Watch the Student Welcome Home Video!

Video produced by 45th Anniversary Student Coordinator Yonas Takele '17

Dear Alumni

Over the last 45 years, the house has served as a safe space for Yalies of the African Diaspora to come together and support, love, and encourage each other. This year marks the 45th Anniversary of Yale’s Afro-American Cultural Center, and we are very excited to bring the family back together once again and celebrate the amazing impact this house has had on multiple generations.

The Afro-American Cultural Center, or “The House,” currently has almost 40 resident groups, ranging from music groups, like Shades of Yale and Yale Gospel Choir, to cultural groups like the Black Student Alliance at Yale and the Yale African Students Association. The wide variety of groups within the house means that most people can find something they are extremely interested in, as well as a community that they feel that they belong to.

The House also serves as a space to spark important conversations surrounding the black community, both within Yale and in the world at large.  Dean’s Teas have brought several prominent figures from around the world, ranging from Lola Ogunnaike, former CNN Correspondent and writer for the New York Times, to Tarell Alvin McCraney, an African American playwright and actor, to discuss everything from discrimination in the work place to what to expect from life after Yale. Student groups also use the space to hold important conversations about race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and the sexual environment on campus and in the world beyond.

Attached in this newsletter is a calendar of major events The House has hosted this year to give you sense of how vibrant and active The House culture is today. We hope that, in reading it, you will be reminded of your experiences here at Yale and how they have impacted you going forward.

The Afro-American Cultural Center is more than just a house—it’s a safe space for the difficult conversations, it’s the campfire you sit around with your friends singing songs and sharing stories, it’s the study room you toil in all night to study for finals - it’s your home away from home. As we celebrate the Afro-American Cultural Center’s 45th Anniversary, we hope you are reminded of all that the house has stood for, past, present, and future. We hope that you are taken back to your time at Yale, and the wonderful memories that you made here.

Click here to download Alumni Newsletter prepared by 45th Anniversary Student Coordinator Ewurama Okai '17.

A Message from the Dean

As one of the first black cultural centers on a predominately white campus, the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale or the “House” as it is called, has been a home for countless numbers of African American, Caribbean, and African Yale College, Graduate and Professional school students. The House was also the impetus and catalyst for the start of the Afro-American Studies courses which led to the formation of the African American Studies department.

Today, institutions such as the House must be proactive in defining and crafting a vision, mission and objectives for the next 25 plus years. As race becomes de-emphasized as an American construct, culture must evolve as a point of conversation. The House, with its vision to investigate, explore and promote the intellectual, cultural and social movement traditions of the Black/African diaspora, serves as a leadership incubator with intentional programming, education and student development curriculum aimed at producing Yale leaders for the world. It is our hope that the House, in the spirit of W.E.B. DuBois, not only teaches our students to seek an education to make a living but to seek an education in order to make a life that impacts others.

This 45th Anniversary weekend promises to be an exciting time in which Yale alumni and friends can gather to celebrate our accomplishments and looks towards our future.

Rodney T. Cohen
Assistant Dean Yale College &
Director, Afro-American Cultural Center