Dear members of the CAS community,
This is the first issue of Habari for which I have the pleasure of being the Director of the Center. I know many of you through my tenure in the U of I Departments of History, and Gender & Women’s Studies, and others I have met since taking on the CAS directorship last August. Thank you all for your good wishes and for being a member of our African Studies community.
As you will see in this issue, we have had a very busy year at CAS. We bid farewell to our Program Manager Dr. Jeff Friedman as he moved on to graduate school in the College of Law. We have also welcomed a new Outreach Coordinator, Ms. Inka Alesade, as of this semester. Our two graduate assistants, Sarah Richter and Neeti Menon, are doing stellar work.
Our Brown Bag series has been very popular and in fact over-subscribed with speaker offers. This bodes very well for the health of African Studies on our campus! Habari highlights these and many other programs we have held so far this academic year.
Like all the other area studies centers and National Resource Centers in the country, as of this writing we are still awaiting the request for proposals from the Title VI Program of the US Department of Education. Title VI has been our major programmatic funder for many years. We have been funded, along with our consortium partner, the Program in African Studies at Northwestern University, in the current four-year Title VI cycle which ends in August 2018. So far the next RFP has not been issued from Washington DC, which is giving rise to some anxiety among our ranks. Nonetheless, we continue to prepare for the issuing of the RFP, working with our campus, consortium, and national partners.
Our priorities for 2018-19 will be the next Title VI competition, broadening our funding base, as well as reaching out to our local and regional communities. We hope to convene a meeting of people in central Illinois higher education institutions who are associated with Africana/African Studies teaching, research, and programming in the fall 2018 semester. We are also planning an “All Africa Soccer/Football Picnic” for all ages in October. So dust off those boots!
Please do not hesitate to send me an email (email@example.com) with any ideas or suggestions you might have to continue to support African Studies at Illinois. Maimouna, Inka, Terri, and I look forward to welcoming you to our upcoming programs.
With best wishes,