The Institute seeks to develop, promote and implement academic, research and public service programs that focus on the study of race and ethnicity in Hampton Roads, Virginia, the nation, and throughout the African Diaspora.


The Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity goals are to:

  • Promote teaching, research, scholarship, and curriculum development throughout the University which addresses issues pertaining to race and ethnicity and the political, social, and economic condition of people of color in Hampton Roads, the state, nation, and globally.
  • Develop leaders and facilitate the evolution of a society, which challenges stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination, and belief systems that hinder the intellectual emancipation, and personal growth of all members of society.
  • Utilize intellectual resources and expertise to address the most challenging social problems and issues of the day that face non-Whites regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally

ISRE collaborates with groups and organizations throughout the region, nationally, and on campus with a variety of academic departments and including Asian Studies, Women Studies, and the Office of Multicultural Student Services.

We also partner with student organizations to include the African and Caribbean Association, National Advancement of Color People, In Support of Children, and the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice.

African-American and African Studies

About African American and African Studies

African-American Studies (or Black Studies) is rooted in the social movements led by African-Americans in the 1960's. Amid this struggle, debates regarding the structure and goals of material that were taught inside the standard college classroom soon led to the advent of Black Studies programs at various colleges and universities. The participants in the movement maintained that the Black experience in America was being ignored, despite, its impact on the social landscape of the nation. Many African-Americans and Whites pursued the goals of political and social equality and fought for the development of a college curriculum that would be inclusive of the African American experience.

ODU's African American & African Studies Programs

ODU offers African-American and African Studies (AAST) Minor and Bachelor's programs, offering an opportunity to explore the cultural, intellectual, economical, religious, artistic, social, and political history of various people who are African or of African descent. In addition, the Honors college offers a certifiate in African-American Studies. These political, social, economic, cultural and historical experiences of African-Americans and other communities of color are important dimensions emphasized in the work of the Institute.

Notable individuals who majored in African American and African Studies
  • Angela Bassett (Actress) Yale University
  • Thelma Golden (Museum Director) Smith College
  • Vincent Carter (Professional Athlete) North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • Dr. Mae Jamison (Physician) Stanford University
  • Do Kim (Attorney) Harvard University
  • Aaron McGruder (Illustrator) The University of Maryland-College Park
  • Steven C. Phillips (Attorney) Stanford University
  • Claudia Thomas (Surgeon) Vassar College
  • Dr. Kimani C. Toussaint, Jr. (Engineer) Boston University
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