Department News

News from the African/African American Studies department

  • Urban Scholars Internship Program

    January 21, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    Future leaders are currently being sought for employment in a leadership development summer internship program for college students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds called Urban Scholars.

    The 12-week program is a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Public Schools, Metropolitan Council, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, State of Minnesota, PCL Construction, and Greater Twin Cities United Way. Urban Scholars provides:

    • Full-time, competitively paid, professional resume-building work experience for graduates and undergraduate students.
    • Direct access to agency leaders including but not limited to the Mayor, City Council members, Department Heads, Superintendents, and Executive Directors.
    • A team-based community project that will be presented to City Council, community stakeholders, senior management, and colleagues.
    • Leadership and communications skills development as part of the Urban Scholars Leadership Institute
    • Mentors to provide guidance to achieve professional goals.
    • Opportunities to create valuable professional networks.

    This highly competitive summer internship starts on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, and ends on Friday, August 14, 2015. Applications will be accepted until Friday, February 20, 2015. This opportunity is open to undergraduate and graduate college students regardless of academic major. Public sector experience is highly desired but not required.

    Please spread the word to eligible college students.  Urban Scholars staff members are available and would welcome an opportunity to visit your school or organization to talk to you, students, or student groups about the program.


    • Must be enrolled and in good standing at an accredited two or four year college, university, graduate program, or law school at the time of application.
    • Must have completed first year of post-secondary education.
    • Must be authorized to work in the United States
    • Must be able to participate on a full-time basis for 12 weeks (40 hours per week)

    Please note that recent graduates (May of 2015) are eligible for participation, and there is no residency requirement.


    For more information and a link to the online application, visit: If you have specific questions or need additional information, please contact: or (612) 673-2516.

  • AC-Placeholder50 copy

    The AIDS United AmeriCorps program is the largest national AmeriCorps program with a singular focus on ending the HIV epidemic through public service. We build the next generation of public health leaders who have frontline experience in the fight against HIV. 

    AC-iMac3Over its 20-year history, our AmeriCorps program has trained and placed over 700 Members in HIV-focused community-based organizations, such as clinics, youth centers, residential-care facilities, and social service agencies. Our Members have reached over 380,000 people through HIV prevention education and helped over 75,000 people know their HIV status.

    Members serve on the front line of the HIV epidemic. During their eleven month service, they provide HIV tests, health education, care navigation, and other social services.

    Our Members make a difference, earn experience, and gain perspective through direct service.

    To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit

  • Edited by Alexs Pate with co-editors Pamela R. Fletcher and J. Otis Powell

    Thursday, February 5, 2015 from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

    Minnesota History Center

    345 Kellogg Blvd W., St. Paul MN 55102

    • 6:00 p.m. Doors open, refreshments & cash bar
    • 7:00 p.m. Book Talk and Presentation
    • 8:00 p.m. Book Signing

    Event is free and open to the public.

    Blues Vision is a groundbreaking collection of incisive prose and powerful poetry by forty-three black writers who educate, inspire, and reveal the unabashed truth. The book is co-published by the Minnesota Historical Society and Minnesota Humanities Center, sponsor of this anthology, which was made possible in part by the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2004.

    Showcasing the unique vision and reality of Minnesota’s African American community from the Harlem renaissance through the civil rights movement, from the black power movement to the era of hip- hop and the time of America’s first black president, this compelling anthology provides an explosion of artistic expression about what it means to be a Minnesotan.

    Advance Praise:

    “How do you establish your voice in a place where the response to Black life can be as cold and unforgiving as the snow? Alexs Pate and his coeditors answer that question with powerful documentation of the literary life of black Minnesotans—native and transplanted—who have flourished in this lush, bountiful state that celebrates its liberal public identity but often forgets to uphold those principles for people of color.”  Robyne Robinson, Arts & Culture Director, MSP International Airport

    Blues Vision captures the rich history of African Americans living in Minnesota, with each writer sharing an honest perspective on what it means to be Black here. The stories may seem to rhyme, but their diversity defines what’s best about our great state.” Congressman Keith Ellison

