The H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center celebrated our 50th anniversary in 2018!
The African American Cultural Center (AACC) was established in 1968 to support African Americans in all aspects of campus life. The AACC serves as a liaison to academic support departments and assists students in navigating the many resources of the University community such as residential life, the dean of student’s office, financial aid, and other student affairs departments.
The AACC is committed to promoting cultural preservation, leadership development, academic excellence, and intercultural communication through programs and activities that are designed to give students an appreciation and an understanding of the heritage and cultural experiences of African Americans and people of African descent in the United States and throughout the world. In the early years of the development of the AACC, the goal of the Center was to support African American students in their efforts to have a rewarding and relevant University experience. The Center was a welcoming environment for the small number of African Americans on the Storrs campus. The AACC became a gathering place for African American students, faculty, and staff to socialize, study, and network with other University students.
The AACC is recognized campus wide and throughout the United States as a University center that promotes an understanding and appreciation of the culture, history, and traditions of people of African descent.
The AACC is a member of the Association of Black Culture Centers. The ABCC office is located on the campus of North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina. The Association represents 174 African American and Multicultural Centers across United States.
The mission of the AACC is to promote cultural preservation, quality leadership, and academic excellence through a unique approach to cultural advocacy, academic support, and community outreach. The mission was developed upon the founding of the AACC and has not officially changed during the years.
The mission statement is an affirmation of the long term commitment to the academic and cultural development of African American students and as well the university community. The African American Cultural Center and the University of Connecticut mutually express a long term commitment to providing an academic environment in which the fullest personal growth and development of students may be accomplished. Support of diversity is an institutional value of the University of Connecticut. As the needs of our students change, our goals for providing the highest quality of services and resources are adjusted to meet their needs.
The goals of the AACC have been modified over the years to reflect the changing needs of generations of African American students who have matriculated here. The current goals are directly linked to the academic mission of the University of Connecticut as outlined in the University Strategic Plan and are achieved through programs and services that are dedicated to the development of an effective skill set for succeeding in a global society.
- To promote cultural preservation through the promotion of cultural awareness and an understanding of the traditions and history of African Americans in the United States and people of African descent.
- To provide a supportive and welcoming environment through the promotion of the traditions and history of African Americans in the United States and people of African descent.
- To provide a supportive and welcoming environment for all University students, faculty, and staff and the broader community.
- To promote an understanding of and respect for diversity, multiculturalism and equity issues.
- To promote programming events and activities which provide opportunities for cultural enrichment of all students, faculty, and staff
- To assist students in navigating the many resources of the University by serving as a liaison to academic support services and opportunities
- To enhance and support the efforts of the University of Connecticut Office of Admissions and other departments in the recruitment and retention of African American Students.