African Diaspora Home


Organizationally, the African Diaspora Initiative is positioned as followed:


1. Office of the President (Presidet Astrid Tuminez) 

2. Division of Student Affairs (Vice President Michelle Kearns)

3. Inclusion Excellence (AVP Tara Ivie)

4. Multicultural Student Services (Director Darah Snow)

5. African Diaspora Inititaitve (Program Director Jerome Currelley)

In our work, we strive to help students of the African/Black diaspora embody success in school, work, and life. We offer support and avenues for student development. As a program in the area of Inclusion Excellence, we work to foster "inclusion, remove barriers, promote global and cultural competence, create meaningful resources, and support students on their path to graduation." As part of the extended family of Multicultural Student Services we are intentional in creating an atmosphere of belonging for all students. As an African-centered program we honor the various background, traditions, and modes of expression our students bring with them to campus. We seek to highlight the intelligence, beauty, talent, and spirit of togetherness embodied by many African peoples and cultures.

Symbols and Language

Utah Valley University's Mascot


Utah Valley University's mascot is the wolverine which represents endurance, toughness, and perseverance.

We strive to find African symbols, concepts, and language which relate to core UVU values.



"Aya (eye–yah) is part of adinkra—visual symbols linked to the (former) Gyaman kingdom (Côte d’Ivoire) and Ashanti culture (Ghana). The word Aya is derived from the Twi language, and is translated to “fern”. Aya is a symbol of endurance, resourcefulness, and defiance against oppression (Kojo Arthur, 2017)"

UVUmilivu (oh-vu-me-lee-vu)

East African Community Flag
UVUmilivu is a Swahili term for patience, endurance, and tolerance.

Swahili is a widely used language in East Africa.

Benefit to the University as a Whole

The African Diaspora Initiative contributes significantly to the "come as you are" approach of UVU. We collaborate with campus and community partners to assist others in developing programs and services which enhance equity, inclusion, and diversity in our various schools/colleges and shared spaces.