Dear friends and colleagues,
I am excited to share with you the wonderful news that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recently awarded $500,000 to the Department of African American Studies at the University of Maryland. The grant will enable the launch of an interdisciplinary research seminar in which the impact and interplay of nationality, ethnicity, race and gender among first- and second-generation African immigrants and U.S. native-born African Americans in the U.S. will be examined.
The project will bring together distinguished senior scholars, rising junior scholars as well as graduate and undergraduate students to examine how multiple facets of identity affect personal reflections as well as social and cultural interactions within and between these diverse African diaspora populations in the U.S. The funding will support research seminars, social media outreach and a series of public events at the University of Maryland, New York University, New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture at the University of Maryland, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, with an inaugural seminar at the University of Ghana. 
I invite you to read more about this initiative and to stay tuned for updates as our work gets underway. Thank you for your support of our department.
Professor, Department of African American Studies
University of Maryland