MENASA Initiative

MENASA Initiative

Group photo of students supporting MENASA Initiative

COVID-19 UPDATE:

June 1st, 2020: The MCC physical space is closed in compliance with safety ordinances. Our staff is working remotely Monday - Thursday in accordance with the Workshare program until further notice. 


Black Lives Matter: Within the Middle East North Africa South Asia (MENASA) community, anti-Blackness and colorism exist and are pervasive today. The colonial wave spreading throughout the African and South Asian continents during the late 1800s was a passageway for white supremacy and racial arrogance. Indigenous African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian identities and cultures were suppressed, leaders humiliated, and a gulf in the reconstruction of novel identities was created.  The MENASA Initiative is committed to directly address these racist ideologies through programs beginning this summer and as ongoing programming indefinitely. Read more.


Our Story

The Middle East, North Africa, South Asia (MENASA) Initiative is a Cultural Resource Centers program with the goal of creating a sixth center to support the MENASA student community at PSU. 

The Initiative started in 2016 when it was included in the Cultural Resource Centers Five-Year Strategic Plan. This Initiative formally recognizes MENASA students (learn more about the MENASA region from Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) and their allies who are a critical mass in our spaces yet do not have dedicated services. While our other five cultural centers have demographic data to support their mission, the MENASA community does not. This presents a unique challenge in supporting these scholars. The MENASA Initiative, like our other cultural centers, pivots on race and ethnicity. It is not a religious/spiritual center. For more information regarding this, please read this report completed by Student Activities & Leadership Programs and International Student Life, exploring the spiritual life of PSU students. 

MENASA Initiative Report>

Recent Updates

 

Contact Us

menasa@pdx.edu | (503) 725-2609

Physical Location 
1825 SW Broadway Suite 228
Portland, OR 97201

Mailing Address 
Cultural Resource Centers, 
Portland State University 
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97201

MENASA Initiative Program Coordinator: Ahmed El Mansouri, elman@pdx.edu, (503) 725-2609

 

Donate to the MENASA Initiative

Help fund our programs, services, and outreach.

Accessibility Accommodations

There are two accessible entrances to the Smith Memorial Student Union - on the North and East sides of the building. Please see the Smith ADA Access PDF for more information. 

We do our best to create events with accessibility in mind. However, if you feel you may need additional accessibility or support in order to fully enjoy any of our programs, please let us know! You may also contact the Disability Resource Center. While Service Animals are always welcome, the Cultural Resource Centers does not allow pets in our spaces.