Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies

Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies

Established in 1972, the Minorities Resource/Research Center was one of the first centers of its kind in an academic library. Although the name has changed over the years, it has always been dedicated to resources and instruction related to the intersections of culture, race and ethnicity.

In 2001, representatives from Dow Chemical, K-State and the community dedicated the Dow Chemical Multicultural Resource Center, with support from a generous endowment from Dow Chemical. In 2012, the center was renamed the Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies.

The endowment supports campus and community diversity programming, multicultural collections, and instructional and outreach services. The Dow Center is now located on the 2nd floor of Hale Library.


We Are the Dream mural

The "We Are the Dream" mural

The original "We Are the Dream" mural was painted during a period from October 1978 to October 1980 by various multicultural student groups on the wall of the Minorities Resource/Research Center.

The original mural is still intact and visible on the fourth floor of Hale Library. After a fire in 2018 threatened to destroy the mural, conservationists were able to restore the mural and return it to its original location.

The idea of a mural resulted from a discussion between Anthony Seals, Black Student Union; Teresa Guillen, Movimiento Estudiantil de Chicanos de Aztlan (MEChA, a Hispanic student group); Frank Kekahbah, Native American Indian Student Body; and Antonia Pigno, Director of the Center, in the spring of 1978. Student groups and individuals contributing to the original mural include artists Travis Mosley, Willie McDonald and Harold Carter; with help from Teresa Guillen, Tom Pratt, Lee Willis, Edgar Beck, Paula Carter and Rita Schwermann; a mural committee made up of Anthony Seals, Isaac Turner, Frank Kekahbah, Jeannie Sandoval, Teresa Guillen, Hector Medina and Rita Schwermann; and donors Harold Carter, Ernest Carter, Richard Rohrer, Hector Medina, Black Student Union, MEChA, Cook Paint, Antonia Pigno, Dr. James Boyer and Cherri Tippet.


2 Americas mural

The "2 Americas" mural

The "2 Americas" mural was installed on the ceiling of the Dow Center in March 2022. The mural is a collection of work from photographers Luke Townsend and 400 North Creative-Doug Barrett which amplifies the Manhattan-area voices and those enrolled at Kansas State University during the protests of civil unrest in 2020.

The mural is a modern-day response to the "We Are the Dream" mural. The "2 Americas" mural acts as a large visual catalyst to further the Dow Center’s vision to advance a deep and meaningful understanding of multiculturalism and diversity in order to create mutual awareness, respect and pathways for dialogue.

Through visual and experiential understanding, the mural touches on four pillars: the Black experience, community, unity and allyship. Inspired by the unique storytelling of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, "2 Americas" embodies a visual construct centered around the four corner pillars and expanding inward to tell each story.

The mural was generously funded by Linda A. Duke, K-State Innovation Partners and Mary Vanier.


Tara Coleman
Associate professor

Melia Fritch
Associate professor