Students at the University of Richmond pushing for ‘Africana Studies’ program at University

Students at the University of Richmond pushing for ‘Africana Studies’ program at University
The University of Richmond states that the university has not yet fulfilled its mission statement. (Source: NBC12)

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The Unversity of Richmond states that “The mission of the University of Richmond is to educate in an academically challenging, intellectually vibrant, and collaborative community dedicated to the holistic development of students and the production of scholarly and creative work. A Richmond education prepares students for lives of purpose, thoughtful inquiry, and responsible leadership in a diverse world.”

The University says they have not yet fulfilled its stated mission. Although it has made progress toward fulfilling its mission through implementing programs such as Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies, Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and also Global Studies.

The programs have created space for underrepresented viewpoints and have cultivated scholars committed to making changes in the world.

The University of Richmond says that it prides itself on fostering diversity and inclusivity, yet tas the fourth most segregated school in the county, the University has not yet reached its goal of creating a campus that promotes the inclusion of marginalized groups.

The Africana Studies Student Committee at the University of Richmond says that in order to combat the normative whiteness of academia, it is essential to created black-led spaces to nurture a new generation of diverse scholars equipped with a rigorous education that recognizes the value of scholarship produced by and about members of marginalized groups.

Therefore, the committee demands the creation and implementation of the Department of Africana Studies at the Unversity of Richmond.

The Africana Studies Student Committee says that they believe that the creation of an Africana studies department must occur in order to truly reflect the current scholarly landscape and promote diversity of thought on campus.

Two professors at the University also wrote an op-ed in support of the committee.

“An Africana Studies department does not necessitate that we focus on one group’s struggles over another. Suggestions have been made for critical race theory, race/ethnicity and other such frameworks to be institutionalized in some capacity. We support all these efforts and do not view them as being in conflict or competition,” the two teachers wrote.

Click here, for a full look at the op-ed.

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