New Campus Center Dedicated to Social Justice

PHOTO | Dr. Vincent Intondi

The Institute for Race, Justice and Community Engagement on Montgomery College’s Takoma Park Silver Spring Campus wasn’t Dr. Vincent Intondi’s original plan.

Intondi, who is an associate professor of history at the school, was working to make Black Studies a major. The reason? Because most of his classes were about 99 percent non-white.

“One of the things I saw was the breakdown in my African-American, African and Hispanic students not connecting with one another,” he said. “I wanted to build that bridge between them and have them realize how much of their history is the same and build those bonds.”

And as Intondi was finalizing the center for Black Studies, by making sure student’s credits would transfer to different schools, the social climate changed.

The death of Philando Castile, an African-American male who was shot and killed by a police officer in Minnesota and the 2016 election when Donald Trump was elected president, shook some of his students to the core, he said.

“This was a point where I never had so many students, transgender students, Muslim students, DACA students, who were in my office literally just shaking and in tears,” said Intondi. “I thought something needs to be done where it is this inclusive place where students can go to talk about this stuff and that’s how it got created.”

The new center will focus on three things: a physical space where students can discuss social justice; an academic space where faculty can support students by advising them and helping them with schoolwork; and community engagement so students can find a list of volunteer opportunities and community support.

There is also a separate room with a food pantry and wardrobe closet so students in need can  have a meal and proper attire for interviews.

“This was just looking at our students and trying to identify what they need the most,” Intondi said.

The space includes couches, computers, a library and more; something Dr. Intondi did without a budget.

The center opened this fall at the beginning of the school year and Intondi said he’s working on a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the community early next year.


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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


4 Responses to “New Campus Center Dedicated to Social Justice”

  1. Avatar
    On October 3, 2017 at 9:15 am responded with... #

    Shaken to the core by the election of President Trump? so you build a Center? why not spend your time (and our money) teaching students about the political process?

    • Avatar
      On November 3, 2017 at 9:40 pm responded with... #

      He does. I actually took his course.

  2. Avatar
    On October 6, 2017 at 9:10 am responded with... #

    You GO Professor Intondi! Responding to students’ needs to know their history is key. As a middle-aged, approaching retirement, white person, I look back on my college years and wish that I had been open to knowing the histories of all my peers’ people. You will open the eyes of all students to what and who is around them and in their past…and how they can build a better future for everyone.

  3. Avatar
    On November 3, 2017 at 9:40 pm responded with... #

    It was a honor to be this man’s student. He was a phenomenal teacher and a great human being as well.

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