Center for African and African American Studies Renamed

Oct. 21, 2008

Event: The Center for African and African American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin will celebrate its new name: the Dr. John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. The renaming honors the late professor's legacy as an advocate for ethnic diversity and service as founder and longtime director of the center.

When: Nov. 7, 3-5 p.m.

Where: The University of Texas at Austin, Beauford H. Jester Center. A map of campus is available online.

Background:
Students from the Black Student Advisory Committee and the Black Graduate Student Association will discuss Warfield's influence and impact on the center.

To commemorate Warfield's important contributions to the university, the center will unveil a piece of stained glass artwork, crafted by Carmen Noriega.

The event is free and open to the public. Music and refreshments will be provided.

Warfield died at the age of 71 on Oct. 25, 2007. He was a faculty member in the College of Liberal Arts for 26 years. After arriving at the university in 1973, he combined Afro-American Studies and the African and African American research centers into one center. He was instrumental in the promotion of African and African American Studies as an essential field of study. Warfield established the African and African American Studies major, creating its curriculum and supporting its research. He led the center until 1986.

Warfield also connected the university's resources with communities outside the campus. He was one of the founders of KAZI-FM, Austin's community-based radio station. He was an activist scholar publishing in the area of race and sports at a time when this area of interest was in its infancy.

The center provides programs involving more than 54 faculty members. It offers a multidisciplinary course selection for undergraduates and a doctoral portfolio for graduate students, in addition to presenting conferences and sponsoring community-building activities.

During spring 2000, the center established the John L. Warfield Undergraduate Research Scholarship to encourage undergraduate students to conduct research in Africa and the African Diaspora.

For more information, contact: Jessica Sinn, College of Liberal Arts, 512-471-2404; Stephanie Lang, program coordinator, Center for African and African American Studies, 512-471-4413.