benedict Harris, Reginald Hayes, John Heath, Byron Washington, Gloria Stigler, Betty Hooper, Palmer Byrd and Sue Collier deserve our gratitude for endless time and energy they have spent to make the Cultural Center a reality. 

When he was appointed as EMCEC Director way back in October, Reginold Hayes stated that he viewed the Center as “somewhat of an establishment to expell and alleviate some of the social misconceptions people do have about minority people.” And we feel it can do that and more if given the proper support and encouragement of the people the Culture Center is designed to reach: the white population of this community. There can be no alleviation of misconcpetions if whites do not visit the center. Go over often, ask questions if you have them, relate to what is happening and there will be no end to the success of the center.

To the people responsible for the center we can only add our congratulations for an extremely fine opening and our sincere wish that the entire program be a large success. We would only add one thing more: THANK YOU.