About the Intercultural Center

The Intercultural Center is a unit of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of North Florida. The Intercultural Center recognizes the importance of equitable representation and inclusion for all students. The center supports the university's mission by helping students gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of varying cultural, racial and ethnic identities. The Intercultural Center strives to foster a supportive, exploratory environment focused on holistically developing students through education and entertainment. The center seeks to help each Osprey find their place in the nest and soar as they spread their wings.

Mission

The Intercultural Center promotes student learning and development through purposeful programming with different cultural groups and departments on campus. The Intercultural Center aims to bridge the cultural divide between all individuals at the university and in the local community to enhance cultural sensitivity and strengthen appreciation for diverse cultural, racial, and ethnic identities and experiences.

King Statue: UNF Journal Winter 2014

An excerpt from the UNF Journal in Winter 2014 describes the development of Peace Plaza and the installation of the statues.

UNF’s artistic spirit has also helped to promote the philosophies of some of history’s most heralded humanitarians through the installation of two bronze statues in Peace Plaza, the tranquil pathway between Founders Hall and J.J. Daniel Hall.
Bronze statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. stand at either end of the plaza, offering the campus community an opportunity to remember the teachings of these civil rights titans.

The Gandhi Memorial Society donated Gandhi’s likeness to the University in 2006. The 8-foot-tall, 1,500-pound bronze statue was created by famed Indian sculptor Jasu Shilpi. Following in the footsteps of his philosophical mentor, a similar statue of Martin Luther King Jr., also crafted by Shilpi, was installed in 2012 mere feet from Gandhi. The Gandhi statue was the first sculpture of the famed humanitarian to be featured on a Florida university campus.

Dr. Oupa Seane, director of UNF’s Intercultural Center for PEACE, said the planning for the statues was initiated by Dr. Mauricio Gonzalez, vice president for Student and International Affairs. He said the hope was to promote a spirit of peace and goodwill right in the center of campus.

“That’s the spirit and character that we as a campus community wish to impart to our students and everyone else who becomes a part of our family,” Seane said. The location has since become a place for meditation and reflection on campus.”

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Image of the installation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue

MLK Statue Flyer

MLK Pamphlet

MLK Program

MLK Souvenir Calendar 2012

MLK Souvenir Calendar image featuring sculpture and artist