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Cultural Organizations & Spaces

Unity House


Unity House

Unity House is the headquarters of the alliance of 11 cultural organizations known as Unity. Unity was formed in 1991 when leaders of several Smith student-run organizations joined to create an umbrella organization. Unity House serves as the home for the Asian Students’ Association, the Black Students’ Alliance, the Chinese Interregional Student Cultural Organization, EKTA (students of South Asian heritage), Indigenous Smith Students and Allies, the International Students’ Organization, the Korean Students Association, the Latin American Students’ Organization, Multiethnic Interracial Smith (MISC), the Smith African and Caribbean Students’ Association and the Vietnamese Students’ Association. Unity House continues to be the organizing hub of multicultural affairs at Smith.

Mwangi Cultural Center

The Mwangi Cultural Center opened as the Afro-American Cultural Center in 1968. In 1973, the center was renamed to honor Dr. Ng’endo Mwangi, a member of the Smith class of 1961 and the first female physician in Kenya, for her dedication and service to her community. In the winter of 2017, the center underwent an extensive renovation project resulting in a new study lounge, conference room, reception area, administrative office, unity work room and expanded multipurpose room.

The center continues to be an important cornerstone on campus, providing a physical space for cultural organizations and students of color to engage in holistic programming, host intellectually enriching discussions and effectively build community. Students can look forward to innovative programming, expanded resources and a “platform for possibility.”

Mwangi Cultural Center Spring 2023 Hours

The Center’s hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to midnight and Saturday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Unity Organizations

The cultural organizations that make up the Unity umbrella serve as a network of support for their members.  Unity organizations share meeting and workroom space in Unity House and the Mwangi Cultural Center. Throughout the academic year, Unity organizations sponsor fine arts forums, conferences, cultural celebrations, workshops and other activities, just to name a few,  such as Mehndi Night, Rhythm Nations, Asian Tea House, Five College Pa’lante, Pan-African Conference, Kwanzaa Celebration, Chinese Moon Festival, Taste of Latin America and Unity Fall Festival.

Asian Students’ Association (ASA)

ASA provides a support network for Asian and Asian Pacific American students and serves as a link to other Asian Pacific American organizations at the Five Colleges. ASA hosts a variety of collaborative events each year, highlighted by an Asian Teahouse and a fall conference.

Black Students’ Alliance (BSA)

The BSA is the oldest of the Unity organizations, and its membership comprises students from many different backgrounds. BSA promotes cultural, social and political awareness throughout the Smith community and has developed strong intercollegiate bonds between all the black student organizations in the Five College area.

Chinese Students Association

CSA holds cultural events that spread the spirit of Chinese culture through language, food, art and entertainment. CSA celebrates and increases awareness of Chinese holidays, traditions and culture at Smith and the Five Colleges.

South Asian Student Association of Smith (EKTA)

EKTA—"unity" in several languages spoken in South Asia—is a support network for South Asian students. Its members seek to create an awareness and understanding of the identity and culture of South Asia within the community at large through educational, cultural and social programs.

Indigenous Smith Students and Allies (ISSA)

ISSA is committed to educating the Smith community about social, economic and cultural issues affecting the Native American populations of the United States. 

International Students’ Organization (ISO)

ISO is a haven for international students at Smith and those interested in exploring international affairs from a cultural, political and a social perspective. ISO is a support system for international students at Smith but also seeks to educate and engage the community in appreciating the diversity and unique experiences international students bring to the Smith community.

Korean Students’ Association (KSA)

KSA is a support network for all Korean and Korean American students at Smith, strengthening ties among Asian and Asian American students while addressing specific needs and concerns that support all women of color and the Smith community at large.

Latin American Students’ Organization (LASO)

LASO provides a support network for Latinas. LASO encourages an active cultural exchange between women of different Latina origins and an openness to any Smith student. The group promotes an awareness of social justice issues facing Latinas on campus as well as in the rest of the world. 

Multiethnic Interracial Smith College (MISC)

MISC promotes awareness, discussion, acknowledgement, acceptance and celebration of multiethnic persons, interracial families and relationships, and cross-cultural experiences.

Smith African and Caribbean Students’ Association (SACSA)

SACSA welcomes students of African and/or Caribbean descent and anyone else who is interested in these regions and their unique cultures. It promotes discussions of regional and global issues that are important to the campus community.

Vietnamese Students’ Association (VSA)

VSA provides a supportive network for VSA members and to raise awareness of Vietnamese culture and heritage. We strive to bridge the gap between Vietnamese culture and traditions from Vietnam and America.

Many students also participate in other organizations that support the Smith community of students of color such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Smith Association of Class Activists, PRISM (queer students of color), Weaving Voices and Southeast Asian Alliance (SEAA).

Unity Presidents’ Council

The Unity Presidents’ Council (UPC) comprises the chairs and co-chairs of all 11 Unity organizations. The council meets every week to hear and address concerns.

Unity Award

Presented on Ivy Day in May, the Unity Award goes to the student(s) who has made the most outstanding contribution toward promoting diversity and multiculturalism in the Smith community.