AARC's Tenth Anniversary:

A Party on the Green

Ten years ago a small group of faculty, staff and students approached the administration with an idea for a center that would cut across all inner boundaries to "enhance the quality of campus life for African American faculty, staff, administrative employees, and students." They emerged with a commitment that set up the African American Resource Center, which from its small office at 3537 Locust Walk dispenses advocacy and advising to address issues in harassment (whether for race or for gender), discrimination, and grievances as well as consulting to those who would study the workplace with a view to preventing maltreatment.

As part of its mission to build a community of harmonious diversity that will be "a model for academia and society at large," the Center holds information events year-round, some coping with the fallout of restructuring and other workplace issues at Penn. There are sessions on career development in a changing society, communications with supervisors and working parent issues, to name a few (for more: www.upenn.edu/aarc).

Wednesday on College Green, over a hundred friends of the Center gathered to celebrate its tenth anniversary with speeches, song and poetry. There was remembrance--of Dr. Allen Green, the Center's first director, who sent greetings from his current post as dean of the college at Wesleyan, and of Isabel Sampson-Mapp, who received a standing ovation for her service as acting director during the search that led to to the appointment of alumna Jeanne Arnold as director in 1995. Another ovation greeted Ms. Arnold, who operates the center with Assistant Director Jack Lewis and Staff Assistant Afi Roberson.

 Brother Kenyatta, left, with Penn poet Tanji Gilliam, C '02.

   AARC's logo and its colors--gold, black and olive--appeared on totes, tees and in icing on the cake, left.

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 30, April 27, 1999