About the Center for African American Studies


Mission Statement

To facilitate the discourse on race and contextualize it within historical, cultural, and structural factors that shape diverse experiences in the United States. We accomplish this goal through our academic minor in African American Studies, and by engaging the broader Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex through community outreach.
Dr. Schnavia Hatcher, left, and Dr. Marvin Dulaney

Dr. Schnavia Hatcher, left, and Dr. Marvin Dulaney

History of the Center for African American Studies

The Center for African American Studies (CAAS) was established in August 2012 as the only one of its kind in North Texas—and one of three in the state. CAAS enhances the University of Texas at Arlington’s reputation as one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in the United States.

Dr. Schnavia Hatcher served as CAAS’ founding Director from Fall 2012 to Fall 2016. Dr. Marvin Dulaney, former chair of UT Arlington’s Department of History, served as Interim Director from January 2016 to December 2016. Dr. Jason E. Shelton, an Associate Professor of Sociology, has served as Director since January 2017.

7th annual opening lecture
The 7th Annual Opening Lecture with Dr. Anthony Greene (left).


We strive to enlighten, inspire, and empower students, faculty, and community stakeholders to create progressive, collaborative, solutions that drive social change within the African American community and larger society.