Grounded in the work of Umoja Community (2017), Diasporic identity development theories, and best practices defined by the Association of Black Cultural Centers, the Center for African & African American Studies' Student Services Program (abbreviated hereafter as the CAAAS SSP) seeks to empower students through implementing culturally relevant and immersive practices. The five objectives of the SSP are:
Leadership Development | Examining Black leadership and innovation models to increase critical thinking, problem-solving, and impact social change.
Belonging /Community Building | Increasing the awareness of the interconnectedness of the Africa Diaspora to foster collective responsibility, empathy, and self-awareness.
Academic Integration | Providing intentional opportunities for students to integrate their racial/ethnic and scholarly identities.
Diasporic Exploration | Investigating the intellectual, worldview, and artistic contributions of Black history and schools of thought.
Identity Cultivation | Creating infrastructure for mattering, honoring, racialized healing, and affirmation.
Black Student Success Week | August 15-20, 2022
Black Student Success Week runs from August 15 – 20, 2022. The week will provide resources for first-year Black students as they transition to CU Boulder. Every day will feature a 10-15 minute video on a topic intentionally identified to ease some of the stressors Black students feel on predominately white campuses. Some of those topics include: learning the Black history of CU Boulder, finding place in the classroom, learning the importance of creating your narrative, and knowing what Black student organizations are available to them. The week culminates in a 3-hour Black Student Symposium on Saturday, August 20, 2022. For More Information
Black in Boulder Symposium | August 20, 2022 1-4 PM
The Black in Boulder (BiB) Symposium is a transformational and connecting experience for first-year and transfer students that centers Blackness at CU Boulder. The purpose of the Symposium is to enhance the social, emotional, and academic success of incoming African American/African/African Diasporan students by providing opportunities that enhance their academic experience, knowledge of campus resources, cultural awareness, on-campus network, and other strategies for success. For More Information
Harambee!! | September Date TBA
Harambee!, Swahili for “Let us come together” is an opportunity for the campus community to unite at the beginning of the fall semester to celebrate a year of individual growth and inspire the community to create lasting connections for the challenges that may come. We invite all students (undergrad and graduate), faculty, and staff members to join us in celebrating the new harvest of scholars for the year.
Just CAAAS | Biweekly starting August 26, 2022 in the CAAAS Living Room (Macky 117)
Just CAAAS (sounds like Cause) is an organic space for folx across the CU Boulder community to come together and unpack meaningful conversations essential to the Black experience through a Black perspective. This is open to undergrad, graduate, faculty, staff, and community members. Just CAAAS uses grounding pedagogical practices that help participants feel empowered to own the spaces they exist in and share their differing opinions in constructive ways. The goal is to introduce "mattering" or cultivating an affirming culture of "existence as validity" and cultural competency practices to increase folks' ability to engage in civil discourse.
Black Leadership Advisory Council (BLAC)
The BLAC program supports student organizations dedicated to educating, advocating for, and celebrating aspects of the African Diaspora on CU Boulder’s campus. The BLAC seeks to increase belonging by guiding how student organizations can include pedagogical practices that promote culturally grounded affirmation and community building through a collective impact framework. The BLAC program also seeks to promote organizational excellence by providing culturally-specific support for common issues that Black student organizations face, such as transitions, membership (recruitment and retention), critical decision making, budget management, officer training, engaging alumni, intentional programmatic efforts, and connecting with campus resources.
Ambassador Program | Applications Open August 19. Closes September 19.
The purpose of this program is to create a cohort of students that actively participate in community engagement and acknowledge, appreciate, and exemplify intersectional African diasporic culture. Using innovative approaches to examine Blackness through a culturally relevant scholarly lens, these students are the voice of the CAAAS and will engage in intentional professional, personal, and intellectual development.
Kwanzaa Celebration | December 1 (Tentative)
Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday from December 26 through January 1 that celebrates the African diaspora, family, and community contributions. The program will feature student performances, graduate students' presentations about research, student entrepreneurs, etc. Following the event will be a karamu, or feast with traditional foods you find in the Black community, which is an essential cultural practice of the holiday.
Black History Month (BHM) | February 1-28
BHM is an annual celebration of the contributions of African Americans to the United States during the month of February. In recent years, institutions have expanded the scope to include the contributions of the African diaspora to the world. The CAAAS will host 4-5 programs throughout February that celebrate and educate the campus community. We will also host a calendar comprising campus events planned by the CAAAS, various university departments, student organizations, and local community partners.
Noir Renaissance Awards | Early May
This event was designed to recognize CU Boulder students, faculty, and staff who embody the mission of the CAAAS through their talents, scholarship, and community efforts. The program's foundation is to celebrate the accomplishments of the Black CU Boulder Community, specifically understanding that other university mechanisms have not always been adequate in recognizing the community's contributions.
Black Graduation | May TBD
The Black Affinity Graduation is a celebration of graduating students in the Black, African, and African American communities at CU. This is a collaboration with the Black Alumni Association, the Center for African and African American Studies (CAAAS), and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement (ODECE).
Intersectional Programs | Ongoing
Intersectional Programs include the exploration of Blackness + other minoritized identities, specifically during History and Heritage Month celebrations. Examples include Black Women’s HerStory Month, Latinx History Month, GLBT History Month, and Native/Indigenous Heritage Month.
Questions regarding the Student Services Program can be directed to Associate Director Lakeisha.email@example.com.