Umoja is a welcome event for freshmen and transfer students. This program provides an opportunity to meet faculty, staff, and upperclassmen and to learn more about the Clarence L. Barney Jr. African American Cultural Center, it's services, and the Black student experience at LSU.
Black Women's Empowerment Initiative
The Black Women’s Empowerment Initiative was established to promote, maintain, and advance the well-being of Black Women at LSU. Our purpose is to promote equity and community building by cultivating intentional spaces for Black Women to gather, developing workshops and programming around pertinent topics, and holding space together.
We have emphasis on developing female leaders with a drive and ambition who want to continue to uplift women in today’s society. Students who take part in the BWEI Initiative will join a supportive social network that will promote dialogue on intersectionality, offer guidance on professional and personal development. Each individual participating in the initiative should embrace the value of nurturing young women as they look toward brighter futures while focusing on the development of the social, emotional, educational and physical needs of young black women.
Black History Month Celebration
Celebrated every February, Black History Month observes the struggles, strides, and accomplishments of African Americans. Educational, cultural, and social programs are directed by a student committee. The month-long celebration includes weekly topics that reflect the overall theme of Black History Month. Locally and nationally acclaimed speakers and performers are invited to share their knowledge and talents representing aspects of the African American experience. The LSU Black History Month events are open to the entire campus and Baton Rouge community.
In 1996, Gwendolyn E. Snearl and Tayarikwa Salaam developed a program to honor and celebrate the achievements of African American students graduating from LSU. Thus, the Robing Ceremony was born. The Robing Ceremony recognizes and celebrates the successful passage of these students through Louisiana State University into the community. This event is held at the end of each Spring semester.
Juneteenth is the oldest holiday observance celebrating the freedom of African slaves in the United States. This national commemorative celebration, held June 17, 2022, recognizes that although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in 1863, emancipation did not occur until June 19, 1865. During the LSU Juneteenth celebration, the entire campus comes together to honor the victims of slavery and celebrate African American achievements. The celebration consists of food, live music, and games.
Kwanzaa is Swahili for “first fruits.” It signifies the first fruits of the harvest and is celebrated December 26-January1. The Clarence L. Barney Jr. African American Cultural Center sponsors a Pre-Kwanzaa ceremony every year to celebrate the traditional African values of family, community, responsibility, commerce, and self-improvement. Members of the LSU and Greater Baton Rouge community are welcomed and encouraged to dress in traditional African garments and participate in the many aspects of Kwanzaa, including music, dance, food, and storytelling.