Berkeley, University of California

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Programs & Events

Black Welcome Month

Black Welcome Month, hosted by campus departments and student groups, is a series of programs and activities designed to help orient new African American students to campus by introducing them to a diversity of resources offered at Berkeley. BWM includes faculty-staff receptions, alumni talks, a student group fair, social events and other activities hosted by student and campus units.

Exchange Programs

Howard University is one of the oldest historically black universities. The African American Student Development office offers students the opportunity to attend a one-semester undergraduate exchange program with Howard University in Washington, DC. To be eligible, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Freshman Mentor Program

African American Student Development (AASD) hosts a staff-alum-faculty mentor program for freshmen. Freshmen are matched in mentoring teams and supported in their first two semesters. The mentoring teams host networking, information sessions and special workshops designed to support student success in their first year.

AASD Leadership and Intern Program

The AASD Leadership and Intern Program gives students the opportunity to participate in developing and implementing academic and social retention activities they are interested in, and in doing so, encourage retention of the African American student community. Positions allow students to become involved in the campus community, practice leadership development, and learn program management and team building skills that are applicable in the professional world. Students selected to be a part of the leadership and intern team receive class credit, a letter of recommendation for a successful year, and get the opportunity to direct and manage programs. Email us to request an application.

African American Studies 98/198: “Introduction to the University: Navigating the University through a Multi-Cultural Lens.”

AAS 98/198 — Navigating the University is designed to acquaint new students, specifically freshman and transfer students, with an understanding of the intellectual and academic University experience. Lectures, films, exercises, activities, writing assignments, and the development of campus and community projects will be used to examine the university, multicultural experiences and encourage critical thought. AAS 98/198 is offered for 2–3 units.

Student Group Day/Yard Show

The annual Student Group Day/Yard Show is an opportunity for the campus community to come together and see the many active student groups on campus. Each student who comes to Cal bears the potential of doing exceptional work for their communities and perhaps even the world. One of the most important things all students should do upon coming to Cal is finding their niche — not only where they belong, but where they thrive! There are many student organizations on campus that comprise students like you who share your interests. Of course, you are a student first, but what legacy will you leave at the #1 public university in the world? Get involved and leave your mark!

Soul Food Chat

Free food and open floor for dialogue about current issues with rest of the community; what could be better? At these dinners/discussions throughout the year, we will facilitate the Chat on various topics that affect the Black community and Cal community. Share your opinion, let your voice be heard, and learn something new from your peers!

Kwanzaa Celebration

Come and celebrate the holiday tradition and learn more about the history behind Kwanzaa. Witness the talented members of the UC Berkeley African American Theme Program and Cal community as they perform various forms artistic and cultural expression. Last year, we aimed to support Black-own businesses. We invited vendors from all over the Bay Area to come to the Kwanzaa Celebration to sell their products and even offer special promotion to those in attendance.

Kwanzaa is a weeklong celebration observed from December 26 to January 1 each year that honors universal African American heritage and culture. It features activities such as lighting a candle holder with seven candles and culminates in a feast and gift giving. It was created by Maulana Karenga and was first celebrated in 1966–1967.

The seven principles of Kwanzaa are:

  1. Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race.
  2. Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
  3. Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our problems, and to solve them together.
  4. Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
  5. Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  6. Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
  7. Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
  8. Black History Month Showcase

    The Black History Month Showcase hosts an educational and entertaining production contributed to by the black community. Last year’s theme, “Black Experience through Expression,” illuminated the impact made by Black activists and artists throughout history. The showcase exhibits performances from our own community members, and will include drama, dance, song, spoken word, as well as a fashion show that highlights African American culture. The performances highlight many facets of black experience through these different forms of expression. Come out and support your fellow friends in honor of Black History Month and the struggles and triumphs of those before us and among us.