The Unversity of Lynchburg in Virginia has announced that starting this fall, students will be able to major in Africana studies. Ghislaine Lewis, co-chair of the program and an assistant professor of communication studies, stated that “we live in an increasingly interconnected society where respect for diversity and inclusion are paramount. We hope that the addition of this major will allow students to have opportunities to consciously learn about multicultural experiences.”
Students in the program will explore race-related questions and study the lives of Africans and people in the African diaspora. Africana studies combines a core intro class and a capstone project with existing courses from a variety of disciplines, including history, English, sociology, psychology, and music.
The capstone project, which happens during the final year, requires students to partner with a local organization in collaboration with the University’s Center for Community Development and Social Justice. Lindsay Michie, associate professor of history and co-chair of Africana studies, said the goal was to strengthen connections with the community in Lynchburg.
“With the capstone course acting as an internship, and with community service assignments embedded in several of the courses in the program, this major is intentionally designed to act as a bridge between the university and the Lynchburg community,” Dr. Michie said.