The Office of African-American Affairs was established in 1976 as an integral part of the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Virginia. It is charged with the responsibility of assisting academic and non-academic units in meeting the challenges of service delivery to African-American students. The Office assumes broad responsibility for the creation of a supportive environment which promotes the students' full participation in the University's extracurricular life and enhances the sensitivity of the larger community to the needs, interests, and culture of its students. At the same time, it recognizes the intellectual and social diversity among African-American students and strives to gear its programs and services accordingly.
In addition to providing services, the Office also seeks to foster interest in African-American culture as a major force in a pluralistic society. It maintains on-going cooperative relationships with students, faculty/staff, alumni, parents and the community. These liaisons exchange information and advice, enhance the opportunities for the educational growth and successful matriculation and retention of African-American students.
Finally, the Office of African-American Affairs serves as a change agent, seeking to assist the University in addressing a range of issues related to students. It advocates their interests and fosters the modification of institutional structures, policies, and practices, which may inhibit the development of a genuinely pluralistic institution.
The Office of African-American Affairs has several goals. They are the driving force behind the development of strategies (i.e. programs, activities, counseling, etc.) for fulfilling the OAAA's mission.
- To assist the University of Virginia with creating a welcoming environment supportive of African-American students' full participation in University life
- To provide African-American students with programs and services
- To enhance the University's sensitivity to the needs, interests, and culture of African-American students
- To work collaboratively with University and non-University entities in providing opportunities for the educational growth, matriculation and retention of African-American students.