University of Colorado Establishes the Center for African and African American Studies

The University of Colorado Boulder has established the Center for African and African American Studies, or CAAAS, (also called “the Cause”) to support teaching and research on the history and culture of people of African descent. Reiland Rabaka, a professor in the department of ethnic studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, will serve as the director. Dr. Rabaka is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Temple University in Philadelphia.

CAAAS will support teaching, research, and creative work on the history, culture, and struggles of people of African descent and provide a platform to build on the work of the more than 25 CU Boulder faculty members already making contributions to African and African American studies. The center will be housed within the Graduate School.

“CAAAS will provide a forum for cross-campus collaboration and stimulate scholarly engagement in African and African American studies at CU Boulder and beyond,” said Russell Moore, provost at the Univerity of Colorado. “This fulfills two vital needs: to constantly expand our scholarship to better understand the histories, cultures, and experiences of people of color in the United States and across the world, and to ensure that understanding then helps inform our students’ approach to leadership, social justice, and service to the community.”

“CAAAS will advance CU’s goal of excellence in research, creative work, teaching, and service by providing a locus around which African and African American Studies innovations and achievements can be showcased and shared with students, faculty, and the general public,” added Dr. Rabaka. “CAAAS will also provide Black students, staff, and faculty with a permanent space on the Boulder campus where we can build community and gain much-needed knowledge of our history, culture, and ongoing struggles. In other words, the establishment of the Center for African and African American Studies means Black students and faculty will be able to feel a greater sense of belonging at CU Boulder.”

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