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Africana Studies at UCM

Discover multicultural contributions throughout history and inspire change.

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Africana Studies


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The Africana Studies program at the University of Central Missouri explores the essential part played by peoples of African descent in constructing human civilization by analyzing contributions in the disciplines of art, music, history, literature, political sciences, sociology, psychology, and others.  The program will produce discerning scholars who can inspire social and political change in the contemporary world.


Our Mission


The mission of the Africana Studies minor at UCM is to develop scholars who will teach, research, and understand the experiences of people of African descent throughout the world.  Studies will discover a rich variety of experiences in the program, which is interdisciplinary, multicultural, and community oriented.


The Program Director is Dr. Delia C. Gillis (, and the new location (May 2015) for the Africana Studies Center is located in Wood 110.  The phone number is 660-543-8620.

Mules on the Vine

On October 6th, the Center for Africana Studies hosted their annual night at the museum in the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District. Students enjoyed poetry from Arissa Calvert and internationally acclaimed poet Dominique Christina at the Black Archives of Mid-America.

Dr. Raymond Doswell, Vice-President and Curator of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum lecturing to UCM students in the Kauffman Exhibit Hall at the Black ARchives of Mid-America.

UCM Students at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum


Return Trip to Jamaica Broadens Cultural Experience for UCM Students

Traveling to Jamaica to experience the culture through the arts and service are, front row, left to right, Alexis Lawoe, Arissa Calvert, Raven Alade; back row, Dr. Delia Gills, Courtney Mayfield, Keyontae Richardson and Kimberly Taylor

UCM students returning to Jamaica

Africana Studies Around the World

Calabash Jamaica Study Tour June 2016

The students have returned and had a fantastic time. See pictures and a timeline of their experience here!

Students attended the internationally acclaimed Calabash Literary Festival ( and participated in service learning activities with the Treasure Beach Women's Group. (

Study Tour Group for Jamaica 2016

Front left to right: Jazmine Walker, Kyla Robinson, Gari Miller, Raven Alade, Courtney Mayfield and Dr. Delia Gillis 

Back: Arissa Calvert, Crystal Ridley, Maggie McMichael, Asia Butler, Allina Robie, Elijah Triche and Tanaga Hampton.

not pictured Alexis Lawoe


The Pleiades Visiting Writers Series for Spring 2015 kicked off on January 28th with a lecture and reading by writer, activist, teacher, editor, critic and director Kwame Dawes. The event was co-sponsored by the Center for Africana Studies. The Emmy- award winning poet met with Africana Studies Minors before his lecture.

The photo below was taken during an Africana Studies trip to the Nelson-Atkins Museum.

Image of Kwame Dawes with UCM students and faculty.