Student Groups and Programs

The Africana Center works to implement programs designed to encourage and support the intellectual and individual growth and awareness of all Tufts Undergraduates. These programs include lectures, workshops, concerts and films, as well as a range of additional activities and programming that reflect and celebrate the intellectual and cultural tradition of Black people in the Diaspora:

Black Womyn's Collective and Black Myn's Group

The Black Womyn's Collective (Sundays at 6:15pm) and The Black Myn's Group (Fridays at 5:30pm) meet weekly to discuss issues related to sexual, cultural and racial identity, as well as the formation and maintenance of healthy relationships. These gatherings provide the chance for students to address what are sometimes sensitive and complex issues in a safe and supportive atmosphere.

Students' Quest for Unity in the African Diaspora 

Students' Quest for Unity in the African Diaspora (S.Q.U.A.D) is a four-day student-led program focused on fostering and celebrating relationships within the African Diaspora. Our mission is to create a safe and welcoming environment of unity, collaboration, learning and socializing as students navigate African-diaspora specific challenges on the campus and in their lives. Additionally, participants will explore African-diasporic history, culture, and community in Boston.

Annual Orientation Retreat

The Annual Orientation Retreat helps first year students lay the foundation for a positive and productive college experience. The retreat serves as a forum to address questions and concerns students of African descent have about life on campus, and provides an opportunity to meet faculty and staff along with forming friendships and creating a sense of community with their peers. The Annual Orientation Retreat is an extension of Orientation and allows students to meet other first year students, as well as upper class students, faculty and staff. Orientation activities are facilitated by the Africana Center Peer Leaders. This team of students is trained to act as resources and to guide first year students through the many resources that Tufts has to offer.

Student Organizations

Please see the Full List of Student Organizations at Tufts for more information about the Student Organizations below, including contact information.

COCOA

African Student Organization (ASO)

The African Student Organization promotes knowledge about, and appreciation for the diversity of the African culture. Working in tandem with other Tufts organizations, ASO encourages all members of the community to participate in exploring what the African continent has to offer. Members of ASO host several events that celebrate African culture.

Association of Multiracial People at Tufts (AMPT)

AMPT strives to build community amongst multiracial and multiethnic students at Tufts and supports multiracial/multiethnic students in navigating and celebrating their identities. AMPT hosts regular meetings, discussion and learning opportunities, game nights, and other social events. Its big annual event is "Mixed Tape" which is a celebration of multiracial/ethnic art, food, culture, traditions, and people. IG: ampt.tufts Email: amptufts@gmail.com

Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA)

The BGSA is designed is a resource for students of African descent in graduate school at Tufts. This organization is dedicated to assisting graduate students with successfully negotiating their graduate program.

Black Students in Computer Science

BSCS is dedicated to fostering a sense of community for Black students who are studying computer science and related fields such as data science and cognitive brain science. Representing one of Tufts' most underrepresented groups in Comp Sci, BSCS exists to provide professional development, technical training, solidarity, and equitable opportunity for all students among the African diaspora. BSCS provides a welcoming, collaborative space for students to connect and form meaningful relationships while also growing as future leaders in the tech industry. 

Black Out

A student led "step" dance group that regularly performs at Tufts events.

Black Womyn's Collective (BWC)

The BWC was established by the Africana Center as a weekly forum for students to discuss and share information about issues that affect the lives of black women. Each year the Director of the Africana Center selects a facilitator(s) for this group - the Director's decision is based on the current needs of the group and the Center's resources.

Black Myn's Group (BMG)

The Black Myn's Group was established by the Africana Center as a weekly forum for students to discuss and share information about issues that affect the lives of black men. Each year the Director of the Africana Center selects a facilitator(s) for this group - the Director's decision is based on the current needs of the group and the center's resources.

Caribbean Student Organization (CSO)

The Caribbean Student Organization helps to foster an understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures of the region through an exploration of the ethnic and cultural differences and similarities of Caribbean nations. The Club is open to all who are interested in learning more about the diverse aspects of Caribbean life, including those who wish to celebrate their West Indian heritage.

ENVY

ENVY is a female step team at Tufts University. They work hard as a team to be innovative, entertaining, and elegant. They express themselves through rhythmic movement, powerful beats, and intense facial expressions. They consider it their responsibility to be entertaining and to share the art of stepping with those around them.

Essence

Essence, an all female acapella group, promotes an appreciation for and development of music of African descent. As a group, Essence is resource for the Black community and performs at various events throughout the year.

Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students

In conjunction with the Tufts Pre-Medical Society, this organization assists students on their way to medical, dentistry, veterinarian and other health-related schools. Peer mentorship programs, speakers, trips to medical schools, as well as participating in local and national AMSA events and generally informing pre-med and non-premed students of the role a future medical career, are the some of the services this organization provides.

National Society of Black Engineers (NESBE)

The Tufts chapter of NSBE emulates the national organization in its quest to provide a supportive environment for black students for the purpose of establishing a basis for future success as scientists and engineers. NESBE strives to increase the number of minority students studying engineering and promote an awareness of the opportunities for blacks in the engineering profession. NESBE also serves addresses issues that are pertinent to the careers of black engineers.

ONYX Magazine

ONYX is a Black literary, visual, and auditory arts magazine that works to showcase and encourage the creativity to Black students at Tufts and prioritize creative wellbeing. ONYX's goal is to empower and inspire the Africana community through an artistic lens with the content we curate. 

The Pan-Afrikan Alliance (PAA)

The Pan-Afrikan Alliance is a collective that strives to engage with the histories, politics, and cultures of the Afrikan Diaspora through events and intellectual engagements as well as stimulate the political consciousness of Black students at tufts regarding the socio-political happenings on and beyond campus. We aim to build awareness, educate ourselves and other students, and organize on the basis of pan-afrikanism.

ROTI & RUM

ROTI & RUM, the only Caribbean dance team at Tufts, uses the Rhythms of the Islands to share Caribbean culture through Rhythym, Unity, and Movement. ROTI & RUM embraces all aspects and influences of Caribbean culture by dancing to a variety of music such as Soca, Dembow, Reggae, Dancehall, etc. We pride ourselves in our dedication to sharing our various cultures with the community through performances and dance lessons.

S-Factor

S-Factor is an all-male a cappella group specializing in hip-hop, R&B, gospel, funk, Motown, jazz, spirituals, neo-soul, and other musical styles of the African Diaspora. Founded in 2006, S-Factor is dedicated to spreading black music throughout Tufts and off campus areas. S-Factor commits to providing entertainment as well as educating audience members about this rich musical culture.

The Black Student Union

Tufts BSU is an organization that serves to promote a fun and inclusive environment for students in the Africana community through social/networking events.

Tufts Community Union Senate

The TCU Senate is an elected body consisting of 35 undergraduate students. 28 senators are elected from each of the four classes, four community representatives are elected from cultural organizations across campus, and three students are appointed to the Board of Trustees by the Senate. The Senate is charged with representing undergraduate interests to the administration, faculty, and all other constituent groups at Tufts. The Senate is given the fiduciary responsibility of allocating the $1.3 million aggregated from the student activities fee to all student organizations on campus.

The Africana Center Art Gallery

The Africana Center Art Gallery is an exhibit space for Tufts students which encourages an understanding of respect for diversity, multiculturalism and equity issues, and promotion of traditions and history of people of African descent. 

For exhibit information and guidelines, please contact Africana Center Director Katrina Moore.

Laura Palmer Edwards, Artist

Laura Palmer EdwardsLaura Palmer Edwards is a mixed media artist whose practice includes painting, printmaking, collage, sculpture and of late, art journals and bookmaking influenced by a wonderful friend and teaching artist.

“Complexity is the backdrop to all my artmaking. The complexities of life are explored in my abstractions, primarily in the exaltation of nature and womanhood, expressing the need for feminine self-discovery and communion with nature.  I am surrounded by color and texture.  I am open to inspiration and don’t plan my work in advance. It’s organically developed…emotionally driven work where I let the process guide me and it leads me to its own fulfillment.

My work explores the interplay between color, line, shape, contour, texture, body language, patterning and the interplay of mixed media.  I weave a myriad of elements into body and enlivened compositions.

I am an Art Correspondent on Boston Neighborhood Network’s (BNN) weekly live talk show, Artitude, (on demand@BNNmedia.org) which features interviews, art events, and showcases my work as well as a variety of artists throughout New England.”

Laura has produced and sold hundreds of original paintings and mixed media images since 2002.  Her works are displayed in numerous institutional and private collections in the United States and abroad.

Laura works from her home studio in Waltham, Massachusetts and exhibits her work through private showcases, select vendor opportunities, and juried group shows. 

Laura Palmer Edwards 
Instagram @living_colorart
Email: Livingcolorartsstudio@gmail.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hs7KRV3APg8

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