The Department of Africana Studies offers an interdisciplinary field of study, which provide students with opportunities to pursue courses with an African, Caribbean, and African American focus. In fulfilling this objective, the department recognizes the natural connection between Africans, African Americans, and the rest of the African Diaspora. The department strives to remove the distortions about Africa and Black peoples through courses that highlight the rich heritage, histories, achievements as well as cultural contributions of the people of African descent to human civilization. These course offerings enable students to acquire skills, sensitivities, and knowledge that enhance their functioning more intelligently in a diverse society. The department’s aim then is to develop and produce scholars committed to academic excellence and social responsibility in the United States who are prepared to build bridges with other cultural groups in the global space. The department strives through its various programs (i.e., study abroad, domestic field experiences, internships, and annual Black World Conference) to enhance Metropolitan State University of Denver’s mission of fostering diversity and mutual respect inside as well as outside the campus community.
Trained in traditional areas and in Africana Studies, the faculty of the department brings not only a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of African, Caribbean, and African American Studies to the college, but also a demonstrated theoretical and practical awareness of their role in the pursuit of a well-rounded education. Faculty in the department are committed to disseminating accurate information, encouraging creative and critical thinking, and fostering the pursuit of academic rigor. The professional development activities of the faculty are an extension of the department’s instructional program, and reflect not only the faculty’s scholarly and activist interests, but also their commitment to providing information and interpretations significant to African people and the larger society.
In addition to the comprehensiveness of its academic program, the department sponsors a full calendar of events in celebration of African American History Month during February, and sponsors and/or co-sponsors other cultural programs throughout the academic year. Such programming provides another opportunity for the department to enhance its instructional program. Community service is another avenue by which the faculty of the department extend their expertise, and at the same time enhance the lives of the people it serves. The Department offers a high-quality Bachelor’s degree program as well as a minor.