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© 2004
Center for Black Studies
Annual Report 2007


Director’s Statement

Other Projects and Activities

Advisory Committee
and Staff


Organizational Chart

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Annual Report 2006

Annual Report 2005

Annual Report 2004

Annual Report 2003

Annual Report 2002

 Annual Report 2001

Annual Report 2000

Annual Report 1999

Other Academic Projects and Activities

  1. Poto Mitan Premiere
    On November 9, 2006, at the Santa Barbara Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery, the Center hosted the premiere screening of the 15-minute trailer for Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy. The event included a panel discussion about grassroots women's movements in Haiti, and included filmmakers Renée Bergan and Mark Schuller, author Myriam Chancy, and Mary Becker, president of Fonkoze, a large and successful NGO that provides microfinance loans for Haitian women. The film features inspiring stories of five Haitian activists women redefining Haiti, global labor, and the textile industry in their communities.
  2. Poetry Reading: Jaki Shelton Green
    Poet Jaki Shelton Green received the North Carolina Award for Literature in 2003 for her fine poetry and “inveterate championing of the underdog.” Her poetry has appeared in publications such as The Crucible, The African-American Review, Obsidian, Ms. and Essence. Her books include Breath of the Song, Dead on Arrival, Conjure Blues, and Singing a Tree into Dance. The Center for Black Studies hosted Ms. Shelton’s reading at the UCSB MultiCultural Center on November 20, 2006, in conjunction with the San Luis Obispo Book Festival.
  3. 5th Annual Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture: Lani Guinier
    On February 25, 2007, the Center welcomed nationally-renowned speaker and author Lani Guinier for the 5th Annual Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture, created to help the UCSB community celebrate the memory and work of community activist and Black Studies Professor Shirley Kennedy. The Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture honors the memory of one of Santa Barbara’s most outspoken advocates for women and people of color. Dr. Kennedy transformed the Santa Barbara community with her commitment to social justice, activism, and democracy. The event opened with a nine-minute video presentation on Dr. Kennedy’s achievements.

    In 1998, Lani Guinier became the first black woman to be appointed to a tenured professorship at Harvard Law School. Guinier came to public attention when she was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1993 to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, only to have her name withdrawn without a confirmation hearing. Guinier turned that incident into a powerful personal and political memoir, Lift Every Voice: Turning a Civil Rights Setback into a New Vision of Social Justice.
  4. “Writing Haiti, Writing Home”
    On February 27, 2007, Santa Barbara Public Library’s Faulkner Gallery
    the Center hosted a reading/performance organized by author and visiting professor Myriam J.A. Chancy, poet Lenelle Moise, and musician Wilbert Chancy. The event helped raise awareness about Haiti, the Center’s work here and influence abroad, and the upcoming film Poto Mitan.
  5. “Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, Me, and the World”
    Performances by Gina Athena Ulysse
    Haitian spoken word artist Gina Athena Ulysse, a professor at Wesleyan University, donated performances of her work in Boston and Santa Barbara to raise funds for Poto Mitan. Her piece, “Because When God Is Too Busy: Haiti, Me, and the World” is a powerful one woman show which reflects the social and political reality experienced by Haitian women, as well as problems challenging Haiti and its place the international community. A screening of the trailer for Poto Mitan followed both performances.
    The first performance on April 1, 2007, was at the Lyric Stage in Boston. The second performance, on August 11, 2007, was staged at the Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Barbara and was well-attended by the Santa Barbara community.
  6. Anita J. Mackey Service Awards
    For academic year 2006-2007, one undergraduate student and one graduate student were awarded the Center’s Annual Anita Mackey Service Award for outstanding service and scholarship. On June 8, 2007, the students were honored for their commitment. The undergraduate student recipient, Britney Foster, was recognized for her volunteer efforts with the UCSB Katrina project during her winter and spring breaks, her support of and involvement with the community, and her volunteer work as a mentor with the Project Excel program. The graduate recipient, Laurence Christian, was recognized for excellence in academic performance, stellar work as teaching assistant in the Black Studies Department, and community service with Project Excel. Mr. Christian is currently finishing his dissertation and will be completing his field research in Germany next year.
  7. African American Traditions in Southern California: History, Culture, Social Vision, & Challenges
    “African American Traditions in Southern California” was a summer cultural and enrichment program coordinated by Dr. Clyde Woods with support from the Center. The program included five separate events at UCSB, with ten artists, activists, and progressive thinkers representing a broad vision of Black Southern California’s cultural influence. The first event, held on July 10, was a retrospective of the films of the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers, including Gregory “G.Bone” Everett. On July 11, Mr. Everett and Billy Woodberry continued the discussion on the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers and contemporary African-American film. On July 25, Kamau Daaood and Medusa represented the music of the Watts and South Central LA renaissances. On August 1, a panel on children, educational reform, and women’s health featured Joyce Germain Watts, Cathy Tate, Damien Shnyder, and Julie Grigsby. The closing event on Black and Latino relations featured Irene Vásquez and Ron Wilkins.



