“...we must build spaces that nurture our spirit, heal our spirits, teach our histories, develop communal agendas of empowerment and are safe spaces for ourselves and communities. The inability of our people to understand this "sustaining a minority mentality" in a strategic moment that we are the demographic majority population continues to render us marginalized. The heroic survival of our ancestors and the sacred practices they sustained speaks to the energy of the warriors that we each possess.” (Bayard Rustin, From Protest to Politics, 1965)
These words spoken by Bayard Rustin are as true today as they were 50 years ago, if not more so. Now, true to the Black Studies mission of academic excellence and social responsibility, in September the African American and African Studies Community Extension Center (AAAS CEC) implemented the new initiative, Cultural Enrichment and Enhancement of Individual and Collective Health and Sustainable Well Being. Thanks to all of those who have participated in our initiative we can honestly say we are well on our way toward the achievement of our vision and meeting the needs Rustin identified.
Members of our larger communities, local and global, are suffering with regard to all aspects of health. Proclaiming and insisting along with our young people that our lives matter, we have had no time to waste in calling for all the good among those who are ready to stand for life sustainable.
The AAAS CEC is the place to gather and give the best each has to give for the sake of us all here in now. As we seek to fulfill our legal and moral obligations as a part of a land grant institution to enhance the quality of life for Ohioans and address their most pressing issues bringing in synchrony the bountiful expertise at the University to provide wisdom to local, national, as well as global concerns.
The role and goal of the CEC has been and continues to be that of becoming a central site and force in the practice of solutions focused wisdom promotion for a healthful, just, sacred, sustainable world. The serious and rigorous research that has been done in Black Studies over the past forty years is being brought to bear on our programmatic agenda, which has required the full participation of the members of the local and university communities. We have called, and they have answered, build-in collaborative relationships, convening open forums and programs around issues of concern that community members see as priorities. Thanks to our committed community members and leaders, OSU faculty and administrators with the expertise and resources needed to share and promote the wisdom requisite to discovering possible solutions to the problems of living identified, we say "THANK YOU". We will stay the course and victory will be ours