Intercultural & Social Justice Programming

The House’s Intercultural & Social Justice Programming invites community members to explore critical social issues through an intercultural lens and empowers students to challenge injustice. This area seeks to encourage ongoing dialogue about the intersections of Blackness with other social identities, to provide avenues for advocacy around pertinent issues affecting Black communities, and to educate the campus and local communities on the richness of Black histories and cultures. This area also organizes opportunities for students to learn with and serve local communities in ways that deepen their knowledge of and support Black cultures. For information on any of these offerings, please contact afamhouse@yale.edu.

Black History Programming

The House celebrates Black history all throughout the year! Our team coordinates events through which attendees can explore histories throughout the African Diaspora and intentionally learn about the diverse expressions of Blackness across the world. Events in the past have included: “Julia is Black: Celebrating Afro-Latinidad at La Casa,” “The Convergence of Black and Brown Power: The Relationship between the Black Panther Party and the Brown Berets,” and “Ever So Humbled: African Americans, Settler Colonialism, and the Elusive Quest for Home.”

Black History Month

While the Afro-American Cultural Center celebrates Black history throughout the entire year, we also formally observe Black History Month (BHM) each February to honor the histories and contributions of people of African heritage to our university, our city, our nation, and our world.

The Af Am House hosts an annual BHM event for all members of the university and local community and compiles and publicizes a central calendar of events planned by the House, its resident groups, and various University and community partners.

To add to the calendar, contact AfAmHouse@yale.edu and request the BHM calendar Google form.

The month is also comprised of many events hosted by our resident groups, including the Black Solidarity Conference, which is the largest student-run Black Student Leadership Conference in North America. Since 1995, over 700 undergraduates of various races, religions, ethnicities, and communities from across the United States and Canada have attended this exceptional annual event. Through discussions, panels, networking, and social gatherings, students from across the country analyze issues affecting the Black/Afro-Diasporic community and explore solutions that can be implemented on their own college campuses.

History

In 1926, historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life & History announced “Negro History Week” would be held in the second week of February, which coincided with Frederick Douglass’ birthday. In 1969, the same year that the Afro-American Cultural Center was established, the Black United Students and their advocates at Kent State University proposed to expand this to an annual celebration, and in February 1970, the first celebration of Black History Month was held at Kent State University. Educational institutions and Black cultural/community centers began recognizing this month as Black History Month, and in 1976, President Gerald Ford officially named February “Black History Month” and urged all Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” In 1987, the United Kingdom officially designated October as Black History Month. In 1995, Canada officially recognized February as Black History Month, and just in 2016, the Netherlands decided to observe October for their Black History Month.

MLK Commemoration

Dean Nelson, the Director of Yale’s Afro-American Cultural Center, serves as the Chair of the University MLK Commemoration. In planning events that honor the life and legacy of Rev. Dr., Martin Luther King, Jr., Dean Nelson convenes a committee of University and community partners who help coordinate the official keynote lecture and create a centralized calendar of events on campus and in New Haven that have included film screenings, lectures, conferences, open mics, and book discussions.

For information on any of these programs or events, please contact afamhouse@yale.edu.