The cultural centers at Yale serve as gathering places for communities of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The centers foster a sense of cultural identity, encourage student leadership, facilitate critical reflection, and stimulate informed action and social justice advocacy. They also act as social hubs and community bases for students, supplementing the social environment of the larger Yale College community.

Cultural centers house student organizations and host meetings, plays, art exhibits, and parties. In addition to meeting space, each center offers a library, a kitchen, computers, and a variety of other facilities. Each center is led by a director who is also an assistant dean of Yale College.

Founded in 1969, the Afro-American Cultural Center was Yale College’s first cultural center. Referred to as the House, it served as a model then for La Casa Cultural de Julia de Burgos, the Latino Cultural Center in 1977 and later the Asian American Cultural Center and the Native American Cultural Center.