To organize, promote and administer interdisciplinary
research among faculty and students on the social, political,
historical, cultural, and economic experiences of people of
African descent. The Center is also committed to facilitating
rapport between people of African descent and other people
of color as well as with the US population in general.
To disseminate the research products and
the ideas generated therein through a variety of mechanisms
including, but not limited to working papers, edited volumes,
special editions of journals, conferences and colloquia.
To provide training in interdisciplinary
scholarship for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates.
One goal of the Center's research agenda is active engagement
in shaping and implementing public policy. Therefore, the
academic mission is complemented by a public mission. The
Center's research agenda uniquely positions us to provide
a critical synthesis of issues of race, social equality and
Furthermore, the broader public mission embraces a commitment
to community collaboration. This collaboration can take on
many forms, including: enhancing communication between the
university and the community on issues of mutual concern;
facilitating access for the community to university resources;
participating in the development and implementation of community
based educational and social initiatives; providing co-sponsorship
for cultural activities on campus and in the community.
The Center for Black Studies at the University of California,
Santa Barbara, is devoted to the study of people of African
descent, appears uniquely qualified to enter current intellectual
debates about the position and the experience of Blacks in
Africa and in the Americas. The Center's research agenda
should aim at unearthing the truths of life as experienced
by millions of African, African-Americans and Caribbean Islanders,
a reality which remains buried under the misconceptions of
public opinion and slanted historical depiction.
Among other concerns, the Center for Black Studies must fulfill
two primary goals.
First, through its research and its public fora for colloquia,
the Center must be a place to generate ideas on the culture,
history, politics, economic factors, and educational matters
that have affected the course of life for various Black
populations over time. In addition, it must address
pressing contemporary issues for Africans, African-Americans,
and other diasporatic communities and people of color.
It is also important to study the rapport between people
of African descent, people of color, and other groups.
(2) Furthermore, the Center must possess more efficient
tools to disseminate its research and the vigorous debates
in which it engages. It is precisely with the aim
of filling this startling void that a new publishing venture
has been proposed by UCSB' s Center for Black Studies (see
Over the past two years, the Center's Advisory Board members
have drafted a new mission statement which emphasizes their
strong support for retaining the Center's public/cultural
mission while also re-directing the Center's agenda towards
a more systematic effort to engage in research and publications.
Though the Center's old mission statements also indicated
a commitment to research and public service, documents supporting
work done in these areas are lacking. We are now in
the process of more systematically documenting past work done
at the Center.