What You Will Learn as an African & African American Studies Minor

The mission of the African and African American Studies (AAAS) program at Rollins College is to foster an awareness of the contributions and impact of people of African descent on the western hemisphere and a greater understanding of the complexity linked to the global African Diaspora.

Rollins College students help carry water tubing while on an academic trip in Tanzania.

Global Citizenship

The program supports the College’s goals of high-quality liberal arts education and experiential learning for a global society through interdisciplinary coursework that emphasizes understanding cultural, economic, historical, and political processes linked to the African Diaspora, including the enduring effects of slavery, colonialism, and racism. In class you will engage critically with African and African-American issues, preparing to become global citizens and responsible leaders capable of contributing to vital discussions about social, political, and economic concerns linked to the African Diaspora.

The African and African American Studies Program’s curriculum focuses upon global citizenship through an engagement with Africa and African-American themed courses drawn from across the college curriculum. To ensure broader engagement with African themes you will take geographically diverse minor core courses and elective courses.

A group of Rollins student help teach in a classroom in Rwanda.

Responsible Leadership

Responsible leadership involves gaining a deep appreciation of the diverse cultures and societies that have contributed to the world today, as well as understanding the processes by which some cultures and societies have been privileged or obscured in such discussions. By focusing on both the contributions of Africa and African-Americans, and the historical and cultural devaluing of these groups, you will learn that responsible leadership includes not only cultural appreciation but also recognizing and challenging racism in its different manifestations.

A Rollins student shows a younger student a book.

Productive Careers

Cultural competency and an awareness of intersectionality are central facets of a pragmatic liberal-arts education that will contribute to your preparedness for a productive career and meaningful life. The minor stresses that the cultural awareness fostered by the curriculum is valuable to government, non-profits, and corporations that rely on employees capable of communicating across boundaries and working with persons from diverse backgrounds. Since 2011 we have also championed the use of community engagement in the capstone course to provide you with opportunities to explore how culture shapes the world outside the classroom. Through these experiences you are prompted to see how a greater understanding of culture can help you achieve productive careers and understand your own potential to impact the world around you.

A Rollins student types on their computer while studying African textiles.

Meaningful Lives

The minor in Africa and African-American Studies prepares you to go into your careers and lives with important tools to promote inclusivity and global understanding.