Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Cross Cultural Center records (University of California, Irvine)
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (132.75 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Historical Background
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Digital Object Numbers
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing History
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary
  • Publication Rights
  • Separation Note
  • Appraisal Note

  • Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Title: University of California, Irvine, Cross Cultural Center records
    Creator: University of California, Irvine. Cross Cultural Center
    Identifier/Call Number: AS.052
    Physical Description: 20.5 Linear Feet (15 records cartons, 1 document box, 4 flat boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1972-2015
    Date (bulk): 1985-1998
    Abstract: The collection comprises the records of the Cross Cultural Center at the University of California, Irvine, a center focused on providing a network of support services promoting the personal, social, cultural, and academic well-being of UCI's ethnic and culturally diverse student body. The Cross Cultural Center coordinates the activities of all student organizations pertaining to racial, ethnic, and minority groups. The collection includes administrative files; committee and board records; documentation of events and programs on campus for students, faculty, and staff, photographs, and audiovisual material.
    Language of Material: English .


    The collection is open for research. Access to original video recordings and disk media is restricted; researchers may request access copies.

    Acquisition Information

    Transferred from the Cross Cultural Center, 1999, 2000, 2016, and 2017.

    Collection Arrangement

    This collection is arranged in five series.
    1. Administrative files, 1974-2015. 3.75 linear feet
    2. Committee files, 1979-2012. 1 linear foot
    3. Event and programming files, 1979-2015. 9.25 linear feet
    4. Photographs and slides, 1980-2010. 5.5 linear feet
    5. Audiovisual, 1969-2011. 1 linear foot

    Historical Background

    The University of California, Irvine Cross Cultural Center, also known on campus as "the Cross," was founded on October 16, 1974 by a group of UCI faculty, staff, and students who recognized the need to create a social-cultural support system for ethnic minority students. It is the first multicultural center founded on a University of California campus. At the time of its foundation, the Cross' stated purpose was "to create Third World interaction, student outreach, and provide necessary information to the minority community on campus." The first director was Dr. Larry Onoda, a psychologist from UCI's Counseling Center. In partnership with students, faculty, and staff, the Cross Cultural Center develops a series of programs, activities, and services to support the emerging needs of UCI's growing underrepresented student population.
    The Cross was originally housed in a 1,800 square foot, temporary building located across the Ring Mall from the School of Humanities. In 1976, the first of several murals was designed and painted by students. The mural was developed under the direction of Manuel Hernandez, a visiting lecturer in Studio Art. It depicts prominent historical figures who were voices for equality and justice. It also portrays significant events in the annals of California's minority communities.. In the late 1980s, changing demographics and campus growth necessitated expansion and relocation. After considerable campus debate about its location, the Cross moved to the Ring Mall across from the Administration Building (now Aldrich Hall) and reopened on April 18, 1989. The original mural was moved to the new building and is now prominently displayed in the lounge. The Cross later underwent another expansion, reopening in late 2007.
    The annual Rainbow Festival, now known as the Community Roots Festival, is one of the Cross's signature programs and long-standing traditions. Established in 1984, the festival has served as a multicultural program model for other colleges and universities. The Community Roots Festival is a celebration of cultural and ethnic diversity and features speakers, performances, workshops, booths for affiliated student organizations, contests, and a community resource fair. Other signature programs include the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium which takes place during early winter quarter and features the Dr. Joseph L. White Lecture, workshops, and a service-learning project in collaboration with the Office of Campus Organizations & Volunteer Programs. Previous keynote lectures have been delivered by thought leaders including Yolanda King, Tavis Smiley, Cornel West, Charles Ogletree, Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, Lani Guinier, and Tim Wise. Other long standing programs at the Cross include Deconstruction Zone, the Multicultural Leadership Retreat, the Summer Multicultural Leadership Institute, the Faculty-in-Residence Program, and the Cross-Cultural Center Awards.
    The Cross has been a center of activism on campus since its establishment. In the spring of 1991 affiliated student organizations within the Cross established the Ethnic Students Coalition Against Prejudicial Education (E.S.C.A.P.E.), a group that campaigned for the establishment of ethnic studies programs at UCI. Many student organizations were unified in this effort and sponsored several major rallies to generate campus support. In 1993 students held a 35-day rotational hunger strike in an effort to establish an Asian American Studies program as well petition for an additional staff member for the Cross. This protest received considerable media attention and galvanized the local Asian American community.
    In 1993, a mural conceived by the well-known muralist, Judy Baca, was installed in the Ring Room. Commissioned by the National Institute of Mental Health for the National Conference on Refugee Services, and undertaken as a mural class project by UCI students, this mural depicts the silent suffering of Asian/Vietnamese and Latino/Central American refugee communities. During the 2011-2012 academic year, students led by graduate student Yaron Hakim and 2010 alumna Edwina Dai, both from UCI's Department of Studio Arts, created the Cross' third mural. Though untitled, this mural was created to give voice to students who were wanting to express their values and perspectives during a time in which their education was threatened by the drastic cuts throughout the state – a result of a national economic crisis. The mural is now hung immediately outside of the Dr. Joseph L. White Room.
    In July 1999, Corina Espinoza departed UCI for a position at California State University, Bakersfield. Corina had served 15 years in various staff positions at the Cross-Cultural Center, nine as Director. After serving as Acting Director, Anna K. Gonzalez became Director of the Cross-Cultural Center in 2000. In 2008, Anna departed UCI for a position as Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Upon Anna's departure, Kevin Huie was hired as the Director of the Cross-Cultural Center and served in this role until July 2015. Jade K. Agua joined us from Santa Clara University in December 2015 and served as Director until May 2018 and left for an opportunity to join the USC Race and Equity Center. In May 2018, Marcela Ramirez-Stapleton joined the Cross-Cultural Center as Interim Director.
    Five student umbrella organizations are recognized by the Cross: Alyansa ng mga Kababayan (Pilipino), American Indian Student Association (AISA), Asian Pacific Student Association (APSA), Black Student Union (BSU), and Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA). More than 50 individual organizations exist under these five umbrella organizations.

