University of California, Santa Barbara

UCSB Multicultural Center University Center room 1504 Santa Barbara, CA 93106 TELEPHONE (805) 893-8411 FAX (805) 893-7609

Current Quarter

Winter 2015

All events are free unless otherwise noted

Art Exhibit

Of Water and the Spirit Zéna Allen

Wednesday, January 14—Friday, March 13

Exhibition/MCC Lounge

“Of Water and the Spirit” is an exhibit of Zéna Carlota Pearl Allen’s most recent work as it relates to ritual, mythology, and dreams in  diasporic African and Indigenous cultures. Navigating the realms of the subconscious in her art, Zéna explores the meaning of identity and liberation for people of color independent of cognitive parameters, and seeks to recontextualize them in environments which honor their histories and project new potentialities for their future. As a student of Jaliyaa, the West African oral and music tradition, and a professional kora player (West African harp), Zéna finds it a natural progression to apply in her own art the same themes of ritual and tradition found in West African string music.

Cup of Culture

The World Before Her

Wednesday, January 14, 6 pm

Film Screening & Discussion/MCC Theater

This award-winning film tells a tale of two Indias. In one, Ruhi Singh is a small-town girl competing in Bombay to win the Miss India pageant. In the other India, Prachi Trivedi is the young, militant leader of a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls where she preaches violent resistance to Western culture, Christianity and Islam. Moving between these divergent realities, the film creates a lively, provocative portrait of the world's largest democracy at a critical transitional moment — and of two women who hope to shape its future. Q&A with director Nisha Pahuja following the screening. 60 min., English/Hindi with English subtitles, 2012, Canada. Photo credit: Storyline Entertainment

Cup of Culture

Who is Dayani Cristal?

Wednesday, January 21, 6 pm

Film Screening/MCC Theater

Following a team of dedicated staff from the Pima County Morgue in Arizona, director Marc Silver seeks to answer the question “Who is Dayani Cristal”? This award-winning documentary tells the story of a migrant who found himself in the deadly stretch of desert known as “the corridor of death”. Mexican actor and activist Gael Garcia Bernal retraces this man’s steps along the migrant trail in Central America and shows how one life becomes testimony to the tragic results of the U.S. war on immigration. Marc Silver, 85 min., English/Spanish with English subtitles, 2013, UK/Mexico. Photo Credit: Kino Lorber Inc

Diversity Lecture

Who We Be: The Colorization of America Jeff Chang

Thursday, January 22, 5 pm

Lecture/MCC Theater

Race. A four-letter word. The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today. How do Americans see race now? After eras framed by words like “multicultural” and “post-racial,” do we see each other any more clearly? From the dream of integration to the reality of colorization, Jeff Chang examines the cultural history of the idea of racial progress. Jeff Chang is Executive Director of Stanford's Institute for Diversity in the Arts and author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation.

The Langston Hughes Project featuring the Ron McCurdy Project

Friday, January 23, 8 pm

Multimedia Performance/MCC Theater

The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes’s kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite featuring the Ron McCurdy Quartet. Ask Your Mama is a twelve-part epic poem in verse and music that served as Hughes’ social commentary on the struggle for freedom and equality among Africans and African Americans in the 1960s. This multimedia presentation includes spoken word, jazz quartet and videography chronicling the Harlem Renaissance and drawing musical cues from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie woogie, bebop, “cha cha” and Afro-Cuban mambo music, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso, and African drumming. Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy is professor of music in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC) Free event! Limited Seating.

Race Matters Series

Mass Deportation and Global Capitalism in the 21st Century Tanya Golash-Boza

Tuesday, January 27, 6 pm

Discussion/MCC Lounge

In the spring of 2014, President Obama’s administration reached a landmark of over 2 million deportations - more in under six years than the sum total of all deportations prior to 1997. Moreover, the vast majority of deportees are Latin American and Caribbean men. In this presentation, Prof. Golash-Boza will explain these racialized and gendered trends in immigration law enforcement in the context of global capitalism. Dr. Golash-Boza is associate professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced.

