Programs

Peer Mentor Program

The PA2SS (Peer African Americans Sustaining Success) Peer Mentor Program was established for African American freshman and transfer students and upper class mentors. The program will seek to improve academic performance, retention and graduation rates of African American students. The PA2SS program is a 1 credit course that is offered during the spring and fall semester of the academic year. Faculty/staff mentoring and grade monitoring will be a feature of the program. Peer educators participate in a 2 day peer education training session and are enrolled in the mentor section of the 1 credit class.

The peer mentor program served 180 students during the 2007-8 academic year. Students learned to develop good study habits, time management skills, and opportunities to maximize interactions with teaching faculty. See our brochure here.

Homecoming

During Homecoming, students gather at the African American Cultural Center to participate in “Spirit Week” here at UCONN. Homecoming events include banner and float competitions, alma mater arrangement competition, lip sync competition, football game, parade and, of course, the Homecoming King and Queen Pageant.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. University-Wide Observance

The UCONN community celebrates and reflects on the works and teachings of Dr. King, and the efforts that continue in his name today.

Kwanzaa Celebration

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan African holiday which celebrates family, community and culture. At the close of each semester the Center sponsors the traditional feast and lighting of the Kinara as a part of a Kwanzaa celebration for the entire campus to enjoy.

Guest Lecturers

Throughout the year, students are afforded the opportunity to hear and speak with a variety of prestigious and respected community members. The list of past lecturers include Tavis Smiley, Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Al Sharpton, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Dick Gregory, Maulana Karenga, Sir Quett Ketumile Joni Masire, Ambassador Mamadou Mansour Seck, Jawanza Kunjufu, Danny Glover, Iyanla Van Zant, Tommy Ford, Jackie Joyner Kersee, Jeffrey “Cousin Jeff” Johnson, Madame Nana Rawlings, and WolĂ© Soyinka.

Black History Month Opening Ceremonies/Gospel Cabaret

Throughout the year the Center prides itself on sponsoring programming that celebrates African American heritage and history. For the entire month of February, which has been nationally designated Black History Month, the Center works especially hard to celebrate African American legacy and culture through various lectures, workshops, exhibits, symposiums, and artistic symposium. The Black History Month Opening Ceremonies/Gospel Cabaret is one the Center’s signature programs and, as a result, is well attended. On this day, members of our campus community are invited to Jorgenson Theatre for a spirit-filled evening of gospel music, featuring UCONN’s Voices of Freedom Gospel Choir and other special guests. Past guests have included, Mary Mary, Kurt Carr & the Kurt Carr Singers, Youthful Praise, and many more.

Mr. And Miss AACC UCONN Pageant

A fun-filled competition for the African American men and women of UCONN. Contestants not only compete for a host of gifts and the crown, but also to represent the AACC in the Homecoming King and Queen Pageant. Contestants are judged on their talents, casual and formal wear, and their response to a question concerning issues surrounding African American identity and culture.

Annual Scholarship Awards Day & Senior Banquet

The purpose of the Senior Banquet is to honor graduating seniors and their families. Undergraduates are invited to attend the lavish banquet and gifts are presented to awardees and seniors. The student orchestra of the Amistad Middle School Academy presented a program of jazz, pop, and classical music. All African American and other students who affiliate with Cultural Center will receive an authentic Kente Cloth Shawl that was hand woven and personalized by crafts people in Ghana, West Africa. Students are encouraged to wear the Kente Shawls at Commencement Ceremonies.

AACC Outreach

This program is designed to bring middle school and high school students from New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford and East Hartford public schools to campus during each semester. Students will participate in motivational, educational, cultural, and recreational experiences. Due to scheduling issues with the area schools, this program continues as a weekday program.

Connecticut Juvenile Training School Journey to Journey House

UConn and the CT Training School are participating in a mentor/mentee partnership for the support of youthful offenders who are incarcerated in two residential facilities. The training school is located in Middletown, CT and Journey House is located on the grounds of Nachaug Hospital in Willimantic, CT. Students from Journey House visit the AACC for a tour and to meet students.

The Vision

The Vision is a monthly newsletter designed and produced by the African American Cultural Center. The newsletter includes articles, announcements, commentaries, editorials and advertisements, which keep the campus community aware of events, opinions and concerns of its African American members. View The Vision here.