The Black Cultural Center at Purdue University has been designated as a “Distinctive Destination” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Since the program launched in October 2018, 207 Distinctive Destinations have been named across the country. Purdue’s Black Cultural Center is only the sixth location in Indiana to receive this honor.
“It is an honor to receive this designation,” said Renee Thomas, director of the Black Cultural Center. “This acknowledgment highlights the educational and impactful work of the BCC. We encourage and welcome everyone to visit the center, as well as engage in the numerous activities sponsored by the center.”
The Black Cultural Center hosts exhibitions, speakers, art presentations, plays, and festivals throughout the school year. One of the newest exhibitions is “A Journey Through Black Excellence: The Black Cultural Center, A 50-Year Retrospective,” which is a visual timeline of the past 50 years at the center.
“The designation is important as we celebrate the Purdue Black Cultural Center’s 50th anniversary this year and continue to tell our story,” Thomas said. “The stories and places of African American culture and heritage have always existed, but too often have not been fully acknowledged for the integral role they play in the fabric of America.”
“We are always seeking other “Distinctive Destination” sites to visit. This will provide an additional network that our students can access,” Thomas added. “It’s important to visit sites to see how others are telling their stories, as well as be able to expand our presentations.”
Thomas is a graduate of the College of New Jersey. She holds a master’s degree in college student personnel from Ohio University.