The Midwest Initiative for African American Culture will serve as a prominent resource for diverse and interdisciplinary scholarship and programming on the University of Iowa Campus focusing on education, engagement and empowerment. The Initiative will link African American research, history and pop culture throughout the Midwest with creative and practical application. For example, discussion groups, conferences, seminars, a quarterly newsletter, media-oriented projects, research grants and other creative efforts. It will enhance the University’s academic mission and strategic vision concerning diversity, equity and inclusion.


  • To identify research opportunities, explore educational possibilities and assist with community development initiatives throughout the Midwest in the area of African American history and culture.
  • To explore African American cultural experiences in the Midwest and significantly contribute to the body of knowledge documenting this area.
  • To promote to the region and nation the contributions of Black Midwestern scholars, especially those from the University of Iowa enhancing the visibility of African American Culture at the University of Iowa.
  • To cultivate, increase and improve racial equity for graduate and undergraduate students in African American culture through research and creative projects.
  • To follow the UI strategic plan strengthening relationships and building bridges across cultural, interdisciplinary and individual differences while assisting in the recruitment and retention of a diverse UI faculty, staff and student body.
  • To bring together a unique and distinguished community of scholars studying African American culture in the Midwest actively engaging with their research and creative work through academic and popular programming.