Ohio State University’s African American and African Studies Community Extension Center (AAASCEC) provides outreach and engagement on behalf of the Department of African American and African studies, a discipline dedicated to academic excellence and social responsibility. Housed in a physical facility off campus on the near east side in a community whose residents are predominantly of African ancestry, the AAASCEC is uniquely positioned as a part of a land grant institution to fulfill the legal and moral obligations to educate and enhance the quality of life for Ohioans and to address the most pressing issues confronting the citizens of Ohio, particularly those to whom its curricula and research endeavors are devoted.
Our mission is to advance the well-being of the people of Ohio, the nation, and the global community. Through extensive collaborations with institutions and organizations sharing our values and commitments, and the creation of platforms for analysis and strategic planning around the policies and practices that have fostered the conditions currently experienced by Black people, our aim is to help facilitate healing and help rectify some of their devastating multi-generational consequences. Emphasis the cultural strengths accounting for Black resilience and capacity to thrive in the midst of social conditions in which Black youth are forced to decree “Black Life Matters.”
Situated in a predominantly African American area just three minutes from downtown, the center is a focal point for addressing key issues of local, national, and global concern. Committed to service to the African American and African community in Ohio and beyond, since its opening on Ohio Avenue in 1972 and movement to its present location on Mt. Vernon Avenue in 1985, the Community Extension Center, now more than ever is called to demonstrate leadership in the best of the African tradition of wisdom and deep thought. Wisdom, defined as the capacity to realize what is of value in life for oneself and others including knowledge, know-how, and understanding, and giving intellectual priority to discovering possible solutions to the problems of living, is much needed from all cultural perspectives. The African American and African Studies Community Extension Center seeks to bring wisdom and values driven decision making to all of its endeavors.
The AAAS Community Extension Center is recognized by many for the fulfillment of its mission. It continues to reach out to University faculty and programs to utilize the CEC to bring to the community their academic excellence and research/problem solving acumen. Most recently the African American and African Studies Community Extension Center has implemented as a part of its new initiative “Cultural Enrichment and Enhancement of Individual and Collective Health and Sustainable Well Being,” the development of the home for the Ubuntu Brain Trust, African Diaspora Think Tank/ Research Institute, Near Eastside Roundtable, and Ubuntu Legacy Leaders and Legends Collective.