The Department for Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) at the University of Michigan is one of the foremost centers for the study of people of African descent in the world. Focusing on African Studies, African American Studies, and Afro-Caribbean Studies, DAAS faculty are committed to innovative scholarship and teaching on the history, societies, and creativity of the peoples of Africa and its diaspora. One of the first programs in the country to combine African Studies with African American Studies, DAAS offers its undergraduate students, including major and minor concentrators, a comprehensive and rigorous program of study on the diversity and complexity of the African diaspora. DAAS faculty offer state of the art courses examining the role of peoples of African descent in shaping the societies, cultures, religions, and political institutions of the Western world in such fields as history, sociology, psychology, economics, political science, literature, and the arts.
In order to further our mission of excellence in scholarship and teaching in African diaspora studies, DAAS has set a number of funding priorities.
Department Strategic Fund $100,000
Undesignated gifts are extraordinarily important to the continuing success and growth of the Program. Contributions to the Strategic Fund make it possible to sustain community outreach activities, to facilitate the recruitment and retention of top faculty, to creatively expand our interdisciplinary curriculum, to support the career development of our junior faculty, and to meet unexpected needs and challenges. This fund is also the primary support for the Lemuel A. Johnson Library in the Department, named after a former Director and professor of English and African literature. The fund supports, too, our new gallery space, GalleryDAAS, on the ground floor of Haven Hall. Both the library (with its archival collection) and the gallery also represent unique opportunities for donors. All donors will be eligible for Presidential Society Recognition opportunities, including the President's Club ($15,000), the Tappan Society ($50,000) and the Hutchins Society ($100,000).
DAAS Strategic Fund: Adinkra Symbols
This special fundraising effort aims to encourage giving to the Strategic Fund and to restore the Adinkra symbols, painted by Professor Jon Lockard, which formerly adorned our walls in Haven Hall. We want to honor Jon’s vision while re-creating these West African symbols in a different medium: hard woods and metallic finishes. As a member of our community you will be able to “sponsor” the symbol of your choice by making a contribution of at least $500 to the DAAS Strategic Fund. We have also set aside a series of “community symbols” that can be collectively sponsored with donations starting at $25. More information about this opportunity.
Study Abroad $100,000
Study abroad expands the cultural horizons of students and deepens and enriches their intellectual development. True cultural understanding and immersion are important aspects to an undergraduate program such as ours. The Department sends students to Ghana, South Africa, the West Indies, and other sites for a rigorous program of study on a yearly basis. Because of tight budgets, our ability to expand and even continue this effort depends on private support. An endowment of $100,000 would allow us to support students in financial need and to develop new sites and opportunities for these important cultural exchanges.
Pedagogy of Action Ambassadors Scholarship Fund $50,000
The Pedagogy of Action Ambassadors was formed to assist with the 10th anniversary celebration of the Pedagogy of Action (POA) study abroad course in Fall 2010. This program trains U-M students to teach an HIV prevention module to educators in South Africa, giving “each one, teach one” an exponential spin in which one teaches ten and ten teach hundreds. The Ambassadors are “alums” of the POA committed to raising funds for other students interested in this transformational (but expensive) experience. The Ambassadors, our students who seek to serve others, represent the best of DAAS. Please help us to help them with a donation to this fund.
Undergraduate Thesis Prize $10,000
With a focus on undergraduate education, DAAS is particularly dedicated to not
only providing an excellent education but also aspires to reward excellence in
research among its students. An endowment of $10,000 would provide a yearly prize
of $500 to be given to an outstanding undergraduate scholar as well as yearly awards in conjunction with our Walter Rodney Essay Competition.
Instructional Program Support $100,000
DAAS is devoted to providing the best in undergraduate education. Support for our
instructional program would enable faculty to invite distinguished scholars, writers
and artists to visit their classes and interact directly with students. Such support
would also enable DAAS faculty to incorporate new technologies into their teaching, and
to facilitate partnerships with local cultural institutions for off-campus and community-
based learning opportunities.
Visiting Scholar $250,000
An annual visit by a distinguished outside scholar would provide an important, fresh
perspective for both students and DAAS faculty and would strengthen the program's
visibility and reputation. Such a visiting scholar would present at least one major
public lecture during his/her visit and be available for class visits, panel discussions,
and other events.
Writer or Artist In-Residence $250,000
This program would enhance the educational experience by enabling U-M undergraduate
students studying in DAAS to work with a distinguished African, Caribbean or Latin American teacher, novelist, poet, essayist, or playwright on campus. An endowed gift of $250,000 would establish a permanent program, enabling the Department to sponsor a one-month campus residency each year.
Endowed Professorship $2 million
Bringing new faculty to the Department and rewarding excellence in research is crucial,
especially in the face of increasing competition for top faculty. Outstanding faculty
are central to the continuing quality of the program, to the excellence of undergraduate
education, and to the ongoing leadership of the department. An endowment
of $2 million will establish a Named Endowed Professorship, which will serve as a
powerful recruitment tool for distinguished scholars.
Evans Young Student Support Fund
In honor of Dr. Evans Young, a former Assistant Director of CAAS, former LSA Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education, and staunch supporter of DAAS, this fund supports DAAS undergraduate activities and projects. Click here to learn more.
Make a Contribution
Mail your contribution to:
DAAS, University of Michigan
4700 Haven Hall
505 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1045
Please make your check payable to "DAAS at the University of Michigan"
If you need help, please call: 888.518.7888 or if you're local, 734.647.6179 anytime between 8am-5pm EST, M-F. You can also email at firstname.lastname@example.org.