AACC 50th Logo

Welcome to the AACC!


The H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center (AACC) of the University of Connecticut was established in 1968 to support African American students in the pursuit of the coveted higher education academic experience. It is recognized that many African American students face unique societal and institutional challenges in developing to the fullest extent of their potential. The Center strives to assist students in overcoming these challenges and supports them in their adjustments to college life through the development of cultural awareness, academic excellence, leadership skills, social consciousness and personal success. The AACC is a warm, welcoming and intellectually challenging environment that contributes to the vitality of campus life for all students, their parents, faculty and staff.

Center Hours

Regular Semester

Monday - Thursday:
9:00 am - 9:00 pm

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

By Appointment

Summer & Breaks

Monday - Friday:
9:00 am - 4:00 pm


Upcoming Events

  1. Nov 28 Becoming Career Ready/Career Competencies4:00pm

Program Spotlight

Check out the PNB Undergraduate Mentoring Program (PUMP).

"PUMP's goal is to provide a more supportive and inclusive learning environment within PNB by increasing access to peer-mentors and reducing language barriers to learning." PUMP

Thank You Dr. Willena Kimpson Price

Please join the Office for Diversity and Inclusion in extending best wishes to Dr. Willena Kimpson Price, who retired from the University on June 30, 2022. As the Director of the H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center (AACC) since 1993, Dr. Price has been a tireless advocate for the African American community at UConn. She has guided the AACC over the years as it has created cutting-edge programming and services in response to the changing needs of new generations of African American students who matriculate to UConn and has guided expanded efforts to serve the local communities UConn serves. Her work has been recognized by the NAACP, Hartford and Springfield, former Governor Dannel P. Malloy, and the University.

Dr. Price will be greatly missed by students and colleagues alike; we have all benefited from the important work she has done to improve UConn’s campus climate. ODI will hold an event this fall to celebrate her 29-year career at UConn. We invite the entire UConn community to come express their appreciation for her and the important work she has done with and for the AACC. Thank you, Dr. Price! ODI wishes you all the best in your retirement.

ODI will begin the process of finding a successor to Dr. Price during the 2022-2023 academic year. During the Fall 2022 semester, the AACC’s will undergo a routine external review to assess its current programming and initiatives and to help guide future efforts to effectively meet the ongoing needs of the Black and African American communities at UConn. In January 2023, ODI will conduct a nationwide search for Dr. Price’s successor; ODI aims to install the new director by the end of spring of 2023. ODI and the AACC are excited to find new opportunities to serve the UConn community. We are also excited about the team who is stepping in during this transition period to guide the AACC’s efforts for the 2022-2023 academic year. This team will report to Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer Frank Tuitt:

• Dr. Evelyn Simien will serve as the ODI Faculty Fellow assigned to the AACC. Dr. Simien is a Professor of Political Science and is also affiliated with the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and American Studies programs.

• Carl Dean, Jr., will serve as the AACC’s Interim Associate Director for Student Programs. Carl brings eighteen years of experience in student development in academics, leadership, and personal and professional growth, including as the Assistant Director and Counselor for Student Support Services in Storrs.

• Velda Alfred-Abney will serve as the AACC’s Interim Assistant Director for Operations. Velda brings twenty-three years of experience to the role after having worked as a Program Coordinator for the Engineering Diversity and Outreach Center and as the Executive Assistant for Vice President / Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Frank Tuitt.

Welcome, Dr. Simien, Carl, and Velda! We’re excited to work alongside you! Please direct any questions about the AACC Director search to VP/CDO Dr. Frank Tuitt at franklin.tuitt@uconn.edu. For any questions concerning the AACC’s operations, please contact Velda Alfred-Abney at velda.alfred@uconn.edu. Any questions about student programs, support, and development can be directed to Carl Dean at carl.dean_jr@uconn.edu. Finally, all questions about AACC-related trainings and presentations should be directed to Dr. Simien evelyn.simien@uconn.edu.