Feb. 1 is now Center for African and African American Studies Day in Colorado, thanks to a recent proclamation from Gov. Jared Polis.
This newly designated day recognizes CU Boulder’s Center for African and African American Studies, which celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 1 with a packed house and many high-profile speakers. During that event, the governor also provided a recorded statement proclaiming his support for the center, also known as the CAAAS or “the cause.”
“The Center for African and African American Studies is honored to receive this remarkable recognition from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis—a true friend and ally of the CAAAS,” said Reiland Rabaka, the center’s director and a professor of ethnic studies. At a time when some states are banning African American studies, Gov. Polis is congratulating and celebrating the University of Colorado's new Center for African and African American Studies.
“When I spoke with the governor, he told me that the CAAAS is not simply a resource for CU but, indeed, a resource for the great state of Colorado,” Rabaka continued. Our governor obviously takes diversity, equity and inclusion seriously, and he understands that the Center for African and African American Studies is building a bridge from the Boulder campus to communities eager to learn about Black history and culture all across Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region.
“To have the support and encouragement of Gov. Polis is a great source of inspiration to me and the CAAAS community."
CAAAS is the first center of its kind in Colorado, created in part by students, for students, to serve as a hub on campus. The center researches, promotes, preserves, interprets and disseminates knowledge about the histories, cultures and arts of Africa, African Americans and the wider world of the African diaspora. It does this through creating a space for learning, meditation and community.
“The Center for African and African American Studies occupies an important position on our campus at the intersection of research and education, art, culture and belonging,” said CU Boulder Chancellor Phillip DiStefano. “The grand opening was a joyful celebration of its purpose and mission, and our campus community will continue to support its evolution and maturation in the years to come.”