History

The Intersection was the result of a two-year community engagement process to ensure UNLV’s center serves the specific needs of your highly diverse campus community. It goes beyond the traditional model for identity-specific centers that support students based around specific factors as ethnicity or gender.

Our Beginnings

UNLV offers a number of longstanding programs and services related to multiculturalism. However, in early 2015, campus leaders discussed ways to better ensure the academic success of our students through the Top Tier initiative. Those early discussions underscored the need for an academically aligned unit to complements existing services.

  • Fall 2015 —Planning efforts begin. Harriet Barlow is tapped to lead development of the academic multicultural center and conducts a series of meetings with more than 50 stakeholder groups to identify needs and opportunities. Research included an audit of existing campus services and research into programs at other institutions.
  • May 2016Findings from the stakeholder meetings were presented to UNLV President Len Jessup, Provost Diane Chase and more than 100 members of the campus community. This meeting kicked off a process to establish the center’s mission and vision.
  • Summer-fall 2016 — Cross-campus focus group sessions were held and an ad hoc advisory board formed. These groups helped set The Intersection’s development priorities and established developed the center’s name.
  • September 2016 — The Intersection became a client of the Service Learning in Sociology initiative led by sociology professor Anna Smedley-Lopez. Through the 2016-17 academic year, the program’s students conducted research and identified ways to enhance the sense of student belong in UNLV’s educational process.
  • February 2017 — The Intersection’s identity mark, developed by undergraduate art students Jonathon Estrada and Alain Datuin is approved.
  • March 2017 — The Intersection is officially established after a presentation to the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. The Intersection opens in Student Union, Room 121, and immediately begins serving as welcoming point of contact for those trying to navigate campus resources.Read The Intersection's full development report.

Future Development

The Intersection’s opening is just the beginning. Our starting services have focused on the priorities identified through our stakeholder engagement. Through continued campus engagement, we are creating a different kind of university multicultural center — one that serves the specific needs of our unique and diverse campus community.

Contact us to learn more about joining The Intersection.

Our Name

The Intersection name reflects the unique diversity of our students and their values. Through surveys and working groups, our students told us they wanted a place that recognized their identities but didn’t limit them to those descriptions.

The Intersection name is derived from the work of Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw, a leading scholar of critical race theory. She coined the term “intersectionality,” which recognizes that human beings are shaped by the interaction of many identities of race/ethnicity, gender, age, class, educational background, religion, and more.

As part of The Intersection’s development, we asked art students Jonathan Estrada and Alain Datuin to design a graphic to represent our mission.

The Intersection Graphic Identity Mark