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What We Do

ARC Mission Statement

The mission of the ARC is to encourage and support research and scholarship on Africa and its Diaspora that will (a) enhance the lives of persons of African descent in the United States and throughout the Diaspora, and (b) serve as a catalyst for promoting an enabling environment where cultural production and discourse on diversity can be nurtured to advance the research, teaching, and outreach missions of Penn State.

Fund Research For Faculty And Students

Calls for research proposals go out in early fall semester. Applications are submitted online. Information about research funding and the application process (including deadlines) is available here.

Provide Co-Sponsorship For Cultural Or Scholarly Programming

Programming must advance the ARC mission. Official student organizations and faculty may apply for up to $500 in support. The application form for co-sponsorship is available here. An organization may receive only one co-sponsorship award per year.

Sponsor The Nelson Mandela Lecture

In 2005, the Africana Research Center and the Department of African and American Studies initiated the Nelson Mandela Lecture Series to recognize and introduce the Penn State community to the scholarship of an African human rights activist. The annual lecture is usually scheduled during fall semester. The lecture is named for Nelson Mandela who not only changed the sociopolitical structure of South Africa but also challenged the world to have a conscience in addressing human rights.

Sponsor The Barbara Jordan Lecture

In 2004, the Africana Research Center and the Department of African and African American Studies initiated the Barbara Jordan Lecture Series to recognize and introduce the Penn State community to the scholarship of an African American civil rights activist. The annual lecture is usually during spring semester. The lecture is named for Barbara Jordan because she was a modern day "giant" in activist scholarship and action before her untimely death in 1996.

Support College Of The Liberal Arts Postdoctoral Fellows

In its effort to increase the presence of faculty from underrepresented groups on campus, each year the ARC provides professional development and research support for three junior scholars from universities other than Penn State. Candidates are selected from a pool of applicants and must participate in the spring Emerging Scholars Speaker Series. Information on the Post-Doctoral Fellow program can be found here.

Host Undergraduate Interns

Undergraduate students may earn course credit for conducting supervised research or performing other supervised work at the ARC.