Community & Civic Engagement Initiatives

From its inception, the House has always represented the vital and vibrant presence of Yale’s Black community. At the same time, the location on the edge of Yale’s campus provided access to the New Haven community. The history and mission of the House are directly tied to supporting and advocating for our surrounding city of New Haven.

The House’s youth empowerment opportunities, arts events, and intercultural and social justice programming, along with offerings from the New Haven School of African Drum & Dance, are free and open to the local community. Local artists are invited to showcase their artwork in our gallery, and individuals and organizations are welcome to rent our space for their events. Additionally, many of our resident groups invite folks from around New Haven to attend and/or collaborate on their different events, so keep an eye on their (and our) Facebook pages and websites for more info.

For information on any of these offerings, please contact

Youth Empowerment Programming:

The House offers a number of events and initiatives that are free and open to the general New Haven community to empower our youth and families.

  • Urban Improvement Corps (UIC): Established in 1968, this student-run program offers free tutoring and mentoring to local students in grades K-12. UIC seeks to assist students in achieving academic success and to inspire them to succeed beyond the classroom. 
  • Higher Education Initiative (HEI): Yale students create and lead workshops for youth in the foster care system that focus on postsecondary educational and career opportunities. 
  • MLK Open Mic & Concert: Yale’s cultural centers coordinate an annual event that brings together the local and university artist communities to build solidarity and inspire action towards social change.

New Haven School of African Drum & Dance:

Taught by Tatchol Camara, African drum and dance classes are offered regularly throughout the week and are open to all visitors, regardless of university affiliation. 

Experiential Learning:

The House offers alternative break trips to explore historical and contemporary aspects of the African Diaspora. These offerings are often connected with faculty/administrator and alumni leaders who facilitate participants’ learning and advocacy around the issues pertinent to that alternative break trip. Since Spring 2015, we have held the following: