Empowering Leaders and Embracing Diversity
We cultivate a campus-wide community that celebrates diversity, empowers students to grow beyond their personal barriers, strengthens their understanding of diversity and social responsibility, and develops leadership skills.
Welcome to The Center
We nurture culturally responsive stewards through the power of conscientious service, social justice, and inclusive leadership.
We use the strength of education, to transform lives through self-discovery and empowerment. We seek to inspire actions that promote community, inclusion, and social responsibility utilizing solution-focused thinking.
Come experience The Center, an authentic place where you can find a home and guidance in your continuous journey of growth into a better version of yourself.
Educational Priority: Active participation in Multicultural Development experiences result in advocacy for social justice and global stewardship. Individuals will develop skills for lifelong learning that leads them on a journey of self-discovery to increase their awareness, understanding, and appreciation for cultural differences.
Educational Priority: As a result of active participation in Leadership Development experiences, individuals will develop holistically to transform communities by serving as ethical and tenacious leaders of today.
“Outside of serving as an Orientation Leader, Alternative Break with the Multicultural and Leadership Development Center served as a highlight of my journey here at Florida Gulf Coast University. MLD gives you a chance to be who you want to be and do what you want to do. The support system is strong and we are One Big Family. MLD isn’t the physical space, it is the connection with everyone, it’s a good representation of what FGCU should stand for: inclusivity, authenticity, a place where you can grow and be yourself.”
Cedric Dunham (he/him/his) Integrated Studies, Class of 2021
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“MLD was the one place on campus where I saw many people like myself, not just those visiting the center but within the staff- there was representation. MLD offered many programs to increase social understanding and self-awareness of privileges one may hold. The very first program I got involved in was Emerging Eagles my first year at FGCU. This program truly opened my eyes to how anyone can be a leader, as there isn’t one set mold to be a leader at FGCU or in your own life. MLD quickly became my home away from home, from my first year through graduation!”
Karla Moreno-Perez (she/her/hers) Forensic Studies, Alumna Class of 2020
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“[The Multicultural and Leadership Development Center] has allowed me to grow as a leader by giving me the tools to find my own personal leadership style and [explore] what works and doesn’t work for me as an individual… I continue to stay involved because it has a variety of positions that one can grow in, plus the people are amazing, caring, and always ready to listen and help you through your growth journey…Try at least one of the things that [The Multicultural and Leadership Development Center] offers. You will gain valuable skills that will be useful in your day to day life, you will learn a lot about yourself and others, and you will have a lot of fun while doing it.”
Marena Sanoja (she/her/hers) Psychology, Class of 2023
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“MLD has opened my eyes to numerous views and cultures that helped me adapt to the university. It is the glue that keeps FGCU together. Showcasing different speakers, events, and programs that advance our leadership skills while promoting diversity and inclusivity. I first got involved with MLD at Frosh Mosh 2019. It was my first college event that brought a diverse group of individuals together and built a bond between us all that I’ll never forget. After Frosh Mosh, I continued on my MLD journey to Emerging Eagles, Beyond the Lines, and Leadership Academy. This journey has brought me full circle to where I am now, a Frosh Mosh 2020 Peer Mentor. MLD has helped me enhance my leadership abilities and gifted me friends that I can gladly call my second family.”
Mason Werksman (he/him/his) Criminal Justice, Class of 2023
“The Multicultural and Leadership Development Center cultivates a campus-wide community, which celebrates diversity, empowers students to grow beyond their personal barriers, strengthens students’ understanding of diversity and social responsibility, and develops students’ leadership skills."
— Dr. Christopher Blakely | Director of Multicultural and Leadership Development
Meet the MLD TeamToggle More Info
Designed for You | Our Students
The Multicultural and Leadership Development Center exists to educate, challenge and support students in leadership development and appreciating diversity. We accomplish this by providing high-impact programs and retreats that address intellectual growth, personal leadership styles, understanding of self, effective communication, community building, exploring social identities, multicultural competencies, career readiness and inclusive excellence.
Visit us — we will empower you and give you the confidence to soar as a leader.
Spotlight | Beyond The Lines
Beyond the Lines is a weekend retreat geared towards understanding and empowering students to learn more about different cultures and identities. With social justice in mind, students will become more knowledgeable about oppression, privilege, microaggressions, and ways to create positive change and promote inclusivity on campus.