Other Projects

Other Projects and Activities

1.  “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 a performance of her work 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 that reflects the social and political reality experienced by Haitian women, as well as problems challenging Haiti and its place in the international community.

Her first performance on the West Coast was held on August 11, 2007, at the Center Stage Theater in downtown Santa Barbara and was well-attended by the Santa Barbara community. A screening of the trailer for Poto Mitan followed the performance. This event was selected as a “pick of the week” by the Santa Barbara Independent with rave reviews.  

2. Sixth Annual Shirley Kennedy
Memorial Lecture

On February 26, 2008, the Center presented the distinguished scholar, Professor Charles H. Long, as the guest lecturer for the sixth 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. This annual 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.

Charles H. Long has had a long and distinguished career as a historian of religion. He has been one of the most influential scholars in the development of the field, including the inclusion of scholarship on African American, African, and Diasporic religions. His prominent career includes serving as Director of the Center for Black Studies and Professor of Religion at UCSB and as a professor at the University of Chicago; the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Duke University; and Syracuse University. Many of the students he advised have become key scholars in Religious Studies worldwide. Dr. Long has also been a visiting professor at the University of Capetown in South Africa, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Missouri. He was one of the three founding editors of the journal History of Religions. He is the author of Significations: Signs, Symbols and Images in the Interpretation of Religion, among other numerous books, articles and reviews.

3.  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 Professor 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 and on contemporary African-American film. On July 25, Kamau Daaood and Medusa represented the music of the Watts and South Central L.A. 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.

4.      Haiti Flag Week, May 19-23, 2008

A week of activities celebrating Haiti’s national flag day by honoring Haiti’s history and learning about the contemporary struggles the country faces. Activities included an academic talk by Nadège Clitandre, “The Position of Haiti in the African Diaspora”; various presentations; a book drive in support of Bibliothèque du Soleil; a poetry reading and open mike; and student-organized fundraisers.

Public Service Activities

Project Excel 
Project Excel, a community-based, UCSB-backed academic preparation initiative in its third year of operation, works with African American, American Indian, and other under-represented students in Santa Barbara and Goleta Middle and High Schools (grades 5 through 12) in order to ensure that they are academically prepared for enrollment at UCSB and other colleges and universities. It joins with other campus initiatives sponsored by the Office of Academic Preparation (i.e., Chumash Scholars Program, Pathways) to increase the success of underrepresented students in the area and their presence at UCSB. Project Excel is co-run by Program Director, Keith Terry, whose office is at the Franklin Community Center, and by Faculty Advisor Julie Carlson, Professor of English and Associate Director of the Center for Black Studies Research. The Center is a crucial supporter of Project Excel and provides the services of Mahsheed Ayoub as the financial manager for Project Excel.

Project Excel serves roughly 25 students and their families (and 8 graduates of the program now in college or community college) by offering the following resources: full-time access to Director, Keith Terry, who advises on all matters relating to their schooling; access to mentors and tutors who help keep individual students on track academically and who model what it takes to become a college-going student; monthly meetings attended by Project Excel students, families, staff, faculty and staff at UCSB and SBCC, and community members; workshops on college applications and financial aid; access to summer programs (including the Stanford Great Books program, the College Readiness Academy, The Patricia Henley Summer Theatre program, Research Mentorship Program, Tech Trek, and others).

During the past year 2007-08, Project Excel graduated its two high-school seniors, both of whom are enrolled in Santa Barbara City College and participated in its Running Start program this summer. Ten other students participated in summer programs. Project Excel secured renewal of two grants, a UCOP University Community Engagement Grant ($30,000) and a FOG ($15,000). It continues to develop its networking ability, especially with a youth-run agency, ySTRIVE, and the UCSB Pathways Program.

Community Outreach Report
Submitted by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle
Cultural and Community Affairs Coordinator

The fall was busy with the general support activities. I attended The Fund for Santa Barbara Annual Bread and Roses event as well as the Fund's Fall Grant Awards Reception. Meetings with various individuals about upcoming activities including Gwendolyn Hampton (African Heritage Film Series), Cliff Lambert (Endowment for Youth), Derrick Curtis (The Brotherhood) and the preliminary MLK Day planning committee.

