dropcap letter "T" he African Diaspora Initiative (ADI) was founded in 2020 as part of Utah Valley University’s (UVU) Multicultural Student Services. ADI serves as an African-centered “home away from home” for students of diverse African and Black identities. In their work, ADI strives to help students of the African diaspora embody success in school, work, and life. As part of Multicultural Student Services, the initiative is instrumental in creating an atmosphere of belonging for all students. As an Africancentered program, they honor the various cultures, traditions, and modes of expression that students bring to campus.he Utah Valley University (UVU) CARE Hub serves as a vital source for essential items of daily living for all UVU students. The UVU CARE Hub is dedicated to helping students connect to resources that will help them address insecurities around food, housing, health, and safety.

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Students and alumni of UVU’s African diaspora represent 20 countries, including:


Democratic Republic of Congo

Republic of Congo





South African









United States


Dominican Republic



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UVU’s African Diaspora Initiative provides direct mentoring for at least

10 students

each semester

On average, ADI facilitates

7 student activities

per month

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ADI provides food vouchers from the UVU Food Pantry for up to

25 students

per semester

Source: UVU African Diaspora Initiative

The African Diaspora Initiative seeks to highlight the intelligence, beauty, talent, and spirit of togetherness embodied by many African peoples and cultures. The initiative collaborates with campus and community partners to assist in developing programs and services which enhance equity, inclusion, and diversity in various schools, colleges, and shared spaces.

As a program in the area of Inclusion Excellence, ADI works to foster inclusion, remove barriers, promote global and cultural competence, create meaningful resources, and support students on their path to graduation. The initiative offers support and programming for student success and development.

Utah Valley University’s African Diaspora Initiative is home to an intergenerational and international community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members of diverse African and Black identities.


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ADI student holding flag


African Diaspora Initiative Goals


Increase scholarship opportunities for students


Expand professional staff


Create a dedicated space 3 for ADI students on campus


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Goal 1: Increase scholarship opportunities for students

The African Diaspora Initiative Scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in supporting students of the African diaspora at UVU. Since 2020, ADI has awarded seven scholarships to students from a variety of majors, including education, engineering, psychology, and social work. Scholarship recipients exemplify academic excellence and leadership through community service and social justice work.

Funding for the African Diaspora Initiative Scholarship will help dedicated scholars overcome financial barriers to obtaining a degree.

graduate student


Make an impact by endowing or contributing to annual scholarships.

Contact Kari Dennis for more information.

Goal 2: Expand professional staff

One of ADI’s most urgent needs is for increased staffing. Additional professional staff who are dedicated to the initiative will allow for more student support and create an increased sense of belonging on campus for members of the African diaspora. New staff will also allow ADI to diversify their programming to meet student needs, including academic, social, financial, mental health and wellness, recreational.

ADI’s staff ing limitations prevent the initiative from providing more robust and consistent support for students. Currently, ADI is focusing on the consistency of meetings through weekly, monthly, and annual social and pre-professional events. With increased funding and resources, ADI can scale their ability to support students with their academic, social, and financial needs.

keys to a house in hand



Make an impact by endowing staff positions and program funds or contributing annually.

Contact Kari Dennis for more information.

Goal 3: Create a dedicated space for ADI students on campus

ADI maintains a strong connection with the community of UVU students and alumni of the African diaspora. It is a long-held vision of this community to have a dedicated space designed specifically to strengthen the African and Black home away from home on UVU’s campus.

Students, alumni, faculty, and staff would benefit greatly from having more space for offices, meetings, and event programming. Additionally, ADI mentor students in various leadership positions on campus would benefit from having a designated meeting and storage area. Students and community members have suggested incorporating a kitchen as well. These resources will encourage more students of African descent to attend and feel like UVU is a place for them.

The Geometry of My hands

Dinah Kibwe ’23

In the geometry of my hands, you see the lines that profess that, If you cannot see the Africa on my hair, it flows deep within my veins.

The geometry of my hands have felt every part of my body. When words do not seem to console me, they have the perfect touch to comfort me.

The geometry of these hands, products of anchored roots that nurtured me, now carry the love to feed my brothers, and the destiny that our tomorrow brings.

With the power to destroy and the capacity to build. A whole world lies in the geometry of my hands.


Make an impact by contributing funds to create a dedicated ADI space.

Contact Kari Dennis for more information.

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student in library

Emmanuel Omaria ’24, Political Science

T h e Af r i c an Diaspora Initiative has greatly impacted my time here at UVU. Since joining and working for ADI, I have been exposed to so many different opportunities. It’s helped me be more bold. We’ve had networking events where I’ve had opportunities to be a host or to speak, which has helped me gain confidence. Mostly, ADI has helped me find a sense of community. I personally feel like it’s created a home away from home for me, and I enjoy being a part of it. The initiative is a very important center for students of the African diaspora, because when we come here as African students, the initiative brings us together. Having a sense of community is really important to me and many other African students. We need this initiative because it’s a big boost to student success, and hopefully we can make it even better and greater. The hope is for the initiative be even more impactful

Emmanuel Omaria ’24, Political Science


Since 2020, the African Diaspora Initiative has become an integral part of Utah Valley University. Students involved in ADI go on to give back to the community and the world in meaningful, transformative ways. By making a gift, you are helping students learn, lead, and grow.






For more information, please contact:

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