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Dear First-Year Students,

On behalf of the faculty and students in the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies (IDAS), I welcome you to the Claremont Colleges community!

In addition to welcoming you to the 5Cs, I also want to ask that you consider becoming an Africana Studies major or minor. Our Africana Studies program gives you the chance to use your college years to develop a powerful intellectual, emotional, and spiritual framework that will sustain you long after you’ve graduated. It will provide you with unique tools to build the life and the world that you want to create. Our major also gives you a foundation for almost any career you might want to pursue. While centering the ideas, experiences, and cultures of Black people throughout the globe, the interdisciplinary focus of the major will prepare you for the diversity and complexity of today’s world and the future. We offer courses in history, literature, psychology, art history, dance, drama, and more. Graduates from our program are not simply cultured, intelligent, and aware, they’re also successful in a broad range of professions. Our majors have gone on to become lawyers, teachers, screenwriters, social workers, physicians, college professors, economists, union organizers, museum curators, and much else.

I’m eager to speak with you about the program. If you have any questions, or you’d like to hear more about the details of what is offered by IDAS, please join me for a Zoom-based gathering that will be held on Wednesday, September 2, at noon (Zoom ID: 598 136 0720.) Also, check out this website, which offers an overview of the program and introduces our faculty.

I look forward to meeting you soon!

Derik Smith
Chair, Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies
Associate Professor Department of Literature Claremont McKenna College