The Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) is an interdisciplinary unit of research, instruction, and community outreach. Our intellectual focus is on engagement, analysis, and charting new directions in the study of diverse cultures and experiences in Africa and its diaspora. DAAS’s core mission is strengthening the fields of Afroamerican, Diasporic/Caribbean, and African Studies by facilitating the production and public dissemination of creative, original research and ground-breaking scholarly knowledge. At both the undergraduate and graduate level, we seek to train not only informed, productive, and active citizens, but also the next generation of leading scholars in these fields.

Our Community Engaged Learning Initiative was launched to strengthen and highlight faculty research and projects that take community concerns seriously and move students beyond the classroom and into community spaces to foster civic responsibility. The Gender Consciousness Project, an empowerment program where “Girls Learn Resistance to Gender Injustice Starting in High School.” DAAS supports the “Filming the Future of Detroit” project, where students produce films that offer opportunities to see perspectives on the city’s future. Semester in Detroit initiative transforms students through reciprocal relationships with the people, organizations, and neighborhoods of Detroit by living, learning and working in the city.


Gifts will support strategic initiatives and the greatest needs of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies.

By donating to the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies, you are supporting research, community outreach, and scholarly knowledge pertaining to Africa and its diaspora. Through your donation, students are able to participate in unique experiences on the local, national, and international level. Students have the opportunity to study diverse cultures and engage with local communities. Your donation supports the next generation of leading scholars.

Young - Student Support Fund - 336848

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 will support DAAS undergraduate activities and projects.

Our Faculty

Bénédicte Boisseron, Chair of DAAS and Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies, speaks on the legacy of the Department of Afroamerican Studies, first as a center and now as a department. DAAS was fortunate to celebrate 50 years in 2019! We hope that you will continue to support the next 50 years of DAAS on this #GivingBlueday!

Omolade Adunbi, Associate Director and Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies; Associate Professor of the Honors Program

Justine Davis, LSA Collegiate Postdoctoral Fellow

Jessica Kenyatta Walker, Assistant Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies & Assistant Professor of American Culture

Our Alumni, Staff, and Students

Ozi Uduma, DAAS Alumna

Je'Nai Talley, DAAS Alumna


Andre Brown, DAAS Alum, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

The Department of Afroamerican and African Studies is where my professional career began. As a student, I worked with Professor Nesha Haniff as her assistant for the Gender Consciousness Project and Pedagogy of Action. This gave me opportunities to meet faculty and staff in the department and begin networking across campus. After graduating, I worked for DAAS as a temporary staff member for half a year until I moved into my first professional role across campus. However, it was not long until DAAS welcomed me back to take on the Administrative Coordinator/Project Coordinator role. In this role, I have continued to learn and grow as a professional staff member, met scholars from across the world, and worked with incredible artists from across the African Diaspora. DAAS instilled a passion for working with and centering the community, and it is that community-centered mindset that makes DAAS what it is. Everything that DAAS does is for the community and to further the field of Afroamerican and African Studies. DAAS is one of the places on campus that makes you feel like you belong. It has been a pleasure working at DAAS, and I am so grateful for all that I have learned during my time in the department.

- Arielle Chen, DAAS Staff (former DAAS student assistant)

As a former DAAS student, I got a lot of guidance from faculty turned mentors and advisors who inspired me to want to work in education and directly with students in one way or another. I transitioned from a youth development role into this student services role, but my goals in each have been similar: build meaningful connections with students and provide guidance in whichever area of personal development they are in. DAAS allowed me to grow and evolve as a student. I'm still learning, growing, and exploring as a young adult, but now I'm able to share my experiences and skills with students on their own journeys. - Chanelle Davis, DAAS Student Services Coordinator and DAAS Alumna

"Since starting my job as office assistant then editorial assistant here at DAAS, I have always felt welcomed by the community. All of the work that I've done has been treated with respect and compassion, and I have always felt like an integral part of their operation. DAAS is a special department unlike any other where students, staff, and faculty members alike are seen as equals, and it is a space where anyone can feel at home." - Sophia Yoon, DAAS Student Editorial/Web Assistant