The Center for Black Studies Research has distinguished itself as the major Haitian studies center west of the Mississippi.
KOSANBA In 1997, thirteen scholars at UCSB for a colloquium on Haitian Vodou, "The Spirit and The Reality: Vodou and Haiti." At the end of the conference, these scholars decided to institutionalize their efforts through a new association under the name, the Congress of Santa Barbara—KOSANBA. Since that time, the Center and KOSANBA have organized a series of coloquia on Vodou, most recently in Mirebalais, Haiti.
Grassroots Involvement The Center is a partner with Haiti Soleil in supporting Bibliothèque du Soleil, a neighborhood library and community center in Carrefour-feuilles, a neighborhood in Port au Prince, Haiti. Heavily damaged in the recent quakes, the staff of Bibliothèque du Soleil has created an emergency group called Biwo Doleans Sosyal (BDS) to offer condolences to the families of Carrefour-Feuilles who have lost loved ones, provide assistance, and document stories and grievances from the community. The group is also creating jobs for young folks in the community who will be gathering the necessary information to document the story of Carrefour-feuilles after the quake.
Books The Center has published and supported the publication of many influential books on Haitian culture including Ancestral Rays: A Journey through Haitian History and Culture and Brassage, an anthology of poems by Haitian Women.
Film The Center is a partner in the production of Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy, an documentary by award-winning filmmaker Renée Bergan and Mark Schuller of Tèt Ansam productions. The Center also produced BOHIO: The Descent of the Lwa.
Divine Haiti An online guide to the Lwa of Haitian Vodou. This educational site features paintings by Haitian artist Hërsza Barjon with text by Kyrah M. Daniels and Dr. Claudine Michel.