The Africana Research Center was established in July 2001 as part of a long-term process that would help to institutionalize diversity and make itpart of the University’s intellectual agenda.
The first director, in Fall 2001, Roy Austin, was appointed ambassador to Trinidad-Tobago soon after he began.
Subsequent directors have included Cary Fraser (2002–2003), Beverly Vandiver (2003–2006), Keith Wilson (2006–2008), and Lovalerie King (2008–2016).
Also, William J. Dewey and Cynthia Young, who served as interim co-directors for 2016-17. Crystal Sanders (2018–2020), and Interim Director, Kevin Thomas (January 2020–Present)
List of Past Directors
Roy Austin, Ambassador to Trinindad-Tobago
Dr. Cary Fraser, Former Associate Professor of the Liberal Arts at Penn State
Dr. Keith Wilson, Faculty Member, Southern Illinois University
Dr. Beverly Vandiver, Associate Professor of Education at Penn State
Dr. Lovalerie King, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Women’s Studies at Penn State
Dr. Cynthia Young, Department Head, African American Studies, Associate Professor of African American Studies and English at Penn State
Dr. William H. Dewey, Associate Professor of Art History at Penn State
Dr. Crystal Sanders, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Penn State
Dr. Kevin J.A. Thomas, Professor of Sociology, Demography, and African Studies Director, Undergraduate Program in Sociology