Department of Africana Studies
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Overview and Welcome
Until the late 1960s, higher-ed institutions across the U.S. didn’t teach much about the global African experience. The contributions made by people of African descent have gone largely unnoticed for decades. The history, art, culture and social sciences of the African diaspora have had a profound influence on today’s society, and we’re proud to have taught these subjects for nearly 50 years.
Our dedicated faculty has educated generations of students about the profound influence that people of African descent have had on civilization as well as the challenges black communities face throughout the world. As long as you’re committed to a high-quality education that focuses on social justice, equality and an improved society, the Department of Africana Studies will welcome you with open arms.
Our students have ample opportunities for internships, leadership experiences and study-abroad programs to places such as Ethiopia. Our graduates leave the University with prolific intellectual and professional skills, representing us well in the public and private sectors as well as the postgraduate studies they pursue. Learn more about our Ethiopia Partnership.
Along with the degrees we offer, the Department of Africana Studies can fulfill your general-studies requirements. If you’re interested in learning how much there is to know about the global African experience, we’ll gladly teach you everything there is to know.
In addition to offering a degree program, Africana Studies offers several courses that satisfy the University's General Studies and Multicultural requirements. We provide a range of courses that provide students with an engaging curriculum that addresses various dimensions of the global African experience. Our graduates not only receive a solid foundation of knowledge about the contributions of peoples of African descent throughout history, but also, a critical lens with which to confront the challenges facing contemporary Black communities worldwide.
Students also have opportunities to get involved with the community at large through internships. In the best tradition of the field, members of the Africana Studies faculty place top priority on providing a rewarding educational experience to all students.
We encourage interested students and community members to come meet with members of the faculty and staff.
~Dr. Douglas Mpondi, Africana Studies Department Chair
Africana Studies Mission Statement
The Department of Africana Studies offers an interdisciplinary field of study, which provide students with opportunities to pursue courses with an African, Caribbean, and African American focus. In fulfilling this objective, the department recognizes the natural connection between Africans, African Americans, and the rest of the African Diaspora. The department strives to remove the distortions about Africa and Black peoples through courses that highlight the rich heritage, histories, achievements as well as cultural contributions of the people of African descent to human civilization. These course offerings enable students to acquire skills, sensitivities, and knowledge that enhance their functioning more intelligently in a diverse society. The department’s aim then is to develop and produce scholars committed to academic excellence and social responsibility in the United States who are prepared to build bridges with other cultural groups in the global space. The department strives through its various programs (i.e., study abroad, domestic field experiences, internships, and annual Black World Conference) to enhance Metropolitan State University of Denver’s mission of fostering diversity and mutual respect inside as well as outside the campus community.
Trained in traditional areas and in Africana Studies, the faculty of the department brings not only a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of African, Caribbean, and African American Studies to the college, but also a demonstrated theoretical and practical awareness of their role in the pursuit of a well-rounded education. Faculty in the department are committed to disseminating accurate information, encouraging creative and critical thinking, and fostering the pursuit of academic rigor. The professional development activities of the faculty are an extension of the department’s instructional program, and reflect not only the faculty’s scholarly and activist interests, but also their commitment to providing information and interpretations significant to African people and the larger society.
In addition to the comprehensiveness of its academic program, the department sponsors a full calendar of events in celebration of African American History Month during February, and sponsors and/or co-sponsors other cultural programs throughout the academic year. Such programming provides another opportunity for the department to enhance its instructional program. Community service is another avenue by which the faculty of the department extend their expertise, and at the same time enhance the lives of the people it serves. The Department offers a high-quality Bachelor’s degree program as well as a minor.