Our History

The Albert M. Greenfield Intercultural Center was established in 1984, in response to the 1978 United Minorities Council’s call for a campus center for minority students. Under the direction of the founding Director Rene Gonzalez, the Greenfield Intercultural Center’s mission was twofold: to provide support for students of color and to foster intercultural understanding on campus. He and his family lived in the house behind GIC and cultivated a culture of close-knit community at GIC.  In addition to fostering intercultural understanding, the center was home to four major communities and helped establish ethnic heritage months and programs to celebrate the rich heritage of African American, Latino, Asian American, and Native American communities.

A decade ago, Penn expanded on the center’s mission by adding three sister centers, Makuu the Black Cultural Center, La Casa Latina- Center for Hispanic Excellence and PAACH- the Pan Asian American Community House. As these vibrant centers began to absorb and increase programming to serve those communities, the GIC in turn expanded its support for Native communities and has reached out to newer communities such as Arab communities, Turkish students and international students. The center also offers numerous courses for credit, programs, and services designed to engage students around diversity and enhance their cultural competency skills for the 21st century.

Faithful to its original mission, the center continues to serve as an intercultural incubator of new ideas and programs and a resource not only for students but also to the greater Penn community.

A home away from home…

Known fondly as the “GIC,” the Greenfield Intercultural Center is more of a home than an institution. We provide a safe space for intercultural dialogue and interaction with students, faculty, staff and visitors from around the globe.

Come hungry, because like any family, we like to eat together. Sharing meals is a vital part of GIC’s mission. We are passionate about serving the Penn community as an advocate of intercultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation and by building up student leaders.

Beyond breaking bread and hosting our annual Wellness Day, GIC staff mentor student groups and sponsor their events. We run training workshops, facilitate courses, support program development, and collaborate with a diverse collection of campus partners on special events.

Thank you for visiting our webpage!  If you would like to know more about us and what we do, you can navigate via the side-column menu, and then come to the center and check us out!