Cup of Culture

Maori Boy Genius

Wednesday, January 28, 6 pm

Film Screening/MCC Theater

What if we could turn back the clock and watch the minds forming of those who would create political zeitgeist shifts in the future? MAORI BOY GENIUS does just that. It is a coming-of-age film profiling future Indigenous leader Ngaa Rauuira railing against his people’s statistics of uneducated youth, 40% of prisoners, and alarming suicide rates. Ngaa’s family of eight lives on a modest income but commits to a $35K Yale University bill with the weighty expectation that Ngaa will be the voice of his people. Pietra Brettkelly, 85 min., English/Maori with English subtitles, 2012, New Zealand.

Religious Literacy Series

Native American Religious Traditions

Thursday, January 29, 6 pm

Discussion/ MCC Lounge

EVENT CANCELED. Join us for the second installment of our Religious Literacy Series aiming to demystify underrepresented religions and people of faith. Prof. Inés Talamantez will lead an intimate discussion on Native American Religious Traditions, analyzing them in a political context while also debunking popular myths that are associated with such traditions. Dr. Talamantez is associate professor of Religious Studies at UCSB. EVENT CANCELED.

Then and Now

Lily Cai Dance Trio

Saturday, January 31, 8 pm

Performance/MCC Theater

From the ancient arts of China, to the bold contemporary movement of today, the Lily Cai Chinese Dance Trio performs a beautiful blend of cultural and contemporary dance. Lily Cai's choreography transforms the dance elements, fans, and ribbons of her Shanghai heritage into a captivating performance by her star dancers. Following the performance, Lily Cai will offer insights into her choreography and artistic process. Tickets $5 UCSB Students and Children under 12/$15 general. Contact the A.S. Ticket Office at 805-893-2064 or buy online at (extra fees apply). Limited Seating. Photo credit: Bob Hsiang

Children’s Event

Knick Knack Paddy Whack - Diane Ferlatte

Sunday, February 1, 3 pm

Performance/MCC Theater

In this children’s program, Diane Ferlatte will sing, sign, and beat rhythms as she tells folktales, fables, and personal and historical stories, customized for the age of her audience. Along with her musical sidekick Erik Pearson on banjo and guitar, Diane will weave tales from many cultures, while emphasizing stories that have African, Southern, and African American roots. Enhancing her gift in the oral tradition is Diane’s skill in American Sign Language, which she explains and employs in many of her stories.

Cup of Culture

Dear White People

Wednesday, February 4, 6 pm

Film Screening/MCC Theater

Dear White People is a sly, provocative satire of race relations in the age of Obama. This multiple award-winning film follows a group of African American students as they navigate campus life and racial politics. The unexpected election of activist Samantha White as head of a traditionally black residence hall at a predominantly white college sets up a campus culture war that challenges conventional notions of what it means to be black. Justin Simien, 108 min., English, 2012, USA.

World's Adventurist

CJ Jones

Saturday, February 7, 8 pm

Solo Performance/MCC Theater

CJ Jones, internationally renowned entertainer, actor, producer, and director, electrifies audiences of Deaf and hearing alike with his imaginative story telling. His unique blend of spoken English and American Sign Language builds bridges between these two communities. CJ’s comical and heartwarming stories about growing up Deaf and traveling the world include lively spectator participation and are sure to captivate the most diverse audiences.

Cup of Culture

Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People

Wednesday, February 11, 6 pm

Film Screening/MCC Theater

This award-winning documentary chronicles how African American communities have used the camera as a tool for social change from the invention of photography to the present. It is an epic tale that poetically moves between the present and the past, through contemporary photographers and artists whose images and stories seek to reconcile legacies of pride and shame while giving voice to images long suppressed, forgotten, and hidden from sight. Thomas Allen Harris, 90 min., English, 2014, USA. Photo Credit: Renee Cox

The Blind Writer: Stories and a Novella

Thursday, February 12, 6 pm

Book Reading/MCC Lounge

Join us in celebrating the publication of Sameer Pandya’s first book of stories The Blind Writer: Stories and a Novella, which follows the lives of first and second generation South Asian Americans in contemporary California. All of the characters share a similar sensibility: a sense that immigration is a distant memory, yet an experience that continues to shape their decisions in subtle and surprising ways as they go about the complicated business of everyday living. Pandya will read excerpts from the book and conduct a Q&A session along with Prof. Erin Ninh of the UCSB Dept. of Asian American Studies.

