History of Africana Studies at the University of Hartford
The Africana Studies Program was originally created in 1972 in response to civil unrest and a growing demand on university campuses by students for academic programs that focused on the experiences of people of African descent within and outside of the United States. The Africana Studies began as an interdisciplinary program with faculty primarily in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Hartt School.
Currently, the University of Hartford has one of the most diverse undergraduate student populations with International students and students of color from the US constituting approximately 30% of all undergrads. As the university’s population becomes more diverse it provides an important opportunity to increase and facilitate substantive dialogues around issues of diversity. The AFS program undertakes this task in two ways. First, by offering courses that contextualize the varied experiences and contemporary issues being addressed by people of African descent across regions. Secondly, through hosting and co-sponsoring programs which highlight the various contributions of people of African descent to political, economic, and social development.
Our program historically has symbolized the ability to link with surrounding Hartford Community in terms of local leaders, classes, symposia, and programming.