    Blues Vision, a conscientiously edited gathering of remarkably high caliber, is an aesthetically formidable and conceptually energetic new regional anthology “predicated on the intersection of race and geography in creative literary expression.” This unprecedented collection will help us rethink regionalism as a literary form and as cultural critique—and make us reconceive the meaning of ‘Minnesota,’ as well.”  John Wright, Morse-Amoco Distinguished Teaching Professor of African American & African Studies and English, Founding Scholar, Archie Givens Sr. Collection of African American Literature and Life, University of Minnesota

    About the Editors:

    Alexs Pate, an award- winning novelist, playwright, and writing professor, is the president of Innocent Technologies, LLC.
    Pamela R. Fletcher is associate professor of English at St. Catherine University.
    J. Otis Powell is a poet, performance artist, and curator working in an aesthetic rooted in Afrocentric lore and culture.

    Contributors include: David Adedjouma, Louis Alemayehu, E.G. Bailey, Conrad Balfour, Lloyd Brown, Philip Bryant, Shá Cage, Laurie Carlos, Gabrielle Civil, Taiyon Coleman, Kyra Crawford-Calvert, Mary Moore Easter, Evelyn Fairbanks, Pamela R. Fletcher, Shannon Gibney, Taylor Gordon, David Grant, Craig Green, Libby Green, David Haynes, Kofi Bobby Hickman, Kim Hines, Carolyn Holbrook, Steven Holbrook, Kemet Imhotep, Andrea Jenkins, Nellie Stone Johnson, Tish Jones, Etheridge Knight, Arleta Little, Roy McBride, Gordon Parks, Alexs Pate, G.E. Patterson, Anthony Peyton Porter, Louis Porter II, J. Otis Powell‽, Rohan Preston, Ralph Remington, Angela Shannon, Susan J. Smith-Grier, Clarence White, and Frank B. Wilderson III.

  • Career Kickstarter: A Workshop Seminar

    December 5, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Career Kickstarter is a 4-week workshop seminar series for seniors who are seeking a job post-graduation. In the seminar we review various job searching skills, to help with a job search now and in the future.


  • The Program

    Established in 1981, the Presidential Internship Program at The American University in Cairo (AUC) provides recent university graduates the opportunity to spend an academic year working at the highest levels of an international university, learn Arabic, and experience life in Cairo.

    Working at AUC

    Interns work full-time in one of seven university offices, such as the Office of the President and Office of Communications, which provide opportunities for professional development, mentoring, and substantive work. At the Research Institute for a Sustainable Environment, I recently returned from conducting fieldwork for agricultural and community development projects in desert oasis communities.


    Program benefits include a monthly living stipend, faculty housing, private Arabic tutoring, subsidized trips around Cairo and Egypt, and more.


    We have traditionally accepted a diverse array of students, including those with no background in Arabic or Middle Eastern Studies. Interested students should visit our website for more information on the program and how to apply. They can also visit our Facebook page and blog. The application is due January 15, 2015.  Contact with any questions.

  • The African Studies Review Distinguished Lecture

           "Integrated Yet Marginalized: Global Governance and African Development"

          Delivered by Léonce Ndikumana,
                  Andrew Glyn Professor of Economics,
             University of Massachusetts at Amherst 
                Saturday, November 22,  2014   1:30 pm-2:30 pm 


    The African Studies Review together with the ASA Board launched a distinguished lecture in 2011 featuring state of the art research in African Studies.

    Léonce Ndikumana is the Andrew Glyn Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is also Director of the African Development Policy Program at the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI). He is a recipient of the 2013 UMass Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity and was nominated as Spotlight Scholar also in 2013. He is a Member of the United Nations Committee on Development Policy and an Honorary Professor of economics at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He served as Director of Research and Operational Policy at the African Development Bank, and Chief of Macroeconomic Analysis at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Ndikumana's research specialization is in macroeconomics and economic development with a focus on: external debt and capital flight, financial markets and growth, macroeconomic policies for growth and employment, and the economics of conflict and civil wars in Africa. He is co-author of Africa's Odious Debt: How Foreign Loans and Capital Flight Bled a Continent, published also in French as La Dette Odieuse d'Afrique: Comment l'endettement et la fuite des capitaux ont saigné un continent, in addition to dozens of academic articles and book chapters on African development and Macroeconomics. Léonce Ndikumana is a graduate of the University of Burundi and received his doctorate in economics from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • Weitz Fellows Program

    October 20, 2014 at 9:43 am

    The Weitz Fellows Program will provide one-year jobs for seven Carleton 2015 grads at seven nonprofit organizations in Omaha and Lincoln, NE.

