The Africana Studies Program is centered around an inclusive environment that encourages acceptance and open-mindedness by focusing on the struggles of the past and their impact on our world today.


As an Augustinian Catholic university, our mission is rooted in the lifelong vision of an African diasporic faith leader who embraced his Catholic faith and remained committed to the people of North Africa throughout his life journey. In his life-long pursuit of wisdom, St. Augustine inspired us to embrace our communities, whether overlooked or undervalued, and do our part as students to open our hearts and minds to those who think, act and live differently than we do.

Our Africana Studies Program continues this tradition, by immersing ourselves in the academic study of Africa and the African diaspora and empowering all of us with the knowledge we need to do our part to help make a difference.

  • To provide new opportunities for conversations about race through open forum programs that contribute to the university‚Äôs Augustinian Catholic mission for always serving others.
  • To encourage critical thinking and compassion through opportunities where we can each understand our history, respect our differences and help one another become even more open-minded. 
  • To advance our knowledge of the African diaspora, through the teaching of history, politics, literature, civil rights and black theology, as well as unique event programming designed to open our minds to new ideas about race.
  • To bring together students and scholars using a diverse array of methods, from ethnographic to literary-critical, from philosophical to historical, in order to explore the worlds of Black people from many angles.

Villanova University, as a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education, recognizes diversity as an integral component of the teaching and learning experience and as an essential element of the ongoing intellectual, social and spiritual development of every member of the Villanova community.

Diversity and inclusion are operating norms in the areas of curriculum, faculty hiring and co- and extra-curricular planning. In all areas, diversity indicates that the program is directing its efforts to bring a diverse set of voices into the classroom and to campus. We recognize that wisdom often comes from those who are living on the margins or are subject to oppression. Thus, we honor and affirm the diverse perspectives and identities of all, including but not limited to their race, ethnicity, gender, political opinions, religion, socioeconomic status or disability.

The Africana Studies Program of Villanova University is dedicated to engaging people of Africana descent wherever and whenever they might be found, and welcoming people of other, different cultures who have expressed a desire to open their hearts and minds to new knowledge. Diversity is at the core of our curriculum, and inclusion is integral to our community, whether you are a student, faculty or visiting scholar, everyone is always welcome to participate in our community and given the support they need to flourish.

Olukunle P. Owolabi, PhD
Director, Africana Studies
St. Augustine Center 258
Phone: 610-519-4727

Fathe Allen

Administrative/Events Assistant
St Augustine Center 202
Phone: 610-519-4710

Gabriela Molina
Graduate Assistant