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.
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, Rosalynn.Feagins@du.edu, 303.871.2793
- Co-Chair: Katia Miller, Katia.Miller@du.edu, 303.871.3474
- Secretary: Fatima Rezaie, Fatima Rezaie@du.edu, 303.871.7540
- Treasurer: Josiah Dunn, Josiah.Dunn@du.edu, 303.871.4721
- Webmaster: Tremayne Fisher, Tremayne.Fisher@du.edu, 303.871.2446
- Membership & Recruitment: Rufina Hernandez, Rufina.Hernandez@du.edu, 303.871.7726
- Social Chair: Celinda Miranda-LaBella, Celinda.Miranda-LaBella@du.edu, 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 DU-FOCAfirstname.lastname@example.org to join the listserv and receive notifications.
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.
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.
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, Anthea.Johnson@du.edu
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
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.
Past and Upcoming EventsVisit the BCI YouTube page to watch all past, recorded events!
June 19th, 2022, 4:00pm - 6:00pm: Juneteenth Celebration - Honoring Black Fatherhood
Please join us as we celebrate on June 19th a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
4:00pm - 6:00pm
The Community Commons,
May 17th, 2022, 5:30pm - 8:30pm: Black Community Initiatives Gala
As promised below please find the information for the two final events for the academic year. Please feel free to invite colleagues and staff to the event. We are asking that everyone register so that we can have a count for our guest. This is an opportunity for everyone to dress up and have fun. We hope to see you all on the 17th.
This event will serve as an opportunity for mentees and mentors to connect in person along with other BCI community members.
5:30pm - 8:30pm
Sturm Pavilion, 100 W 14th Ave. Denver, CO
March 29th - 30th, 2022, 7:30pm: Nashville Ballet’s Production of Lucy Negro Redux, featuring Caroline Randall Williams, Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi
Nashville Ballet presents its original production of Lucy Negro Redux, based on the book of poetry of the same name by NAACP award-winning author Caroline Randall Williams.
The exploration of the "Dark Lady" and the "Fair Youth" - the subjects and inspiration of hundreds of William Shakespeare's love sonnets - is strung together by a score featuring original compositions created and performed live by Grammy award-winning artist Rhiannon Giddens and spoken word by Williams. Created by black females featuring a black ballerina, Lucy Negro Redux is a forceful claiming of female desire and self-determination.
Nashville Ballet featuring Rhiannon Giddens and Caroline Randall Williams
Newman Center for the Performing Arts
Students, use promo code DUST for $15 tickets.
Faculty/staff, use promo code DUFS for $15 tickets.
February 24th, 2022, 7:30pm: The Spirituals Project Choir
Date: Thursday, February 24th
Location: Gates Concert Hall
February 24th, 2022, 3:00 - 5:00pm: Black History Tomorrow: Poetry Jam
Featuring J.C. Futrell
Location: Sharp Auditorium, Denver Art Museum
February 22nd, 2022: 11:30am - 12:30pm: Heritage Month Event
For more information on this event, please visit the C+V Heritage Month website!
- Moderator: Dr. Christopher Whitt, Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Panelist: Nancy Jones, Executive Assistant to the Dean, Graduate School of Social Work
- Panelist: Dr. Travis Heath, Associate Professor of the Graduate School of Professional Psychology
In-Person Location: Community Commons - Room 3701 (North)
February 19th-20th, 2022: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Featuring Wynton Marsalis
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Featuring 15 of the finest jazz soloist and ensemble players existing today, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra performs a vast repertoire, from rare historic compositions to commissioned works and arrangements. Expect a taste of Ellington, Basie, Monk and more!
February 19th - 7:30pm showing
February 20th - 2:00pm showing
Location: June Swaner Gates Concert Hall
* Students, use password DUST for $15 tickets while they last!
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.