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Message from the Program Director


Dr. Thandeka K. Chapman

Greetings and Welcome!

The African American Studies Minor (AASM) was instituted in 2005 in response to the need to create and nurture a more inclusive and ideologically diverse campus climate at UC San Diego. We continue to grow our program to meet the needs and interests of the UC San Diego student body. Please check out our new mission and vision statements. We believe that a minor in African American Studies has “endless possibilities” for being useful in students’ careers, personal lives, community outreach, and future academic goals. The African American Studies Minor gives students an opportunity to focus their academic interests on this vital assemblage of people in the United States. The minor allows students to make connections across groups, analyze intersectionality within African American communities, and better understand how African American peoples have impacted almost every aspect of society, place, and thought in the United States. We believe that studying the past and present experiences of African Americans generates self-awareness, respect for individual and group differences, coalition building, critical consciousness, and a stronger sense of how the world in which we live functions as both oppressive and empowering forces. Additionally, because the world is constantly changing, there are personal and professional connections to the African American Studies Minor that haven’t even been invented yet. You may be the person to make that new association to the AASM. At the very least, after taking these classes, you will realize some of the elements of African American communities that make us so very special and essential to the United States and the Global village.

Over the next few years we will make more changes to improve and expand the AASM. Here are just a few of the tasks that the affiliated program faculty are tackling.

  • We have included new courses from across a range of disciplines at UC San Diego and increased the number of offerings in disciplines we have traditionally identified as sharing our passion for issues of race and racism.
  • We are revising our AAS 10: Introduction to African American Studies course so that it reflects issues of scholarship and research across multiple UC San Diego majors, and provides the students with an agreed upon “What every student must know” moment in the course program.
  • We are sponsoring more speakers and events from within and outside of UC San Diego. We are inviting new faculty and staff to participate in the program, and reviewing the work and support our current affiliates share with the program.
  • We are generating new face-to-face and online courses to help with time-to-degree, capture students’ interests, and align the program with more UC San Diego majors

Lastly, we are making moves towards proposing an African American Studies Major! This project is an exciting effort to bring more curricular choices to UC San Diego students. We want to give students the opportunity to acquire an in-depth focus on African American Studies that will be reflected in their academic programming at UC San Diego.

These are REALLY EXCITING times for the African American Studies Minor. We invite you to join us and enjoy our current success and future progress. We consider it an honor and a pleasure to be a part of your student experience at UC San Diego. Please, come grow and learn with us in the UC San Diego African American Studies Program.