Africana Studies Department

This campaign ended on December 31, 2020, but you can still make a gift to Davidson College by clicking here!
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Julia Relova photoJulia Relova matched $200

An Anonymous DonorSara Maldonado matched $250

An Anonymous DonorElizabeth McClelland matched $1,000

Africana Studies initially grew out of 1960s’ Civil Rights protests where Black students occupied administrative buildings across the country and demanded predominantly white institutions integrate both their curriculum and faculty.  As such, social activism is a core tenant of the field with the ultimate goal of spreading radical and revisionist education to liberate Black people worldwide.

In some ways, institutions like Davidson have succeeded in establishing Africana Studies departments that have hired more Black faculty and offered innovative curriculum that studies Black politics, history, literature, gender & sexuality, religions, social movements, and much more. But, in other ways we still have work to do to provide Africana Studies faculty and students with the same opportunities as other more established majors at the college.

Today as activists chant “Black Lives Matter” and demand radical changes in our society, Africana Studies departments have the opportunity to be a hub for antiracist education. Scholars of Africana Studies learn to answer pressing questions such as:

  • How do we address the legacy of racism and racial violence in our society?
  • How has Covid-19 uncovered health and economic disparities in the United States?
  • How has the tradition of Black protest positively impacted social change?

Gifts to this campaign enhance the budget of the Africana Studies Department at Davidson by providing funding for innovative programming such as a year-long antiracist speaker series (each year will have different topic), student experiences including independent thesis work, travel, and research projects, and faculty development.  

Now is the time to support antiracist education, educators, and scholars-activists in the Africana Studies Department.

Learn more about the Africana Studies Department

2018 and 2019 Africana Sankofa Society Induction of New Majors. 


As of 6/30,  2,500 donors have been matched for a total of $62,500. We met the goal of 2,500 donors and secured the additional $50,000 challenge gift. Huge thank you to all donors and our challengers!

The dollar totals on this campaign include all matching funds and challenge gifts.

788 days ago by Caitlin James

We are pleased to share a challenge issued by President Carol Quillen and Alison Hall Mauzé ’84, Chair of the Board of Trustees, to increase the impact of gifts made to Davidson for the remainder of this month.

The challenge states that: 

  • For every alumni donor who makes a gift—of any size, to any designation on campus—for the first time this year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020), our challengers will give $25 to support The Power of Education: Supporting Students & Antiracism at Davidson campaign.
  • In addition, if 2,500 new alumni donors make a gift to Davidson before the end of June, our challengers will donate an additional $50,000 to the important initiatives outlined in this campaign.

Education is a critical tool during this moment, and the work for and with our students at Davidson must continue. Your support positions our graduates to be leaders in making our world a better place. Please take advantage of this challenge and amplify the impact of your gift before the fiscal year ends on June 30. 

To make a gift to another area of campus please visit or call 704-894-2680.

Matching funds will be added in to the total dollars of this campaign and we will provide updates on the total new donor count on this page daily. There may be a slight delay as gifts are recorded. 

789 days ago by Caitlin James
A Message from Our Students

We, the Eboard of the Sankofa Society, 

believe in fostering education, conversation, and debate. 

The Africana Department at Davidson College and its students remain instrumental to the development of radical and progressive conversations and projects at Davidson College. We have been shouting songs of liberation. 

You may have seen our current and alumni members on your timeline. You may have seen them in your classroom, at a protest, or picking up the slack for the lack of support for black liberation. Our community is not a large one, yet it is an impactful one. 

The Africana Studies Department believes in the interdisciplinary teaching of the oppressed people around the globe. The Africana Studies Department teaches practices that our educators believe will lead to the liberation, betterment, and increased visibility of black people worldwide. For years, our community has given so much. When other departments fail to do so the Africana department always picks up the slack.

Our last edition of the Sankofa Journal demonstrates and highlights the work of some of our most recent members.

However, we wanted to take the time to highlight some of our recent alumni: 

Jade Polly 

Jade is an educator, minister, and writer. When we met her, she had her own publication This was the energy she always brought to the table. If you go to her page you can find all things black liberation: faith, consciousness, and culture. During her time at Davidson, she always spoke out and gave her energy to educate and protect black students. Thank you Jade. 


