Renaissance Scholars Program

The Harlem Renaissance, spanning from the 1910s to the mid-1930s, stands as a pivotal cultural and artistic movement in American history, particularly within the African American community. Emerging in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, this period witnessed an unprecedented flourishing of African American literature, music, visual arts and intellectual thought. The Harlem Renaissance not only showcased the immense talent of African American artists but also challenged racial stereotypes and pushed for the recognition of black culture in mainstream society. It catalyzed social change, fostering a renewed sense of pride and identity among African Americans. The period produced iconic figures such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and Duke Ellington, whose works continue to resonate today. The Harlem Renaissance remains a testament to the resilience, creativity, and cultural contributions of the African American community, leaving an indelible mark on the trajectory of American art, literature, and social consciousness.

The Elon Renaissance Scholars program continues this rich tradition by being a culturally enriching Living Learning Community designed for undergraduate scholars interested in exploring and celebrating the rich tapestry of the African Diaspora. This unique program aims to foster a sense of community, academic excellence, and cultural awareness among its participants.

Cultural Immersion

  • Engage in a comprehensive exploration of the African Diaspora, spanning Africa, the Americas, Europe, and other regions.
  • Participate in cultural events, workshops, and discussions led by experts and community leaders.

Residential Community

  • Foster a supportive and inclusive living environment that encourages dialogue and mutual understanding among residents.
  • Themed common areas and living spaces reflecting the diverse cultures of the African Diaspora.

Academic Support

  • Access to specialized academic resources and mentorship opportunities focused on African and African Diaspora studies.
  • Collaborate on research projects, seminars, and discussions that explore the historical, social, and economic aspects of the diasporic experience.

Guest Lectures and Events

  • Regularly scheduled guest lectures by distinguished scholars, artists, and activists in the field of African and African Diaspora studies.
  • Cultural performances, film screenings, and networking events to deepen understanding and build connections within the community.

Community Service and Outreach

  • Engage in community service projects that highlight the positive impact of diasporic communities.
  • Collaborate with local organizations to contribute to social change and community development.

Celebration of Heritage

  • Opportunities to collaborate with the CREDE to participate in cultural festivals, heritage months, and special events to showcase the diversity and vibrancy of the African Diaspora.
  • Opportunities for residents to share their own cultural backgrounds and traditions.

Benefits of Becoming a Renaissance Scholar

  • Holistic Learning Experience: Participants will gain a well-rounded understanding of the African Diaspora, integrating academic knowledge with cultural immersion.
  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow scholars, faculty, and industry professionals who share an interest in African and African Diaspora studies.
  • Personal Growth: Develop leadership skills, intercultural competence, and a sense of global citizenship.

The Renaissance Scholars program is not just an opportunity to live in specialized residential hall program; it’s a transformative experience that encourages exploration, dialogue, and celebration of the rich diversity within the African Diaspora. Join us on this exciting journey of discovery, collaboration, and personal growth.

The 4-Year Academic Plan

  • First-Year Experience¬†
    • Undergraduate Research (students will be an introduction to the options available on campus)
    • 1x monthly Lunch & Learn hosted by AAASExPSJ: research opportunities, SPDC, Community Service (Sandra Reid), Counseling Services, creative writing (Shaina Jones)
  • Sophomore Experience
    • Undergraduate Research
    • 2 exploratory hours though 499 (prepare student to apply to Lumen Project)
    • Study Away to Harlem, NY (during spring break)
  • Junior Experience
    • Undergraduate Research
  • Senior Experience
    • Undergraduate Research
    • Study Away during Winter Term (Ghana, Senegal)