DePaul University Division of Student Affairs > About > Departments > Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change

Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change

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The Center for Intercultural Programs (CIP) is now the Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change!  

The Center promotes artistic expression and intellectual inquiry that challenges students to explore all aspects of their identity.

The Center develops programs and services that empower students to learn about the multitude of ways that their intersecting identities shape their understanding of their world and to confront systems of oppression and to promote social justice by celebrating and affirming the dignity of every member of our university.

The Center also supports and cultivates the leaders of ethnic and cultural student organizations to understand their important role in building a student-centered multicultural community at DePaul.


The Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change provides integrative educational experiences for students, faculty, and staff to facilitate critical conversations around race, gender, sexuality, social justice, and the interplay of power and identity. The Center nurtures collaborative partnerships to foster an inclusive campus environment through student engagement, community building and identity-conscious leadership development.  The Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change provides advocacy and support for students experiencing interpersonal, intrapersonal and systemic oppression.  


The Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change seeks to create an inclusive community that honors the inherent human dignity and facilitates equal participation amongst students, faculty, and staff to cultivate and embody DePaul’s commitment to diversity and social justice as reflected in the university’s Catholic, Vincentian and urban mission.​

Goal Statements

  1. The Center will provide a safe haven for all students to discuss cultural issues that impact their individual and group identity development.
  2. The Center will provide cultural programs, workshops, and trainings that celebrate diversity and explore the histories, cultural artifacts, customs, beliefs, and values of the diverse communities at the university within a social justice context.
  3. The Center will create and facilitate opportunities for students to become leaders in facilitating education on diversity and social justice among their peers.
  4. The Center will train cultural student leaders to represent their organizations effectively and to develop strong programs that enhance the campus community’s appreciation of the talents and skills of these students.
  5. The Center will provide financial support and mentoring to student organizations that work directly with the Center.
  6. The Center will serve as an institutional resource for information on and related guidance about campus climate concerns as it relates to a sense of belonging among students.​

History of the Center

Out of Protest...Comes Progress

The Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change at DePaul University has a shared history with similar institutions on college campuses across the country. It was conceived in response to student protest that challenged the institution to increase its commitment to marginalized students, who recognized that there was a need for a space for students to see their cultural heritage and experiences honored and celebrated.

Two important events precipitated the creation of the Cultural Center. In May 1994, Latino students who were concerned about questionable personnel decisions in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs decided to stage a sit-in demonstration in the office. After two days of negotiations, the students received several assurances from the administration. One of the commitments was that there would be a place created where their history, experiences and culture could be celebrated and honored. President (Father) John Minogue established the Student and Faculty Multicultural Implementation Committee, a university-wide group chaired by Dr. Jack Lane (then Director of the Center for the Study of Values). The Committee released a report in January 1995 and, in addition to addressing the need to increase the number of faculty of color and support for the Centers for Latino and African American Research, this document suggested that funds should be allocated to support multicultural programming on campus and should be housed in a “center [that would be] a place for sharing among and between groups and a source of education for the university community.”

The second significant event that led to the creation of the Cultural Center occurred a few months later. For 10 days in April 1995, members of the Concerned Black Students (CBS) of DePaul University staged a second sit-in demonstration; this time in the headquarters of the student newspaper, The DePaulia in response to what they identified as “insensitive and inadequate coverage of minority issues.” These students received valuable support from other student organizations (UMMA, etc.), DePaul staff and faculty as well as key figures in the Chicago community.

In response, DePaul President John P. Minogue and Vice President of Student Affairs Jim Doyle worked to secure the resources and personnel to run the new Center. Esther Muhammed Sharif was hired in 1995 and the Center was officially opened to the public on January 22, 1996. The work of the Center enhanced DePaul’s distinguishing character as a Catholic, urban and Vincentian educational institution. The Center was designed to give students a voice to express their unique cultures, issues and concerns, joys and participate in programming designed to educate, inform and celebrate their cultures, traditions and lifestyles.

The idea of a space that would recognize the inherent dignity of all individuals, regardless of race, class, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, ability, and age in this community, which was core to the original mission of the Center, remains true today. The Center continues to provide opportunities for students to learn outside of the classroom, a venue for faculty and staff to present their work or interests, collaborate on projects and issues, research and write and to volunteer. We also invite and welcome the community-at-large to participate in many of our programs and projects.​

Programs & Services


Center for Identity, Inclusion and Social Change
Lincoln Park Student Center
2250 N. Sheffield Ave., Ste 105
Chicago, IL 60614-3673 
Phone: 773.325.7759
Fax: 773.325.7739