Black History in the Making Awards

About the Awards

The Black History in the Making Awards were founded in 1983 by Dr. Daryl Dance, the distinguished scholar of African American and Caribbean literature, who served as program coordinator during the 1983-84 academic year. Dr. Dance established the Black History in the Making Awards to recognize the achievements of African American students.

In the founding year, Dr. Dance invited academic units and organizations to recognize a student who has made an important contribution. The nominating units established criteria for selecting recipients. Since the inaugural awards, more than 550 students have been recognized by more than 50 departments and organizations.

In 2019, the department introduced a separate award for junior faculty and staff.

2023 Awards

How to Submit a Nomination

The 2023 nomination form and nominating deadline will be posted here in early 2023. Each year, we open up a Google Form for members of the VCU community to nominate students and junior faculty and staff.

About the Selection Process

Departments, units and programs conduct an internal nomination and selection process to select student recipients. Recipients are typically chosen based on criteria such as academic excellence, service to the university or community, and intern, professional or work experiences that place them at the forefront of their careers.

We ask that programs limit their selections to no more than one undergraduate and one graduate/professional student.

  • Departments traditionally provide a gift for their recipient, such as a book or a plaque.
  • Recipients are announced in February in conjunction with Black History Month. A reception may be held at a later date in the semester.
  • We request that departments/units provide a brief statement about the recipient’s accomplishments and why they were chosen that we can feature on our Recipients page.

Celebrating Award Recipients

The Department of African American Studies holds a celebration for the award recipients each year. Details will be posted here and on our Events page.