    Biographical/Historical note


    1974 October 16 Cross Cultural Center founded. First director is Dr. Larry Onoda.
    1976 Cross Cultural Center dedicates mural painted by UCI students portraying prominent historical figures and significant events of California's minority communities.
    1984 First Rainbow Festival.
    1989 April 18 Expanded Cross Cultural Center opens in new location.
    1990 Corina Espinoza became Director of the Cross Cultural Center.
    1991 Establishment of Ethnic Students Coalition Against Prejudicial Education.
    1993 A mural, conceived by Judy Baca, was installed in the Ring Room. Commissioned by the National Institute of Mental Health for the National Conference on Refugee Services, and undertaken as a mural class project by UCI students.
    2000 After serving as Acting Director, Anna K. Gonzalez became Director.
    2007 Cross Cultural Center further expanded.
    2008 Kevin Huie became Director.
    2011-2012 Students, led by graduate student Yaron Hakim and Edwina Dai, created its third mural. The mural is now hung immediately outside of the Dr. Joseph L. White Room.
    2015 Jade K. Agua became Director.
    2018 Marcela Ramirez-Stapleton became Interim Director.

    Digital Object Numbers

    During accessioning 2016.032, digital objects received the following digital object numbers: AS052_DIG001

    Preferred Citation

    University of California, Irvine, Cross Cultural Center records. AS-052. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Processing History

    Processed by Audrey Pearson, 2008. Additional accretions processed by Sarah Glover and Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez with assistance from Kasey Bass, 2018-2019.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    This collection comprises the administrative and committee files; documentation of events and programming; records of affiliated organizations; photographs; records of committees and boards; documentation of events and multicultural organizations; and audiovisual material of the Cross Cultural Center at the University of California, Irvine.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights and copyright reside with the University of California. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the University Archivist.

    Separation Note

    In March 2019, materials and publications created by student organizations that were previously transferred with the Cross Cultural Center records were separated from the collection and integrated with already existing collections (e.g. Black Student Union records, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán records) or new collections were created (e.g. Alyansa ng mga Kababayan records) to better reflect their provenance.
    The following collections contain materials that were previously stored in the Cross Cultural Center records:

    Appraisal Note

    During processing accessions 2010-015A, 2016-032 and 2018-040 were reduced from 16.5 linear feet to 9.5 linear feet by discarding duplicate and sensitive material, as well as separating material created by student organizations to other archival collections.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Minority college students -- California -- Irvine -- 20th century
    Cross cultural studies -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- California -- Irvine
    T-shirts -- 20th century.
    University of California, Irvine. Cross Cultural Center
    University of California, Irvine. Cross Cultural Center -- Archives