"Going through foster homes, it was always trying to find a place to be included, accepted. So my heart is always driven by trying to help other people feel connected," said CC Carter, Director of the Cross Cultural Leadership Center at Chico State.
CC Carter grew up in the Chico State system, first a student before joining the faculty.
Just a decade ago, he recognized a great need on campus ... To bridge the gaps between cultures through inclusivity.
And so, the Cross Cultural Learning Center was born.
"We're promoting a maybe singular culture or program but all of us are engaged in the development of the program," said Carter.
Students of all ages and backgrounds use the center and it's programs to gain that sense of commonality.
And the unity in working together? It creates a sense of self worth among student and faculty alike.
"They get a hug, they have an opportunity to participate in something, or someone says, 'I believe in you, don't give up'," said Carter.
The goal is to bring people together, rather than create ethnocentric silos.
"Sometimes when you focus so hard on one identity, others feel like they can't be a part of it," said Carter.
After 37 years at the university, Carter's ready to pass the torch.
"He is now one of my best friends, he can be real with me, challenge me to be greater than what I sometimes see myself as," said Krystle Tonga, Program Coordinator at the Cross Cultural Learning Center.
"CC is the type who will give his last penny to you if you need it, not just with his time, but with his resources. You see the pain and hardship and oppression that exists in the every day lives of our students. CC is that bridge builder, and has challenged me to be that bridge-builder, to figure out how do we create that change," said Katie Peterson, Program Coordinator at the Cross Cultural Learning Center.
"I was watching the students interact, talk about the space and the impact they have and how it transformed their lives, how excited they are to lead the transformation for others and be transformed - I can go, and let it go and realize, it's going to be ok, it's going to live beyond me," said Carter.
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