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UCSB Center for Black Studies Mission Statement

Academic Mission 

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.
  
To house, support, and mentor dissertation fellows.
 

Public Mission 

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 justice.
  
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.

 

Mission and Direction 

The Center for Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the only research center in the UC system devoted primarily 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.  

(1) 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 Publications section). 

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.