In September 1971, the former Osborn Clubhouse at the corner of Prospect Avenue and Olden Street reopened with a new name and mission. The THIRD WORLD CENTER, PAW reported, aimed “to provide a focus for many different kinds of activities, including seminars, lectures, exhibitions, and social events.” That description, while accurate, underestimated what the center would become: a central gathering space for the University’s African American community, which at the time included about 300 undergraduates, as well as Latino, Native American, and Asian American students. 

The Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding — the Third World Center’s name since 2002 — plans to celebrate 50 years of community this academic year with a range of activities, including a February gathering that would coincide with Alumni Day, according to Tennille Haynes, an assistant dean in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and director of the Fields Center. The Women*s Center, also founded in 1971 and now part of the University’s soon-to-be-named center for gender and sexuality, will celebrate its anniversary in the spring semester as well, Haynes said. (The Women*s Center adopted the asterisk to note that it “welcomes and engages persons of all genders.”)

Haynes said the University also would like to highlight the people who were a part of the activism to create the Third World Center and the Women’s Center. Alumni can contact Grace Davis at