I was able to attend both convenings of the CBSR Advisory Committee and was pleased to have been appointed to a committee in charge of accepting the donation of the papers of Dr. Shirley Kennedy into the university archives. I have also met with the committee to consider the status of the Kennedy/Graves Combined Black Studies Fund.

I am honored to be working with the department to create the documentary, Dr. Shirley Kennedy: The Life of An Activist.  It has been interesting to hear people talk about UCSB 40 years ago and the progress of time. I'm sure there will be a great deal of interest in the upcoming conference revisiting that monumental year, 1968. 

Co-Sponsored Event:  Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday Celebration - January The Center was an early co-sponsoring entity for the 2008 Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration. In addition to my participation in the planning and operational matters, the Center was a financial supporter and helped to publicize the event to the campus.  This was a very successful community endeavor.  The steering committee was diverse and committed to having a celebration that truly reflected and represented the community.  A day of events was collaboratively planned over several months.  The steering committee included members of the clergy, educators, elected officials, governmental staff and others.  In addition to the Center for Black Studies Research, a myriad of organizations were represented including other colleges in the area as well as The Brotherhood of Santa Barbara, Bna’i Brith, AARP, League of Women Voters, and the Fund for Santa Barbara.  A highlight of the MLK Day planning activities was a very successful student essay and poetry contest.  First Place Winner in the essay contest was R. J. Moten, a 7th grader who is also a star participant in Project Excel. The 2008 Martin Luther King Day Celebration was a huge success.   Over a thousand people participated in the rally, march and soup fest.  There was a considerable participation by UCSB students in the march and assistance providing at the Marjorie Luke Theater. A special thanks to Aaron Jones, Associated Students for support. A slide show of photographs from the day’s activities. can be viewed on The Brotherhood’s website at www. thebrotherhood.com.

Special Event:   Conversation with Odetta - Lobero Theater

On January 21, I was honored to participate in an historic conversation with legendary folk singer Odetta who is well-known for her support for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement and in particular for her memorable performance at the 1963 March On Washington.  As an adjunct to the conversation, I worked with the Lobero Foundation to identify community recipients of 50 complimentary tickets to Odetta’s concert.

Co-Sponsored Event:  Santa Barbara African Heritage Film Series –

A major commitment for me this past year concerned my involvement with the Santa Barbara African Heritage Film Series.  I made this commitment early last fall because I feel this is a community organization that has worked valiantly to contribute to the African American cultural presentations in Santa Barbara.  This year there was a focus on the 50th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine desegregation period in African American history.  In November, the Film Series screened at the city’s Teen Center and participated in the discussion which followed the film.  The committee met often to plan the 2008 series. The series featured signature events   the Annual historical exhibition at the Karpeles Manuscript Library; the annual Kidz Day at the Santa Barbara Public Library, the annual Community Celebration at Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center and the annual day of films at the Fiesta Four Theater in downtown Santa Barbara.  Additionally, the Little Rock Nine film was shown at the UCSB Multicultural Center and I was pleased to moderate the lively discussion following the film.  This year’s Film Series was dedicated to the memory of David Hampton, the son of the film series’ founders Gwendolyn and Friday Hampton.  David, a successful child actor raised in Santa Barbara, was a fine example of the potential all of our young people possess.  He died from complications connected with sickle cell anemia a condition that particularly affects African-Americans. We salute the Hamptons for their perseverance in the wake of this heartrending personal tragedy.

