About the OMA
Acknowledging our differences is not about separating people but about learning from new perspectives and understanding the social realities that exist and have prevented coalitions within and among communities. Once we can better understand this, we more substantively can be better, more informed allies to one another. From your first dialogue in Under1Roof to the many conversations within the Intercultural House to the programs presented by our student groups, we encourage you to take advantage of all the opportunities that allow you to engage in and grow from the diversity that surrounds you at Columbia. Learn more about our office and how we work with the you and the entire Columbia community:
Responding to the needs of our diverse undergraduate student body, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) aims to promote an inclusive university climate by acting as an educational resource that prepares students to succeed in a heterogeneous and ever-changing society. The Office provides a supportive environment for intercultural communication, constructive interaction and mutual understanding. OMA aims to strengthen and enhance the richly diverse fabric of the Columbia community by providing and supporting programs and services in the following areas:
- Critical Intellectual Inquiry
- Social Justice & Inter/Intra Cultural Programming
- Leadership Development and Training
- Diversity Education and Training
- Cultural & Identity Based Student Organization Advising
- To create a greater sense of community and improve the quality of life for Columbia students.
- To create and promote a sense of belonging that permeates throughout all aspects of the campus community (alumni, staff, faculty, students).
- To construct institutional values that are responsive to the core principles of the Columbia community/that are upheld by the Columbia Community.
- To foster the individual growth and unity of the Columbia community by advancing student learning through programs and experiences that integrate self-awareness, multicultural and intercultural communication skills, and social justice education.
“…collaborative internal and external partnerships…”
Informed by the complex interplay between the cultural and structural, the personal and social, and the individual and institutional, the Office of Multicultural Affairs approaches its work recognizing that diversity, social change and equity must be addressed at multiple, interconnected levels. Modeled in the pairing of a collaborative staff structure and each member’s programmatic specialization, internal and external partnerships shape how the OMA works with the University community toward a truly diverse and engaged campus environment.
The approach to these partnerships focus on these three areas:
Intra-Community: Intra-community work focuses on constituency-based support and education, particularly for historically and socially marginalized and underserved communities. Programming and resources can include exploring the intersections of multiple identities within a community, learning about the history of social oppression and how it affects a community, and celebrating the experiences and heritage of group.
Inter-Community: Inter-community work focuses on cross-cultural dialogue and building bridges with others across communities. Programming and resources that fall within this area encourages community education and collaboration among different communities and supports the forming of allies groups.
Community Advancement: Building upon both the intra-community and inter-community, community advancement speaks to the work to change individual, cultural, and institutional actions and policies that may discriminate or marginalize any group. An integral part of this area is strategically engaging, working, and collaborating with many areas of the University community, including faculty and alumni. Programming and resources may include diversity education and training across campus as well as advocacy on the institutional level.