Black Studies Program

The Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center

Renamed to honor the legacy of Howard A. Mims, director of Black Studies from 1991-2001, the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center features the following:
  • A permanent collection of African art
  • Contemporary and traditional works of African American artists
  • Revolving exhibits of the art, culture, and history of people of Africa and the African Diaspora
  • Formal and informal colloquia, films, video recordings, and programs designed for student retention.
  • A place for students to relax, engage in meaningful discussions, study, socialize, meet new friends, receive tutoring, and learn about career opportunities.

The Center, which includes the Michael R. Williams Conference Room and the Donna M. Whyte Study Lounge, is available for meetings held by students, faculty and staff, as well as community organizations and groups. Standard operating hours for the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center are Monday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. To schedule events, please contact Prester Pickett, coordinator of the Center, at 216-687-3656 or


Umoja Round Tables is a student-led initiative that engages local professionals in intellectual discussions about different career fields. Inspired by Lorain Hansberry’s “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” these discussions encourage students to acquire an awareness of how lessons learned in the classroom are applied by professionals employed in the greater Cleveland community.

The Black Studies Ambassadors is a service-learning initiative coordinated through the Howard A. Mims African American Cultural Center that serves as a recruitment vehicle for the Black Studies Program. Influenced by W. E. B. DuBois’ discussion of the “Talented Tenth,” a portion of the black community that is responsible for using their education and talents to instruct the masses, this program provides opportunities for Black Studies majors to participate in various service-learning projects and accept speaking engagements to promote the mission of the Black Studies Program. Black Studies Ambassadors partners also with the Association for Black Culture Centers, which has over seven hundred affiliated institutions across the nation.

Bridges to Africa Panel Discussions is an academic and community engagement initiative that encourages global discourse and interactions concerning people of African descent. These discussions are inspired by the legacy of Nelson Mandela, first black president of South Africa. Panels provide a platform to engage in intellectual conversations to enlighten the university campus and the greater Cleveland community about a variety of issues affecting black people throughout the African diaspora.

Kuumba Arts Programs is both an academic and community service initiative coordinated through the Center to promote an awareness and appreciation of all of the elements of Black culture. Rotating exhibitions that highlight the Black Aesthetic are mounted in the showcases in the Center's corridor and the Michael R. Williams Conference Room to celebrate the visual arts, while performing artists are highlighted in annual signature events like the Black Studies Open House, Kuumba Arts Festival, the Truth Crush to Earth Solidarity Day, and Madam C. J. Walker Extravaganza. These programs are guided by Ruby Dee's interest in beauty that emphasizes "strength, courage and dignity."

Telephone: (216) 687-3656  ||  Fax: (216) 687-5446