A welcoming place for inclusivity, compassion and growth

A welcoming place for inclusivity, compassion and growth

T he Cultural Center’s doors are open to all students, especially underrepresented individuals, to provide support during their time at Georgia College. Students who enter will learn cultural competence and celebrate the identities of others while building a more inclusive community. 

Nadirah Mayweather
Nadirah Mayweather

“We aim to provide a space where students can find resources, study, have conscious conversations, feel a sense of belonging and build meaningful relationships,” said Nadirah Ross Mayweather, ’08, ’10, director of the Cultural Center.

Many students pass through the doors every day, however the number varies depending on what’s taking place. There may be 30 students attending a LIFE (Leaders Igniting the Fundamentals of Excellence) meeting or Tupperware Tuesday social. Or there might be up to 10 students studying or simply hanging out in the center’s multipurpose spaces. Even more students attend movie nights.

Whatever brings them to the center, located on the first floor of Blackbridge Hall, Mayweather is ready to assist in making them feel comfortable in that space, as they grow to become successful as students and in their personal lives.

Explore the Cultural Center.

Another way the Cultural Center broadens the student experience is by providing cultural heritage programming through campus and community collaborations like Black History Month. 

“I’m thankful to have the opportunity to work with talented, intellectual, passionate and creative students. It fills a happy place in my soul to build relationships with students in hopes that my work will make a positive impact in their lives.”
– Nadirah Mayweather

“The focus of Black History Month this year is about collaborating and honoring the heritage we have close to home,” Mayweather said. “The Cultural Center is excited this year to partner with offices, groups, students and individuals off campus to celebrate the beautiful heritage of those who have gone before us and the bright future of those paving the way for generations to come.”

Events include a series of lunch seminars for students in Georgia College’s LIFE Mentorship Program and MALE (Mentoring African Americans for Leadership and Education) Connection programs and a Social Justice Soul Food Sunday to explore activism and discuss justice issues.

The Cultural Center also supports the efforts through the Black Student Alliance and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Fraternity and Sorority Life, as they celebrate and raise awareness around Black History Month. 

Nadirah Mayweather speaks with GC students at the Cultural Center.
Nadirah Mayweather speaks with GC students at the Cultural Center.

“Towards the end of the month, we will highlight and support the Black-owned businesses and their leaders in our community,” Mayweather said.

Mayweather also serves as co-chair for the Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee at Georgia College. She and staff from the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Cultural Center, along with campus friends and partners collaborate each year to plan events to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We wanted to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King,” Mayweather said. “We planned the King Commemoration Ceremony on Front Campus, hosted movie nights presenting films that provided insight into his life, such as “Selma,” and collaborated with the GIVE Center to have a service Saturday opportunity for students.” 

Georgia College also participated in a virtual global summit held during Martin Luther King Jr. Day through the King Center in Atlanta.

Around 40 individuals participated in the King Commemoration Ceremony on Front Campus. And, approximately 20 students and staff engaged in service and reflection by implementing King’s philosophies in their own lives by volunteering at the Brave Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center in Gray, Georgia and the Collins P. Lee Center in Hardwick, Georgia. 

The singing group “Voices of Joy” sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing" during the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Front Campus.
The singing group “Voices of Joy” sang "Lift Every Voice and Sing" during the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Front Campus.

Prior to becoming the director of the Cultural Center, Mayweather had many mentors and friends with the Georgia College staff.

“I know how powerful it was to know I had people who deeply cared about my success, progress and development,” she said. “It brings my heart joy to be able to provide the same support to students.”

Mayweather hopes that students who pass through Blackridge Hall’s doors feel loved and know they matter and, in turn, show empathy and understanding to others. She wishes for them to thrive in their academics, engagement opportunities and challenges they will face. At the Cultural Center, they can test and refine their critical thinking skills and thought patterns.

“The best growth happens when we are stretched and pushed beyond what we think our capacity is,” Mayweather said.

She uses the analogy of a seed for students to become the best versions of themselves.

“If the particles in a seed only grow inside—the shell that they’re initially wrapped in—roots would never sprout, leaves would never form and blossoms would never bloom,” Mayweather said. “A seed must dare to go beyond and reach for the sun, water and earth.”

“It’s the same with us,” she said. “Students need to engage in events, opportunities and resources offered through the Cultural Center, so that they can step outside of their comfort zones and view themselves and others through clearer lenses.”

Mayweather wants all students to feel a sense of belonging, celebrated and embraced by campus during their time at Georgia College.

“I’m thankful to have the opportunity to work with talented, intellectual, passionate and creative students,” Mayweather said. “It fills a happy place in my soul to build relationships with students in hopes that my work will make a positive impact in their lives.”

Mayweather welcomes alumni and friends to take part in Cultural Center events and programs by following Instagram @GC_Cultural_Center or by subscribing to the newsletter. To learn more, contact her at 478-445-8155 or nadirah.mayweather@gcsu.edu.