Who We Are
Born from the historic struggles against oppression in all forms, African Student Programs was created in 1972 to sustain a socially just and inclusive campus community. At a time when students of African descent experienced a lack of support due to low numbers in the population, African Student Programs served as a safe haven for students to congregate, discuss, plan and share as a community. As people of the African Diaspora, we honor our multiple identities and cultures and advocate for their inclusion in defining the values of the university.
Recognizing the connection between individual academic success, social responsibility, and community success, we promote multiple opportunities for students and the University of California, Riverside to engage in continuing growth as a learning community.
Our purpose is to promote academic excellence by providing opportunities for students in their development as role models, leaders, scholars, and professionals.
- Encourage students to assist faculty members in their research, network with other students and alumni, and get involved in campus and community programs.
- Assist students in locating internships, fellowships, and jobs.
- Refer students to critical UCR support services such as the Career Center, the Academic Resource Center, and the Counseling Center.
- Provide students with the history, culture, and traditions unique to the African and African-American experience.
- Offer opportunities for students’ leadership development.
Mission, Vision, & Values
In the context of the campus and student populations we were created to serve, we carry out our mission by providing the following:
- Academic enrichment and development
- Student leadership development
- Non-academic advising, counseling, and crisis intervention
- Educational and cultural programming
- The African Student Programs Mentorship Program
- Assessment and enrichment of campus climate
- Community outreach and involvement
- Collaborative programming with student clubs and organizations, academic departments, faculty, and alumni, UCR ASP Members
The mission of African Student Programs is to transform the lives of undergraduate and graduate Black scholars from the Pan African Diaspora (including Black American, Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, and African continent) and cultivate a safe, inclusive community where their Black identity is affirmed. Our Black scholars will be able to develop academically, culturally, and holistically on their journey at UCR and beyond.
The vision of African Student Programs is to empower EVERY Black scholar to L.E.A.D.:
Live a life on purpose and leave a legacy that impacts their local and global communities
Engage in life-long learning and commitment to continued personal/professional growth
Aspire to advance the issues and causes of their community for a socially just world
Develop the skills and knowledge necessary to accomplish their dreams and goals
We commit to open, transparent communication and assessment of programs/services to hold ourselves true to those we serve. Answerability is key in our work and ensuring that we are doing our part by our stakeholders is important.
We strive to create a scholar-centered community where co-curricular experiences and services complement the learning that occur inside and outside of the academic classroom.
We strive to create physical and virtual environments where everyone feels a sense of trust and security through their interactions with our department. An environment that is psychologically safe invites community members to honestly and boldly engage if/when needed.
We value the academic success of our Black scholars and will strive to ensure that our scholars have the resources needed to meet their academic goals.
Recognize and Celebrate:
Blackness is not a monolith. We commit to celebrating, educating, and empowering all varying forms of Blackness that represent our community. We desire to engage in critical dialogue about intersecting identities and Blackness to affirm Black scholars’ identity development through intentional dialogues, services, and programmatic initiatives.
We strive to be the standard bearers for Black Resource Centers in the field of higher education through innovative, high impact practices and scholarship.
We encourage our scholars to have a healthy, balanced life outside of their academics that honors their emotional, physical, psychological, financial, and spiritual development.
Inclusiveness and Equity minded:
We strive to create and nurture inclusive environments that affirm all scholars of our community, including their various social identities, skills, ideas, and talents. We commit to asking the challenging question, what voices are not being lifted or brought forward? to inform our decision-making, programmatic initiatives, and access to resources.
ASP is here because of the fight that our ancestors took on in the late 60s and early 70s. The spirit of advocacy continues to this day. We strive to create opportunities for our Black scholars to examine systemic and systematic issues and engage in activism that reflects their values and desire for change.
We strive to build positive networks with stakeholders to advocate and support the needs of our Black scholars. We desire to tap into informal and formal knowledges that each other hold in order to effectively collaborate and influence change.