Instagram: jadejuanna

Lindsey Jarrell 

Lindsey is a birth doula and a radical feminist. An experienced researcher and advocate, Lindsey has demonstrated a history of working in the Civic & Social Organization industry. She was also the Vice President of the Sankofa Society during her senior year at Davidson. Thank you Lindsey!

Maurice Norman 

Maurice Norman will be staying in Davidson (which is great) as a Digital Projects Fellow. He will be a two-year Mellon fellow. He is also the Founder/Executive Director @silence.npo. During his time at Davidson he  worked for the @dcmicroagression project and was the President of @freewordpoetry. Thank you Maurice!

Bry Reed 

Bry Reed is the founder of the Brave Book Club. She is a freelance writer and also started her own publication  She also relaunched her podcast, “about all things pleasure and joy!”  You can find it on either her website or spotify. Her specialty is “Black feminism from the mid-twentieth century through the present as it related to literature and public culture,” but has a wealth of knowledge to offer. We urge you to follow and look at her account for important Africana texts to delve into, and study. Thank you Bry!



Saidah Rahman 

An active member of the Davidson community, Saidah Rahman was a vital member and student representative. Saidah worked as the Student Equity Advisor to The Student Initiative for Academic Diversity and STRIDE Student Coordinator.  Thank you Saidah! 

Jalin Jackson 

Jalin Jackson during his time at Davidson was involved in the Sankofa Journal as our secretary. He played a key role in many projects and will always be applauded for his willingness in helping his peers. Without Jalin, many of our projects within Sankofa Journal may have never been realized. An M.S.Ed. candidate at the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania ('21), Jalin has gone on to nurture his passion for learning and education. Thank you Jalin! 

Morgan Spivey 

Morgan is a womanist and a social change maker. She is also an equity and inclusion warrior. During her time at Davidson she was the people’s educator. She bravely fought ignorant and racist political science majors and tried to change their ways. She was fearless. 


Uyen Ngyuen

Alongside being an advocate for immigrants and POC , Uyen has always demonstrated a passion for teaching and leadership. During her time at Davidson she was awarded the Spencer-Weinstein Award for Community and Justice for her work with Justice for Youth. She is also a MURAP member where she plans to undergo training to become a professor of the humanities.  She will go on to be a lawyer and continue her fight for justice. Thank you Uyen! 

Instagram: queen_uyen  

Marqus Whitman 

Marqus is a co-founder of the Africana Society and an Africana Studies and Sociology double major. His positivity and activism were felt by many during his time at Davidson. He also gave to the community through music which highlighted elements of the black experience. Thank you Marqus! 

Nahomie Exantus

As leader of the Black Professional Development Group, Nahomie worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for peers. She not only founded the group, but played a vital role in organizing trips for undergraduate students to tour campuses and explore their interest in PhD programs, medicine, law, business, and many other types of graduate degrees. Thank you Nahomie!

Mikayla Smalls 

 An Africana Studies and Sociology double major, Mikayla utilized her skills in advocacy, management consulting, and Africana to better the black community. During her time at Davidson she co-founded the Black Professional Development Group.  She aims to pursue her and a Masters in Public Policy or Public Administration. Thank you Mikayla! 

Jennifer Thompson 

Jennifer is a recent graduate of Davidson College who started the Sapelo Island Community Garden Project. The project aimed “to improve food security on the island through a good sovereignty-based approach, and to use the farm to stimulate sustainable economic development on the land.” During her time at Davidson and lifetime she also traveled the diaspora: Cuba, Ghana, and Ecuador to name a few.  Jennifer inspired us with her unconventional learning practices.  Thank you Jennifer!

Cooper Marshall 

As a recent graduate of Davidson, Cooper is pursuing a career in law and was a member of the Pre-Law Society. She has interned at a number of firms and practices, including an entertainment firm in Sydney, AUS. While at Davidson, she spent the summer of 2019 conducting research under the Davidson Research Initiative documenting the experiences and successes of Black Davidson Alum.

This does not begin to cover all their accomplishments or their work. These names have been working towards black liberation for years. We want to ensure they are given the appreciation and visibility that they deserve.

We, the Eboard of the Sankofa Society, believe in the revolution.  

Keep fighting.

Stay safe.

Stay healthy.

Stay well. 


795 days ago by Caitlin James

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