Africana Studies

About Us

The Africana Studies Program is committed to student success. We provide our students with a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that allows you to critically explore, analyze and interpret the experience of African Americans in particular, and other people of African descent in general.

Why Study at Eastern?

Our mission is to prepare broadly educated, technologically proficient and highly productive citizens to obtain a meaningful career, to enjoy enriched lives and to make contributions to a culturally diverse society.

Strengthen People Skills

Improve your cultural sensitivity and your cultural intelligence.

Gain Diverse Understanding

Get an understanding of the African American experience in the United States and throughout the African Diaspora.

Excellent Job Opportunities

Our graduates have a great record of finding employment soon after graduation.

What You Will Learn

You’ll take courses with interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives. You’ll study the history, culture, social-economics and political realities of these communities. More specifically, you’ll gain insights about international connections relevant to these groups. You’ll also do research and community-based study to boost what you learn in the classroom.

Learn to differentiate between the concepts of racism, prejudice, and discrimination; and, understand how lives are situated in or impacted by these concepts.

Mission of the Africana Studies Program

The Africana Studies Program at EWU is committed to student success. As such, Africana Studies provides students with a rigorous and comprehensive curriculum that allows students to critically explore, analyze and interpret the experience of African Americans in particular, and other people of African descent in general. The minor in Africana Studies helps to prepare EWU students to be broadly educated, articulate, critical thinkers ready to pursue meaningful careers as engaged citizens in a culturally diverse world. The Africana Studies program seeks to:

  • Offer an intellectually rigorous, comprehensive and holistic academic curriculum that critically examines, analyzes and describes the diverse experiences of people of African descent
  • Expose all students to the complexity and richness of the African American experience
  • Collaborate with departments and programs to offer all students academic enrichment outside the traditional classroom
  • Provide students with chances for research and exploration that acts as a springboard for increasing the life chances and opportunities of people of African descent in particular and all people in general
  • Mentor and provide role models for students of African descent
  • Create opportunities for students to interact with scholars involved in the African American/Africana Studies multidisciplinary enterprise
  • Offer faculty and staff opportunities for fellowship, mentoring and cultural support
  • Offer programs/events to connect the university with the local community partners and alumni
Students listen to a museum guide

Black Student Union (BSU)

The Black Student Union (BSU) is a student organization working closely with Africana Studies to provide a variety of academic and socio-cultural events on the campus and in the wider Cheney/Spokane community. Special events commemorate Kwanzaa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Black History Month, and African American Awareness Week.

BSU and Africana Studies also sponsor year-round public activities providing educational and cultural enlightenment about the history, literature, arts and the entire cultural heritage of students of African descent. The leadership experiences of former BSU officers have helped to complement their academic degrees and gain professional positions in their areas of interest. Students may join BSU on EWU’s Eaglesync platform.

Note: organization dues can now be paid online using CashNet. If you are paying with cash or check, please visit Student Financial Services.

Facebook: EWU Black Student Union
Snapchat: EWU BSU
Instagram: @EWUBSU

Students smiling at a 1920s themed event

Student Scholarships & Opportunities

Minnie Wittenbach’s generosity helped to build the Cheney Care Center where she had a private room. She remained active in the community and education, which were most important to her life. The majority of her estate was left in trust to establish memorial scholarship funds for the EWU nursing program and WSU agricultural program. It was her hope that these scholarships would offer worthy young people the means to gain and otherwise impossible education in these fields.

$1,500 for continuing EWU students in a health-related major with a minimum of 45 completed credits and 2.80 cumulative GPA.

A $2,000 (renewable for one year with a 3.3 EWU cumulative GPA) is for an incoming freshman or transfer student with a 2.8 or higher GPA.

The Marjorie Boyd Wellington Academic Excellence Award was established by the African American Education Program in about 1988 in honor of the first African American graduate of Eastern. It is presented annually to the African American student with the highest grade point average and was established as an incentive to excel and a way to demonstrate Eastern’s commitment to academic excellence in the minority community. Mrs. Marjorie Boyd Wellington graduated in 1934 with a degree in teacher education from Eastern. Her story of success and perseverance as an educator has been a source of inspiration for students. *Award amount varies every year. For the 2018-2019 year, it was $1,810.   

Apply for these scholarships using the general EWU Scholarship Application. To apply for other EWU and non-EWU scholarships, please visit the EWU Financial Aid website.

The deadline for 2019-2020 scholarship applications is February 1, 2020, and must be postmarked by this date. Any faxed or late applications will not be accepted. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Africana Studies Program Front Desk at 509.359.2205 or

Scholarship recipients will be required to keep in contact with the Africana Studies Program to assist them with being successful at EWU. Once awarded a scholarship, the student will be contacted by the program director.

Media Center for Transformation & Social Change

Words from Dr. Edmundo Aguilar, creator of the Media Center for Transformation and Social Change:

“While some of you know me, there are many of you that do not. I’m a quarterly professor for Race and Culture/Africana at EWU going on 3 years. In short, I recently created a lab that allows students to critically collaborate with staff and faculty (interdisciplinary) to create positive social change utilizing multimodal media tools. If I lost your attention already, I will not take it personally. If you’re still reading, know a key element of this project is the use of innovative resources and communication tools that addresses matters of equity and social justice. For instance, I recently worked with an EWU DACA student whom learned about this lab and wanted to share his DACAmented story with the world—more importantly, hoping the video could be presented (via local immigration org) to the Supreme Court before it makes its decision to keep or end DACA. Another project created by using the lab is an initiative to install free and accessible feminine products in EWU bathrooms. Students created a video speaking to the importance followed by issuing a petition.”

For more information or if you have an issue you would like to discuss with our podcast, please contact Dr. Edmundo Aguilar at

ProjectsLatest Podcast Episode


Edmundo Aguilar, PhD

Careers in Africana Studies

The Africana Studies curriculum prepares students for a wide variety of occupational possibilities:

Management and Industry

Communication and Media