Cup of Culture

A Place to Stand

Wednesday, February 18, 6 pm

Film Screening/MCC Theater

This is the story of Jimmy Santiago Baca’s transformation from a functionally illiterate convict to an award-winning poet, novelist and screenwriter. A Place to Stand is inspired by Jimmy’s memoir of the same name, and tells the story of an extraordinary life that is both inspiring and haunting, simultaneously an indictment of our current criminal justice system and a model of the potential for human transformation. Daniel Glick, 85 min., English, 2014, USA.

Race Matters Series

Remapping Race in Suburban California Wendy Cheng

Thursday, February 19, 6 pm

Discussion/MCC Lounge

One of the significant shifts in 21st century California and its new, polyethnic majority is greater and more pervasive spatial and class diversity in metropolitan regions. In fact, people of color now constitute the majority of the suburban population in a large number of metropolitan areas nationwide. How is regional racial formation taking shape today in SoCal, and in the US overall? What are ethnoburbs and why are they developing all over? This talk address these trends, exploring the changing dynamics of space, place, and racial formation in the US today. Dr. Wendy Cheng is assistant professor of Justice and Social Inquiry and Asian Pacific American Studies at Arizona State University.

The Coup

Friday, February 20, 8 pm

Music Performance/MCC Theater

The Coup craft a refreshingly unique sound that draws from the past while never sounding anything but futuristic. Consisting of vocalist-writer and activist Boots Riley and a versatile cadre of musicians, The Coup merge danceable beats, punk urgency and the astute social commentary of hip-hop. Tickets $5 UCSB Students and Children under 12/$15 general. Contact the A.S. Ticket Office at 805-893-2064 or buy online at (extra fees apply). Limited Seating.

Race Matters Series

American Muslims and the Reform of Islam with Zareena Grewal

Tuesday, February 24, 6 pm

Discussion/MCC Theater

This talk is based on ten years of research for Prof. Grewal's book Islam is a Foreign Country, which explores how the question of who defines Islam today is intertwined with American Muslim's identity as a national religious minority and as part of the umma, a global majority. Dr. Grewal is associate professor of American Studies and Religious Studies at Yale University.

Cup of Culture

No Más Bebés Por Vida

Wednesday, February 25, 6 pm

Sneak Preview of a work-in-progress | Film Screening & Discussion/MCC Theater

No Más Bebés Por Vida/No More Babies for Life is a work-in-progress film investigating the riveting history of Mexican American women who were sterilized at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the 1970s. It is a story of blatant injustice, uncommon courage, and activism. This sneak preview of the film chronicles how a group of mothers, young Chicana/o lawyers and activists, and a whistle-blowing doctor stood up to powerful institutions and faced public exposure in the name of justice. Renee Tajima-Peña, 78 min., English and Spanish with English subtitles, 2015, USA. Q&A with director Renee Tajima-Peña and producer Virginia Espino following the screening.

The UCSB MultiCultural Center in Santa Barbara

An Evening of Spoken Word Azure Antoinette

Thursday, February 26, 7:30 pm

Reds Bar & Tapas - 211 Helena Avenue, Santa Barbara

Azure Antoinette is a poet, spoken word artist, and youth and arts advocate whose performance poetry explores the ways social media is reshaping humanity. She is the founder of STUDIO:alchemy, an arts-in-education program serving teen girls, and was featured as one of Forbes magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2012.

Cup of Culture

La Mission

Wednesday, March 4, 6 pm

Film Screening/MCC Theater

Growing up in the Mission district of San Francisco, Che Rivera has always had to be tough to survive. A reformed inmate and recovering alcoholic, Che has worked hard to redeem his life and do right by his pride and joy: his only son, Jes, whom he has raised on his own after the death of his wife. Che's path to redemption is tested, however, when he discovers Jes is gay. To survive his neighborhood, Che has always lived with his fists. To survive as a complete man, he'll have to embrace a side of himself he's never shown. Peter Bratt, 117 min., English, 2009, USA.

MCC in I.V.

An Evening of Self-Expression

Thursday, March 5, 7:30 pm

Open Mic/ Crushcakes & Cafe - 6533 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista

Calling all conscious artists to the stage! The MCC is creating an open mic for anyone to artistically express themselves while educating others on current issues affecting students of color, women, differently abled people, queers, and allies. Come, enjoy and share talents in this safe space for a night of “edutainment.”