African drumming, dancing open UC Davis student center

WHAT: UC Davis will celebrate the opening of its Center for African Diaspora Student Success with a ceremony featuring African drumming and dancing.

At the heart of the campus's new African-American Initiative, the center will facilitate many services -- including on-site tutoring, academic advising and mental health counseling -- to support those historically underrepresented in higher education.

See the full release at:

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 26, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE: UC Davis campus, patio on the north side of the South Silo

WHO: Speakers will include:

  • Milton Lang, associate vice chancellor for student life, campus community and retention services
  • Kayton Carter, director of strategic African American retention initiatives
  • Mariah K. Watson, first female African American president of the Associated Students of UC Davis
  • Theodore Mitchell, student coordinator of African diaspora community programming at the Cross Cultural Center


  • two African drummers
  • performance by the Nigerian Student Dance Group
  • tours of the center

BACKGROUND:  The African-American Initiative aims to grow and strengthen the pool of competitive African American applicants; increase the number of admitted students who enroll at UC Davis; support their retention — and increase graduation rates.

In fall 2014, just 3.6 percent of UC Davis undergraduates from the United States identified themselves as African American or black. African American graduation rates are lower than those for all undergraduates.

New actions under the initiative include hiring staff dedicated to the recruitment and retention of African Americans; and strengthening relationships with African diaspora alumni, faculty and community organizations.

The initiative is among campus efforts to support the success of historically underrepresented groups and reduce the time necessary for all students to earn their degrees.

DIRECTIONS and PARKING: Members of the working news media may park for free in any regular, nondesignated parking spot by placing a media business card on the driver's side of the dashboard. Interactive Map of the South Silo area:

Media Resources

Milton Lang, Student Affairs, 530-752-8787,

Kayton Carter, Student Affairs, (530) 752-9732,

Mariah Watson, Associated Students of UC Davis, (310) 227-0775,

Julia Ann Easley, News and Media Relations, UC Davis, 530-752-8248,

Primary Category

Secondary Categories

Student Life