African American Studies Activities and Events

You can also view our calendar.

See below for information about upcoming events sponored by our department, as well as information about organizations, clubs, and networking opportunities throughout VCU that are relevant to our department's mission.


February 7 VCU’s Department of African American Studies and the National Jericho Movement Present: The Community Forum on Critical Issues in Black Richmond. 

Please join us for the next meeting of The Community Forum, a seminar series devoted to critical discussions about Black life in Richmond and beyond. Each meeting will focus on a different issue, and will be led by a different facilitator. 

This month’s issue: Black Boys in Public Education

This month’s facilitator: Evandra Catherine 

About the facilitator: Evandra Catherine is a full time Ph.D student in the Special Education and Disability Program at VCU. Her research focuses on teacher responsiveness to Black boy behavior in grades K-2, the identification of Black boys in special education, and the shortage of Black male educators in the teacher workforce. She considers herself a scholar activist and public intellectual. She received her Bachelors in African American Studies from VCU and a Masters of Public Administration from Strayer University. Evandra also has a 2nd grader (boy) currently attending Richmond Public Schools who is on an individualized education plan (IEP). 

Questions? Contact Adam Ewing at

 7:30 PM

Academic Learning Commons

1000 Floyd Avenue

Room 1105


Feb 16 Chioke I'Anson at Creative Mornings.

8:30-10:00 AM


Feb 21 ​"​Why ​P​odcasting​?"​ with​ Chioke I'Anson and​ ​L​iz ​C​overt​ of Ben Franklin's World. 

The Humanities Research Center presents a workshop, “Why Podcasting? Podcasts and the Future of Storytelling” on February 21 from 12:30 to 2pm, led by Liz Covart (Digital Projects Editor at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, creator and host of the hugely popular history podcast “Ben Franklin's World”) and Chioke I'Anson (underwriting voice of NPR, co-creator and host of the new NPR Story Lab podcast, “Do Over,” and Instructor in the Department of African American Studies at VCU). This workshop will explore the current boom of podcasting and how podcasts are revolutionizing the way that academics tell stories, disseminate their work to a wider audience, and develop connections with other academics and professionals across a range of industries. It will take place in the Humanities Research Center Seminar Room (Second Floor). 

12-2 PM

Valentine House

920 W. Franklin Street

Second-floor seminar room


February 22 African American Read-In (A Virginia Museum of Fine Art event featuring Dr. Brandi Summers)

As a part of the 28th Annual African American Read-In, VMFA staff and community leaders share African and African American literature through readings, poetry, and speeches related to works in the permanent collection. Also, new this year, children and their families are invited to join us from 4-5pm to explore artwork and stories by African and African American artists lead by VMFA Early Childhood Education Staff. For ages 2 1/2-8 (accompanied by an adult).  

4-5 PM: Family Hour

5-7 PM: African American Read-In

Virginia Museum of Fine Art


Feb 24 Let's Explore Africa Quiz: VA Championship 

Students in grades 4-12 will compete to demonstrate their knowledge of African geography, culture, history, and more. The event is free to attend, but registration is required and can be done here: 

11 AM – 2 PM

University Student Commons

907 Floyd Avenue

Commons Theater


Feb 28 Black History in the Making.

The 2018 recipients of the Black History in the Making award will be honored. The award recognizes the achievements of exceptional African American students who have been selected by their departments. 

6 PM

The Depot

814 W. Broad Street 


Feb 28 Once upon a shrine: Stories from an Unusual Field Site (a Humanities Research Center talk by AFAM professor Dr. Vivian Dzokoto)

 Researchers collect data in many different places. Laboratories, online, archives, homes, organizations (such as schools and churches), and neighborhoods are the usual suspects. Yet some researchers gather information at more unusual research sites.  As part of a multi-country project exploring spiritual experiences in different religions and cultures, Dr. Vivian Dzokoto interviewed traditional priests at the shrines of African deities in rural Ghana during the summer of 2017. This talk is a reflection on what she observed there. It explores the roles of traditional priests in West Africa (including as health and mental health care providers, problem-solvers, and diviners); how Dr. Dzokoto gained access to the target population; and the trouble shooting required to make the data collection process a success. 

7 PM

Cabell Library

Multipurpose Room, Second Floor (room 250)

Black Art Student Empowerment (BASE)


Instagram: @baseatvcu


Black Education Association: An organization devoted to advocacy, community engagement, and professional development for black educators and administrators.