Black students have always been active and exemplary Elon citizens. They have paved the way for collective alumni engagement, sustained affinity networks and giving. This section provides a snapshot of how engaged our Black students have been in every aspect of their Elon journey and how that engagement continues well after they graduate.

Organizations, programs and initiatives that support the Black experience at Elon and beyond include:

Advancing Equity Requirement (AER)

The AER is a four-credit course designated as Advancing Equity that all students are required to take starting in fall 2023. These courses can be from the students’ majors, minors or other Core Curriculum requirements. This requirement focuses on systems and structures of racism in a U.S. context.

Learn more about the AER

Advisory Board for Black Student Spiritual Support (ABBSSS)

With the arrival of Chaplain Kirstin Boswell, the ABBSSS began the process of reimagining its reach and purpose. The advisory board is co-chaired by Cherrel Miller Dyce, associate professor of education and executive director of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education. Together they reconfigured the board to reflect faculty, staff, student and community perspectives on Black spiritual life at Elon. The Black Lumen Project served as a key partner as the group developed a new framework that included addressing the needs of faculty and staff in addition to students. The focus of this group aligned with the ongoing strategic planning for multifaith and spiritual life at Elon.

Learn more about the board

African & African American Studies at Elon University (AAASE)

AAASE is an active, diverse and vibrant community with a mission to promote the production and dissemination of knowledge about African and African-descended peoples. The pedagogy, research, scholarship, service — and other experiential learning activities of our faculty and student scholars — take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of African Americans, Africa and the rest of its diaspora.

Visit the AAASE website

African Diaspora Living Learning Community (AD LLC)

The AD LLC provides students with opportunities to explore African, African American and Black diasporic cultures at Elon and worldwide. It is connected to the CREDE and African & African American Studies Program at Elon University (AAASE) to support the in-depth exploration into the rich history and multi-dimensional experience of Blackness. Living in this community allows students to dive deeper into their understanding of Blackness through workshops, projects, mentorship, advocacy and immersive programs.

Learn more about the AD LLC

Black Solidarity Day Conference

This event is the culmination of Black History Month programming. Starting in 2015, it has offered an opportunity for Black students, faculty and staff to explore and gain a deeper insight into what it means to be Black as a member of the Elon community. It also provides a welcome space for non-Black participants who want to learn more about what it means to be an ally, an anti-racist and to actively fight against anti-Blackness.

Learn more about the conference

Black Student Union (BSU)

BSU is a student organization whose primary objective is to cultivate a continuous relationship with the administration, Black faculty and staff, and Black students on campus. The BSU’s mission is to engage Black undergraduate students and enrich student life at Elon university culturally, intellectually and socially; to ensure the full ongoing administrative commitment of fair, equitable policies; and to strengthen and support the bonds of community between Black Elon students and the larger Elon and Burlington communities.

Learn more about BSU

Black Table Talk

This monthly gathering is open to all students with informal discussions around a variety of topics that affect Black students and students of the African Diaspora, both here on campus and in the larger society. These events provide a safe space to learn from one another and foster a system of support and skills that help Black students traverse their time at Elon University and in life beyond.

Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (CREDE)

The CREDE seeks to meet the needs of the ever-changing student population through advocacy support services and collaborative programmatic initiatives. The Black student community resources span across departmental, academic and social organizations that aim to advise, support and advocate for the best experience for Black students.

Visit the CREDE’s website

Donning of the Kente

This annual cultural ceremony celebrates the achievements of graduating seniors who recognize their African roots. During the ceremony, each graduate receives a stole made of kente cloth, a symbol of prestige in many African societies, handwoven especially for each graduate in a village in Ghana. Graduating students are encouraged to wear the stole at Commencement for inspiration and to honor, celebrate, connect and reflect on their collective heritage and communal struggles and successes.

Elon Black Alumni Network (EBAN)

EBAN unites and represents the interests of Black alumni and strives to empower, connect and celebrate Elon’s Black community. The network is involved in diversity initiatives related to the university, including collaborations with current students through the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education, the Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards and the Donning of the Kente Ceremony.

EBAN has continued to lead the growth of the Black Alumni Scholarship, which was established in 2007. Since then, alumni and other donors have made contributions totaling $1 million to the fund, supporting 13 Black students at Elon as they pursue their degrees.

Learn more about EBAN

Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Award

A ceremony that was established in 1993. Each spring, Black students who have shown excellence in academics and the Elon Experiences are recognized. This banquet serves as an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the Black community and as an incentive for all Black students to continue to excel academically. In spring 2023 the Phillips-Perry Excellence Awards marked its 30th anniversary.

Learn more about the awards

Student Mentors Advising Rising Talent (S.M.A.R.T.)

The S.M.A.R.T.  program is designed to ease the transition from high school to college, both academically and socially, for first-year and transfer students. First-year students learn from upper-level classmates who are trained to provide guidance and support to make Elon University a more welcoming environment.

Learn more about the program

Student organizations that support the Black experience

  • Black Student Union (BSU)
  • National Council of Negro Women (NCNW)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • Caribbean Students Association (CSA)
  • African Diaspora of Elon
  • Black Entrepreneur Initiative
  • Black Campus Ministry
  • National Panhellenic Council
    • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated – Active on campus
    • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated – Active on campus
    • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated – Active on campus
    • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated – Active on campus
    • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated – Active on campus
    • Phi Beta Sigma Sorority Incorporated – Active on campus
    • Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated – Active on campus
    • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated – not Active