Special Event:  Conversation with Hugh Masekela - Arts & Lectures 

Engagement with Visiting Scholar (Black Studies Department) Nadege Clitandre

Each year, I have attempted to support the Center’s Visiting Scholar Program in some community-engagement activity.  This has ranged from a collaborative art project between the Center, the Museum of Art, Santa Barbara High School, and my poetry program featuring the work of William Jones to featuring Visiting Scholar Duriel Harris at the Annual Langston Hughes reading and her subsequent invitation to Los Prietos Boys Camp. I have had an  opportunity to engage with Nadege Clitandre throughout this past year and invited her to participate in our Annual Langston Hughes Night.  She brought a unique perspective on the work of Langston Hughes in relationship to Haiti and was also able to engender support for her own work at Haiti Soleil.

Support for Project Excel efforts

I have tried to provide general support for Project Excel whenever requested. This past year, I continued to communicate with students and will be entering a new mentor relationship in the fall. 


This has been perhaps the busiest and most demanding of my five years in this position.  Much of the work is not easily summarized as a completed project.  The work is on-going and always going on.  I look forward to a new year and, hopefully, continued engagement with the Center’s public mission.


Center and Co-sponsored Events and Projects

Santa Barbara Reads. Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Kidder. Two panels held at the Goleta Public Library and Santa Barbara Public Library from September 12–October 31, 2007

Fund for Santa Barbara. Bread and Roses Fundraiser, community sponsorship, September 16, 2007

Walter Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion, and Public Life,  Eradicating Global Poverty:  Is It Really Achievable?  Presented by Anne Hastings, Fonkoze, September 18, 2007

Women in Film, Los Angeles, An Evening of Haitian Filmmaking. BOHIO, The Descent of the Lwa: The Art of Hersza Barjon, produced by KOSANBA, October 14, 2007

NACCS Joto Caucus Conference, Chicano Studies Department, November 10-11, 2007

Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity presents Sylvia Guerro at the MultiCultural Center, November 14, 2007

Martin Luther King Day March and Rally, (Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Santa Barbara), community sponsorship,January 21, 2008

From Pro-Choice to Reproductive Justice presented by Women’s Center and Loretta Ross at the MultiCultural Center, January 22, 2008

Santa Barbara African Heritage Film Series, community sponsorship, February 2008

Carpinteria Women’s Club presents Gustavo Arellano, January 26, 2008

Race for the White House: The Black Vote, The Black Candidate, and the 2008 Presidential Election, Center event, with Dr. Ricardo Guthrie, Visiting Researcher, as moderator, February 5, 2008

Fragmentations, Freedom, and the Future, Center event, Shirley Kennedy Memorial Lecture given by Professor Charles H. Long at Campbell Hall, February 26, 2008

Nakupenda 4: - Bach in the Hood, music by Earl Stewart. Co-sponsorship. Held at the Corwin Pavilion, April 3, 2008

Pragmatism and the Challenges of Post-Soul Politics, lecture by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. Professor of Religion and African-American Studies, Princeton University. Held at the MultiCultural Center, April 10, 2008

Afro-Jamaican Market Women in the Public Sphere: Challenging Race/Class/Gender Inequality in the Age of Globalization, lecture by Winnifred Brown-Glaude, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at SUNY-Stony Brook. Held at the Center for Black Studies Research, April 11, 2008

Approaching Genocide:  Representing and Negotiating Mass Trauma in Rwanda and Japan, lecture by Mick Broderick, Murdoch University, Australia. Co-sponsorship, IHC, held at the McCune Conference Room, April 23, 2008

Professional Women’s Association, co-sponsorship for 2008 PWA Conference, May 6, 2008

Paradise as an Ecological Proposal, Center event, with guest lecturer Dr. LeGrace Benson, Director, Arts of Haiti Project, at Buchanan Hall, April 29, 2008

Haiti Flag Week, May 19–23, 2008, Presented by the Center. Five events held through the week, Monday – Friday

Dedicated to the Cause of the People – Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, Center event with lecture given by Dr. Ricardo Guthrie, Visiting Researcher, May 28, 2008



Annual Report 2008

Mission Statement

Director's Statement

Advisory Committee
& Staff

Organization Chart

Other Projects and Activities

Awards Administered



Statistical Summary

Download PDF Version of Report

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