Vision, Mission and Goals
Mission and Goals
The African American Studies Program provides a humanistic lens and course of study for individuals of all backgrounds to examine the African American experience and the attendant complexities of “race” relations in the American southwest, the state of Texas , the nation, and the Diaspora. The program’s curriculum centers on the African American experience as it relates primarily to past, present, and future issues of (1) economic and business development; (2) leadership and service; (3) changing family structures and values; (4) gender politics; (5) the rapidly changing world of science and technology; and the importance of these issues in the local and global consciousness and behavior of African Americans and others of African descent. Students explore these issues using the interdisciplinary approach, comparative methodology, and computer literacy to acquire the critical thinking skills and knowledge for leadership, involvement in community development, preparation for graduate school and to meet the personal and professional challenges of the 21st century.
Individuals minoring in African American Studies and mastering the subject matter acquire, therefore, the empowering knowledge and self-awareness to become better citizens in their towns, cities, nations, and global communities based on their understanding and problem solving abilities when faced with the damaging and debilitating manifestations of bigotry, segregation, and other discordant “isms.” Those seeking employment as teachers, ministers, engineers, scientists, musicians, athletes, aviators, scholars, public servants, social workers, filmmakers, and military personnel will find the African American Studies Program an excellent complement to their major course of study.
The African American Studies Program of the University of Texas at El Paso seeks to become the cynosure of scholarship and discourse on those of African descent, both their ancestors and progeny, in local and global communities, and in relationship to other communities and groups. This is to be achieved by exploration and understanding of old and new scholarship, curriculum transformation, a distinct presence in the community, involvement in public policy debate, critical race and gender theory, and special research attention to questions and issues arising and radiating first and foremost from the southwestern African American experience.