Southwestern Offers Free Campus Space to Kumeyaay Nation | Inside Higher Ed

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Southwestern College, a community college in California, will allow members of the Kumeyaay Nation, a group of local Indigenous tribes, to use the college’s event spaces free of charge, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.  

The college’s governing board approved the measure last month as part of a larger campus effort to empower the local Indigenous community. Last January, members of the college’s governing board established that a land acknowledgment would be read before every public meeting at the college, recognizing that all five campuses sit on ancestral Kumeyaay land. The board also partnered with Chairwoman Erica Pinto from the Jamul Indian Village and agreed to waive rental fees—which range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the size of the event space and the expected attendance, the Union-Tribune reported. Pinto hopes the waived fees will let the tribe’s youth council write, produce and perform plays in the campus’s Performing Arts Center, which includes a 540-seat auditorium and a 151-seat black box theater.

“It’s just important, because we’re creative people and it’s a brand-new facility, and to be able to go down there and utilize this facility free of charge is excellent for us,” Pinto told the Union-Tribune.

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