Project Excel

Project Excel, a new initiative based at the Center for Black Studies Research, seeks to increase the number of African American, American Indian, and other under-represented students in Santa Barbara and Goleta Middle and High Schools (6 -12) in order to ensure that they are academically prepared for enrollment at UCSB and other colleges and universities.
For the past decade, the UCSB student body has included roughly 3% African Americans and just 1% American Indians. An even more alarming statistic is that fewer than one thousand African-American high school students in the entire state of California are eligible for admission at any of the University of California campuses. A recent report in the Los Angeles Times found a downward trend in Black students enrolment.

The Project Excel program is coordinated by Professor Julie Carlson, Associate Director of the Center and a Professor in the English Department at UCSB. As a longtime associate of the Center, Professor Carlson, together with community liaison Keith Terry, pairs students and their families with college-student mentors. Whenever possible, the family is provided with a computer. The Center and Project Excel have been fortunate to be the benefactors of 20 computers donated for this program from Santa Barbara Community College. Mentors serve as role models and help the students stay on track with their academic goals. When students are ready to graduate, mentors help them fill out scholarship and admissions forms. In addition, in hardship cases, financial aid has been provided for SAT fees from donations from the community. Other key participants are Joe Castro (Academic Preparation & Equal Opportunity) and former City Council member Babatunde Folayemi.

Additional office space for this program has been obtained at the Franklin Center fProject Excel Logoor a nominal monthly fee for the convenience of students and families in order to better serve the targeted community.

Project Excel Accomplishments & Highlights 2006 – 2007:

  • Monthly Meetings: Scheduled monthly group meetings encouraged at least half of the Project Excel scholars and parents/guardians to attend, and the number of UCSB and community supporters attending increased. Presentations have included: Project Excel scholars (Eli Matisz-Cordero, Leo Adame, Kenia Guinto [returning from CSU, Northridge], Lacee Lopez); Accomplished Speakers such as Myriam Chancy, Michael Young, John Cordero, and Gaye Johnson; and community contacts such as Maritza Mejei (SB Scholarship Foundation), Ese O (personal statement writer), Kathryn Kanjo (UCSB Art Museum), Sojourner Kincaid-Rolle (community advocate, poet).
  • Program Evaluator: In late January, a graduate student in the School of Education, Brandy Ethridge, was hired as Project Excel’s program evaluator. She has been a fantastic resource in helping us devise evaluation mechanisms, coordinate information, and has been helping us research other grants/fund-raising avenues.
  • Mentors/Tutors: Several new mentors and tutors were recruited during the year.
  • Mentor Class: A 2-unit per quarter course for UCSB mentors was offered in the winter and spring.
  • Grants/Fundraising: Project Excel received a Faculty Outreach Grant for $15,000 and an UCOP grant for $29,500.

Community Outreach Report –– Fiscal Year 2006-2007 
Submitted by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, Academic Coordinator/Community Liaison

Much of my work with and on behalf of the Center for Black Studies has centered around increasing communication between the Center, the campus and the greater Santa Barbara community. My main goal has been to increase awareness in the community about Center activities and to encourage attendance at Center-sponsored and other campus-connected events.

  • Dramatic Women production Women's Work
    o Wrote history related play - The Receptionist
    o recruited Black actors to audition
    o record number of actors were cast in overall production - several were UCSB BFA students
    o Mike Downey directed, UCSB PhD in Dramatic Arts
    o Distributed over 40 tickets to community
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance - Santa Barbara City College Speaker
  • Santa Barbara African Heritage Film Series
    o Center For Black Studies Co-Sponsorship
    o Developed Santa Barbara Black Community Exhibit at Karpeles Library with Sylvia Curtis and Carnen Parker
    o Organized Kidz Day at SB Public Library
    o Participated in Community Cultural Celebration at Cabrillo Arts Center
  • Promoted Fundraiser for Haitian Film at Santa Barbara Public Library
  • Promoted Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture at Victoria Theater
  • International Women's Day Luncheon sponsored by Graduate Chicano/a Colectiva – Keynote Speaker
  • Monthly Project Excel Community Meeting
    o Resource speaker
    o on-going mentor relationship with Cal State Northridge student
  • Organized Langston Hughes Evening at the Muddy Waters Cafe
  • On-going Shirley Kennedy Film project activities