    Positions are paid, include benefits and funding for professional development, and will provide exposure to all aspects of the organization.

    This is an unmatched opportunity for anyone interested in beginning a career in arts management, non-profit management, or social change.

    Info session: Tuesday, Oct. 28, noon-1:00, Weitz Center for Creativity, room 236

     Participating Organizations:

    Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest

    Nebraska Appleseed is an advocacy organization working for justice and opportunity in Nebraska via legal, policy, and civic engagement work.  They focus on economic justice, healthcare access, child welfare, immigrants and communities.  Fellows will participate in creating active legislation alongside a staff of attorneys, policy specialists, and community organizers.

    Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

    Planned Parenthood of the Heartland provides comprehensive sexuality education and advocacy, as well as reproductive healthcare.  The fellow will provide exposure and project management experience in development, advocacy and organizing, education, and health services.

    OpenSky Policy Institute

    OpenSky Policy Institute focuses on policy related to budget and taxation, particularly as pertains to low and middle-income families.  They work closely with the legislature and governor’s office.  The primary audience is lawmakers and media, and the work is bipartisan with a focus on data.  The fellow will conduct research and analysis on state budget and tax policies, produce reports for policy makers, and develop expertise in policy areas.

    University of Nebraska, Omaha Service Learning Academy

    The Service Learning Academy is an office within University that supports university faculty and students, P-12 teachers and students, and community partners in the development and implementation of quality service learning courses and projects. Work will involve collaborating with partners and projects, assisting with program administration and management, as well as analyzing data on impact.

    Women’s Fund of Omaha

    Women’s Fund of Omaha focuses on research, grants, and advocacy around issues facing women and girls in their communities.  They provide grant funding to service providers, advocate for policy change, and influence dynamic change within the community.  Fellow will assist with research, policy development, communications, and donor and volunteer relations.  Research areas include: economic conditions, domestic violence, and challenges facing girls.

    Opera Omaha

    Opera Omaha is internationally known for its productions of eight world premieres and four American premieres of classical masterpieces, and is highly regarded regionally for an extensive education and outreach program that annually reaches thousands from elementary school through adulthood.  Fellow will work with all areas of arts management, with rotations in marketing, fundraising, production, and community engagement.  Fellow will also gain exposure to rehearsal and mounting of a new opera production.

    Joslyn Art Museum

    The Joslyn Art Museum features European and American collections, and is renowned for its collection of art of the American West.  Fellow will work closely with staff on projects related to the Museum's permanent collection, its temporary exhibitions, and its public programs, and will have the opportunity to participate in all phases of museum operations, including curatorial, collections, protection, education, retail services, outreach, development and marketing.

  • Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers on "Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone"

    Sunday, September 21


    Minneapolis Institute of Art

    Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, curator of African Art and head of the Arts of Africa and the Americas at the MIA, offers insights into “Visions from the Forests: The Art of Liberia and Sierra Leone,” a new exhibition featuring 75 artworks collected by William Siegmann, a Minneapolis native and former curator of African art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Covering a period from the 15th to the late 20th centuries, the exhibition provides an overview of the region’s traditional art forms such as masks, wooden and stone statuary, metalwork, and textiles.

    Musu Bryant-Bah, a local community leader from West Africa, will join Grootaers at the end of his talk to address the current situation in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and the impact of Ebola.

    $10; $5 MIA members; free to African Art Affinity Members. To register, call (612) 870-6323

  • 30 Min. Session with Trustee Margaret Simms