Celebrate a legacy with $50 for 50 on Giving Blue Day!

The Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) proudly announces its campaign for 2019 is dedicated to commemorating its founding in 1970. For a contribution of 50 dollars or whatever you can spare, you can share in the excitement of DAAS celebrating 50 years at the University of Michigan!

Established in 1970, the now-Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS), which began as a Center, is an interdisciplinary program of research, instruction, and community outreach. Its intellectual focus and mission is to explore and examine the diverse cultures, experiences and societies of Africans and peoples of African descent across the African continent and diaspora. We strive to support our students and faculty on the front lines of learning and research and to steward our planet, our community, our campus.

During 2020, there will be a number of events beginning in January leading up to the grand festivities in September that will mark DAAS turning 50 years old, so be sure to follow us on Facebook or sign up for our email alerts. Thank you for your support!


What does DAAS and its 50th mean to you? To our community, it means...

Devon Keen

DAAS Alumna

DAAS’s 50th anniversary represents a steadfast commitment to community, to students, to rigorous and enlightening intellectual inquiry for the betterment of our University and world. Personally, the history and contributions of DAAS, are restorative and inspiring- giving me the energy to persevere and to continue lifting as I climb. 

Pamoja tunashinda! (Together we are winning!)

Kayla McKinney

Alumna, College of LSA c/o 2019

The 50th is a celebration of a legacy I am honored to be apart of. Knowing the power that students -- Black students -- have through organizing and student activism has been an integral part of my undergraduate journey. As a member of the Black Student Union, DAAS was a department I felt connected to. I wasn't a DAAS major or minor, but I was lucky enough to take many DAAS classes, each professor leaving me with a lasting imprint. Organizations like the BSU, NCNW, and NAACP would host events and meetings in the Lemuel Johnson Center or the conference room almost weekly, making the physical space our personal center while Trotter was still in the process of being renovated. I knew staff members would always be there to greet me with a hug as I made my way to the LJC almost daily to study. I love this department. My undergraduate journey would have looked very different without it.

Thomas Vance

DAAS Major

I knew I wanted to major in African American and African Studies ever since high school.  You don't get a class on AAS unless it was couched in American History and I thought let's get in-depth rather than present just highlights. So I came to UM and now I major in Afroamerican and African Studies and Political Science. I'm working on a senior thesis about religiosity and Black political advocacy and plan to attain a Ph.D./JD.

Nesha Haniff

DAAS Faculty 

DAAS is the foundational concentration to explore and deconstruct social injustice. These areas of injustice connect you for example to health disparities and the lethal scientific discrimination against black bodies through the stories of Henrietta Lacks and the Tuskegee experiment. AAS reveals the complexities of gender injustice and the place of students in the African diaspora supporting projects of social change and scholarship. There is currency in an AAS concentration because it is multidisciplinary and so lends itself to a choice of many professional and creative options post-graduation. 

Bryon Maxey


For me, the 50th Anniversary of DAAS means that Afroamerican and African Studies is firmly rooted at the University of Michigan. From seeds planted more than half-a-century ago to the intellectual and communal fruits we all benefit from today, DAAS at 50 for me manifests the meaning of Sankofa, as we remember, reflect, and build upon the Black experience in order to move everyone forward.