We encourage students to explore diverse narratives, perspectives, and ideas through programs, education, and involvement in the community. The Multicultural Affairs department does this work by engaging with the student community outside of the classroom space. Specifically, we work in collaboration with various departments and with students to cultivate an inclusive community where all its members are heard, valued, and respected.
In addition to the resources listed on this webpage, Chicago and its many neighborhoods is an excellent source for exploration and inspiration. Events are a good opportunity to delve into the rich cultural legacies of Chicago and we invite students to join us for events on- and off-campus.
MAAC is a place where all students can become involved in the multicultural community at SAIC. Multicultural Affairs Affinity Communities (MAAC) is a monthly convening, open to all student leaders of identity-based groups, and students. MAAC is a place of intersectional* dialogue and activism around identity, and the shared and unique perspectives of community members. This includes, but is not limited to:
- International students
- Black, Brown, Indigenous, and students of Color
- Cultural/ethnic students
- Faith and spirituality-based students
- LGBTQ+ students and allies
During MAAC meetings, we share narratives, stories, perspectives, and resources. As a community, we participate in a dialogue about ideas that promote inclusivity, respect, and acceptance in the SAIC community. MAAC meetings are a space for the affinity leaders and other group members of our various affinity groups on campus to convene, come together and discuss, collaborate, encourage, and grow together.
*Multicultural Affairs recognizes the intersections of these identities and that any one individual, their narratives, and their perspectives is a reflection of these identities. Intersectionality is the idea that issues of gender, race, class, etc. interact on multiple and often simultaneous levels. The term was first defined in Kimberlé Crenshaw's "Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory, and Antiracist Politics," University of Chicago Legal Form, 1989, 139-67.
Approximately one-third of all the student groups are affinity- or identity-based. Student affinity groups are formed around a shared interest, ideology, identity, experience, or common goal. These student-led groups are open to all members of the community, and provide opportunities to form meaningful connections. Within each group, is a place to find belonging around shared experiences, ideas, and identities; as well as an opportunity to learn perspectives that may be different from your own.
Group will often host recurring meetings, or organize events such as festivals, symposia, panels, artist talks, and workshops. The active groups are listed below. If you're interested in getting involved, but aren't sure where to begin, we're here to guide you through the process of finding community. Email email@example.com and we'll get you connected.
- Black Fashion Council is a collective that is open to the black fashion student body and provides a space where their Black fashion students and artists' voices can be heard and their ideas recognized
- BLK@SAIC is a student-led space which creates support and community around the African Diaspora
- Casting Student Group provides an open casting space that creates inclusive environments for LGBTQIA+ artists, specifically in traditionally male-dominated metal shop culture
- Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA)'s goal is to serve Chinese students, build community, and facilitates cultural events
- Coalition for Black Restorative Artists (COBRA) is an organization for Black graduate students at SAIC.
- Hapa, Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islanders (HAAAPI) forms spaces for dialogue and visibility around the intersectional experiences of Hapa, Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander students at SAIC.
- Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (IV) creates an atmosphere of community, respect, and genuine kindness rooted in the principles of faith and spirituality
- Korean Graduate Student Community (KGSC) is a platform of support, networking and cultural exchange for Korean graduate students
- Korean Student Association (KSA) promotes Korean culture and tradition by coordinating events and publishing an annual magazine to create meaningful bonding experiences among Korean students
- SAIC UNIDXS is created for and by Latinx folx to come together, hold discussions, and celebrate our Latinidad
- Namaste SAIC is a social cultural exchange and community for the South Asian community to interact and share culture among SAIC
- National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS) campaigns diversity within the design professions
- Indigenous Student Association (ISA) holds Zoom meetings, workshops, guest lectures, and readings that engage in the art and politics of Indigenous people
- Organization of Asian Artist Propagation (OAAP)
- SAIC Hillel is a platform for Jewish Life and invites the community to learn more about Jewish culture and heritage through holiday celebrations, discussions, and exhibitions
- SAIC Trans Artist Coalition is a group of trans, queer, and allied artists. We are gathering for community building, archiving, public action, and resource sharing. We aim to create a centralized body of trans art and practice, as well as facilitating an inclusive space.
- Saudi Students Association (SSA)
- South East Asian Community is a safe and respectful place for artists and individuals to exchange multicultural experiences, histories, relations, and cultivate the narrative of the south east asian influence in the modern art world.
- Transfiguration is a space that embraces trans artists and figure models. We intend to draw, paint, study, and discuss the figure during the weekly sessions. Given the opportunity, we will hold a show at the end of each semester, showcasing work created in the space. Artists will practice life drawing, celebrate diversity, and build community.
If there is a student group that you would like to see that does not currently exist, please email the Director of Student Affairs for Diversity and Inclusion to learn more!
Multicultural Affairs organizes events and workshops that stimulate learning, activate dialogue, and encourage connections. More than 20 affinity- or identity-based student groups receive sponsorship and advising from Multicultural Affairs in organizing their events, panels, workshops, artist talks, and activities. Check this page in the fall to see the events.