Co-sponsored Events, Donations and Projects

  • Fund for Santa Barbara. Fundraiser Bread and Roses, co-sponsorship, September 17, 2006
  • Associated Students, sponsorship for student Britney Foster, Hurricane Katrina Relief Group, December 2006
  • Jaki Shelton Green, lecture and poetry reading sponsorship at MCC, November 20, 2006
  • African Studies Research Focus Group, co-sponsorship for guest speaker, Dzodzi Tsikata, History Department, November 14. 2006
  • “Crtical Issues in America: Torture and the Future. Perspectives from the Humanities”, co-sponsorship Department of Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies, January 2007
  • MultiCultural Center UCSB, co-sponsorship winter lecture series (Yvette Teres0), January 2007
  • Santa Barbara African Heritage Film Series, community sponsorship, February 2007
  • Black Student Union – Annual Outreach program, ABCConference co-sponsorship, February 2007
  • Black Pioneers Renaissance Organization – co-sponsorship Kevin Coval event, May 2, 2007
  • Armin Schwegler Lecture – co-sponsorship Department of Spanish and Portuguese, May 11, 2007
  • Anita Mackey Scholarship Awards (Laurence Christian and Britney Foster) June 15, 2007

Awards Administered

Fund for Santa Barbara —$3,000
In June 2006, the Center for Black Studies Research received a $3,000 grant from the Fund for Santa Barbara to begin the process of lengthening the nine-minute introductory DVD highlighting the life of community activist Dr. Shirley Kennedy into a feature-length documentary. The Fund’s support will allow the Center to start interviewing Dr. Kennedy’s family and close friends, and provides an excellent foundation on which to build.

California Stories Fund, California Council for the Humanities —$10,000
In May 2007, the Center for Black Studies Research received a $10,000 grant from the California Council for the Humanities’ California Stories Fund for the production of the Shirley Kennedy documentary, tentatively titled “The Life of an Activist.” This grant will help with production and filming costs, and will be combined with private donations the Center has also received in the past year to help make this important project a reality.

UCOP – University Community Engagement Grant (1/1/2007-12/31/07) $29,500
Principal Investigator: Julie Carlson, Associate Director CBSR and Professor English Department

In December 2006 the Center was awarded the University Community Engagement Grant from UCOP to support the funding of Project Excel. Project Excel operates as a community-based academic preparation initiative now beginning its second year. Project Excel is designed to improve the enrollment of local African American and American Indian students at UCSB or any four-year college or university and to strengthen relations among UCSB, Santa Barbara City College, and communities of color in the greater Santa Barbara area. It is backed by UCSB but is located in the Santa Barbara community. Two of its three chief personnel are youth advocates with a long history of serving the African American and American Indian communities. Project Excel uses a combination of regular advising, mentorship by college students, tutors, parent programming, and attendance at community and university events to ensure the success of its students. It especially addresses the interests of the University-Community Engagement Grant in projects that improve readiness for 4-year colleges, including UC, and projects that improve community college transfer readiness. The funding from this grant supports the salary of the Director and stipends for one grant writer and advisor and the operating expenses for the office located at the Franklin community center.

Multiracial Identity in Brazil and the United States (10/02/05 – 6/30/07) $11,000
Principal Investigator: G. Reginald Daniel, Associate Professor

A $11,000 grant which was awarded Professor G. Reginald Daniel (present Advisory Committee Chair) is being administered by the Center at his bequest. His research examines the phenomena within the historical context of Brazilian and United States race relations as they relate to several important questions. For example, what impact might these changes have on the social construction of “whiteness” and “blackness” in Brazil and the United States? Also, to what extent might the deconstruction of traditional racial categories and boundaries in Brazil and the United States undermine racist ideology and racial privilege? While the answers to these questions will enhance understanding of similar trends among other groups, they have significant implications for black-white relations, and make a comparative historical analysis of that dynamic particularly meaningful, by virtue of the history of African slavery and the unique legacy of attitudes and policies that have crystallized around the experience of individuals of African descent in both Brazil and the United States. Penn State Press has published the findings from Professor Daniel’s research this fall (2006), titled, Race and Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States – Converging Paths?


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