UNCW African American Cultural Center Wins Center of the Year Award

UNCW’s Upperman African-American Cultural Center was recognized “for the depth of service it provides to students and the community” at an event this month.

The center received the Center of the Year award from the Association of Black Culture Centers at its annual conference Nov. 3-5 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to a press release.

“Upperman has garnered national attention over the years for being a center that consistently blends innovation with intention,” Sean Palmer, director of the Upperman Center, said in the release. “Our ABCC directors kept saying ‘we follow you to learn how to do it well.’ I think coming out of the pandemic, directors of black culture centers were inspired by our digital footprint, our depth of programming, our art gallery, and the overall aesthetic and design.

In addition to the Center of the Year award, Upperman also received the Kummba Innovative Program of the Year award for its Juneteenth Teach-In, a conference where community members, leaders and university staff discuss issues affecting the black community and are working to find solutions. Upperman Program Coordinator Ashlee Fleming received the New Professional of the Year award.

“We are proud to have had a program that is an integral part of our June 19 celebration that brings together a number of voices working to create spaces for black communities in southeastern North Carolina,” said Palmer said in the statement. “We believe our program is considered innovative because of its commitment to connecting with our wider community. We believe the ability to teach Black people about race, power and resilience makes this event especially powerful. »

The Association for Black Culture Centers provides professional development opportunities for institutions to learn best practices on strengthening African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and multicultural centers. The Upperman Center at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington has hosted two ABCC conferences.

James C. Tibbs