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The African American Resource Center

February 10, 2011

In April 1987, the African-American Association, comprised of Black Administrators, Faculty, and Staff, wrote a document and delivered it to the President of the University, Sheldon Hackney. The document outlined several instances of discrimination and harassment experienced by African-American students and employees at Penn. It was suggested that a resource center be created to specifically target the issues faced by the African-American community at Penn. At first, President Hackney denied the request, but after a gathering on College Green by over 100 students to reiterate that racism is still an issue in the lives of African-Americans at Penn, President Hackney decided to reverse his original decision. In September of 1987, the African American Resource Center (AARC) was founded.

“The mission of the African-American Resource Center (AARC) is to enhance the quality of life for faculty, staff and students at the University of Pennsylvania, with a particular focus on those of African descent.” AARC does this by offering services such as workshops and information sessions, advocacy, and referrals to appropriate offices within the University. The current director is Valerie Dorsey Allen.

Renata Henry, C’11

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