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HPRS 9 AFA Studies 9 EKU Center for Africana Engagement

EKU Center for Africana Engagement


Mission statement:

The Center for Africana Engagement promotes the African and African American (AFA) experience at Eastern Kentucky University. It helps connect EKU students, staff, faculty, and the Madison County community through academic and socio-cultural events surrounding the Black experience. In addition, it offers education about continental Africa and the African diaspora across the globe by seeking to build on the foundation of the intellectual tradition of African and African American Studies. The Center also positions itself as a unique place for students to grow, develop their careers, and change narratives about Africans and people of African descent while enhancing their agency and power.

The Center for Africana Engagement

1. Promotion of AFA

EKU offers an AFA minor or certificate from a multi-disciplinary range of classes offered by faculty members from diverse academic fields and backgrounds. AFA is committed to encouraging student research and community involvement beyond the classroom. For more information, visit the AFA Studies website.

2. Mentoring Services

We offer help to students wishing to learn more about the Africana experience, complete their homework and interact with AFA students, faculty, and staff on Monday through Friday. To book an appointment, click on (form)

3. Student Organizations

The African and African American Studies Club (the AFA Club), the African Student Association (ASA), and the Black Student Union (BSU) are fundamental to the promotion of African and African American cultures and values on campus. They organize social and cultural events all year round,  creating a vibrant life at EKU. If you want to Join, click (link)

4. Engages student interns

One of the major goals of the Center is to involve students in social and academic activities that help spread awareness about Black issues. Therefore, we offer internship opportunities to students who want to promote Black studies on campus and recruit for the AFA program. The interns participate in peer mentoring activities, advertise the AFA Program, and make the community more aware  about the Black experience.

5. Monthly film series

The Center organizes weekly film series to disseminate knowledge about Black culture, societies, and communities. The movies and documentaries reflect the socio-cultural and economic experience of Africans and members of the African diaspora and their capacity to perform in various domains, such as art, cinema, and music. The series are followed by discussion, which allows socializing and community building. Join us every week (specific day) at the Center to enjoy a good moment and share your thoughts.

6. Monthly roundtable discussions

The Center for Africana engagement organizes monthly academic and socio-cultural events to keep students engaged and to connect them with faculty, staff members, and the Richmond community. We bring local, national, and international speakers, artists, and actors to campus, which allows us to maintain a vivid and interactive environment at EKU around the Black experience. The roundtable discussion is dubbed “Memories and Stories of Diverse Experiences.”

The Center for Africana Engagement proposes to connect the EKU community by creating an inclusive and interactive space for those contributing to EKU’s diversity and intellectual life to speak up and share their life stories. The roundtable is part of an  effort to collect different voices from students, faculty, and staff members, who have left or have been forced to leave their home and family behind due to multiple “push and pull” factors to settle in the USA. The Center for Africana engagement offers them the opportunity to open up and talk about their journey, challenges, and the strategies used to navigate issues they have encountered and adapt.

7. Annual Research Awards

To encourage students to show their talents and develop critical thinking and interdisciplinary skills, we organize an annual research award that rewards students’ efforts at Eastern Kentucky University. Students enrolled in AFA courses at EKU and high schoolers all over Kentucky enter a competition to win prizes.

8. Global Black Connect

The Center seeks to bring together Africans in continental Africa, those in diasporic societies across the world,  and all who share an African heritage and values. Through “Black connect,” the Center aims to connect members of all these different communities and create a sense of belonging among them. We invite African students and others who feel that the Black experience has shaped them in a certain way around a series of “coming together” events to share their narratives and discuss their vision of Africa and its diaspora. Those who participate will receive a certificate of thanks.

9. AFA career building

Every semester, about 300  students at Eastern Kentucky University are enrolled in African American Studies courses. Some take them as a general education requirement, but others choose those courses to obtain a certificate or a minor in the field. To support those who have made this choice, the Center organizes a workshop every semester by inviting alumni and faculty to share their experience outside academia, particularly how African American Studies have helped them succeed in their careers. These workshops, held at the end of each semester, will provide students with social and professional skills they can rely on to grow in their future jobs or careers.

10. Black Student Union’s Magazine

To make our stories known to a wider audience and spread awareness about Black culture and  issues surrounding the Africana people, the Center collaborates with the Black Student Union at EKU, which runs a magazine called “Soul Mag.” Such an initiative aims to give Black people voices and make their untold stories known to the world. While the magazine focuses on writing about the diverse experiences of Black people, which are often avoided by the mainstream media, it constitutes a space for the wider EKU community to express themselves.

11. Black Data Base

The Center creates and maintains a database to remain connected with students and Black faculty at EKU and to keep a record of their contribution to EKU.

12. Student Presentation Series

Students are invited to present at this special series. Requirements include being a current or former student at one of the AFA courses and selecting a topic relating to the Black experience.

13. Faculty’s roundtable

This is a monthly roundtable where faculty talk about their research and engage discussion with students on topics regarding the black experience.

14. Lunch Series

The center offers lunch to students at least once a month. During this time, students have the opportunity to discuss issues related to the Black experience. They can choose their own topic or discuss an article in the news.


Collaborate with us: We welcome those who desire to collaborate on multiple grounds and engage in mutually respectful partnerships and environments.

Contact us:

Location: Beckham Building-Basement floor

Find us on Facebook

African and African American Studies

History, Philosophy and Religious Studies
Beckham Building 328
521 Lancaster Avenue
Richmond KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-1375

Connect with AFA @ EKU