Black Community Initiatives

The University of Denver tremendously values its Black community. As the higher education sector grappled with the ongoing pandemic of racial violence across the United States brought into national spotlight in 2020 with the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and numerous others in 2020, the University continued to forge forward in refining and developing ways to best recognize, care for, and support Black students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community partners. As part of its DEI action plan, DU is committing resources to address its inconsistent history and uneven, ongoing support of our Black community members. The goal through these efforts is to continue weaving an appreciation of Black people and all they bring throughout the University’s culture, with the hope that members of our Black community can unapologetically bring their full and authentic selves to the institution and thrive while being vital parts of the growth and excellence of the University of Denver both individually and collectively, now and into the future.


DEI Action Plan

Building support specifically for our Black community is IMPACT AREA 4 for the DEI Action Plan

View the DEI Action Plan Here

DU's Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Affinity Groups & Organizations

  • Staff of Color Association (SOCA)

    Staff of Color Association Officers

    • Co-Chair: Rosalynn.Feagins,, 303.871.2793
    • Co-Chair: Katia Miller,, 303.871.3474
    • Secretary: Fatima Rezaie, Fatima, 303.871.7540
    • Treasurer: Josiah Dunn,, 303.871.4721
    • Webmaster: Tremayne Fisher,, 303.871.2446
    • Membership & Recruitment: Rufina Hernandez,, 303.871.7726
    • Social Chair: Celinda Miranda-LaBella,, 303.871.3945
    • Staff Advisory Council Liaison: Vacant
    • Office of Diversity and Inclusion Liaison: Vacant

    Please visit the SOCA webpage for more details 

  • Faculty of Color Association (FOCA)

    The DU Faculty of Color Association (FOCA) is a voluntary empowerment and advocacy group composed of faculty members from under-represented racial and ethnic groups within the University community. Meetings are held monthly on alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays - send an email to to join the listserv and receive notifications.

    Co-Chairs: Apryl Alexander and Brain Gonzales

  • Association of Sisters in Higher Education (ASHE)

    Association of Sisters in Higher Education (ASHE) supports, empowers, and mentors Black women at the University of Denver through cultural fellowship, enrichment, and an exchange of ideas. The group is not exclusive to black women; therefore we value and welcome all women faculty and staff at the University of Denver. However, the core focus of group discussions, activities, and initiatives will be issues that are germane to black women.

    Co-Chairs: Yasmaine Ford, and Natley Farris,

  • Black@DU

    The mission of Black@DU is to provide an atmosphere of cultural and social networking among Black staff and faculty at the University of Denver. This organization is dedicated to improving the quality of the Black experience at DU by fostering a campus climate that is inviting, unified, encouraging, and promotes upward mobility. Black@DU exists to enhance communication and champion diversity, inclusion, opportunity and social justice—while challenging racism within the University.

    Co-Chair: Nashwa Bolling ( & Effley Brooks (

  • Sistah Network

    Sistah Network

    Sistah Network is committed to helping Black women who are graduate students at the University of Denver contend with the pervasive challenges they face related to graduate student socialization and academic persistence. Examples of community development include two meetings per quarter, quarterly writing workshops, faculty and resource connections, and defense practices.

    Liaison: Anthea Johnson Rooen,

  • Black Student Alliance (BSA)

    The University of Denver's Black Student Alliance is an organization dedicated to promoting cultural awareness and solidarity on campus. One of our organization's main focuses is to foster the personal development of our membership, and to encourage them to become active community contributors.

    President: Mathew Solomon

  • Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA)

    The Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) at the University of Denver (DU) was founded on 18 February 2011. It is a student organization by, for, and about graduate and professional students at DU who identify as Black and/or African American. 

    President: Cory Jackson

  • African Students United (ASU)

    The mission of ASU-African Students United is to create a space to celebrate educate, and participate in the understanding of the many rich, diverse cultures of Africa. Through African cultural events, we will introduce multiple features of African food, dance, music, etc. The organization's purpose is to serve African students and allies at the University of Denver to create an inclusive institution. We plan to make an impact on the outside African community through service projects, community outreach, etc. We also encourage college seeking African students to seriously consider making DU their new home. This would help Du create a space where cultural diversity is truly present on campus. African Student United (ASU) ultimately aims to make this a celebrated and appreciated identity on campus.

  • Excelling Leaders Institute (ELI)

    The Excelling Leaders Institute (ELI) seeks to create an open and inclusive campus environment for students from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds as they transition to DU. ELI is a four year leadership development and community-building program that focuses upon and accentuates the strengths of all participants.

    Please visit the ELI webpage for more details 


  • Black Alumni Affinity Group (BAA)

    Affinity Groups at DU are a great way to stay connected in an area of personal interest. Groups are organized specifically around a special interest or unifying purpose.

    The African American Alumni Association or "A4" exists for the purpose of recognizing and upholding the value of higher education while honoring the history and legacy of African Americans. Our goal is to promote lasting connections among Black alumni, students, staff and faculty. We value a sense of shared community and giving back to the world by affecting the future.

    Membership in A4 is open to DU alumni, staff, faculty and students (past and present) who identify as African American, Black, or as people of African descent, including, but not limited to, people from North America, South America, the Caribbean and Africa.

    President: Theo Chapman

  • Black Law Students Association (BLSA)

    Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA)
    The goal of the Black Law Students’ Association (BLSA) is to provide assistance for incoming students of color and promote an atmosphere that will facilitate learning by all students. We sponsor and cosponsor numerous events featuring speakers covering a wide range of topics including minority participation in law firms, public interest concerns and other relevant legal issues. We also participate in mentoring programs and support various community activities. BLSA provides academic, social and emotional support.

    President: Aron Assefa

    Please visit the BLSA webpage for more details

Governor Jared Polis

Letter to DU BCI from Colorado Governor Jared Polis

January 17th, 2022

Colorado Governor, Jared Polis is an entrepreneur, education leader, and public servant. After launching several successful companies, Governor Polis committed himself to making sure other Coloradans had the opportunity to pursue their dreams through founding schools for at-risk students and new immigrants and started nonprofits to help veterans. Prior to serving as Governor, Polis served on the State Board of Education and represented Colorado's 2nd Congressional district.

He has kindly written to the University of Denver's Black Community Initiatives to congratulate the department and university on the 2022 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. 

Click here to read Governor Jared Polis' full message


Past and Upcoming Events

Visit the BCI YouTube page to watch all past, recorded events!

Student Spotlights

Nathalie Dieujuste, a PhD student in the Psychology Program at DU, is being featured in the American Psychological Association's Monitor monthly Magazine! 

Please view the APA article for additional information.