Africana/Black Studies Events

SUNY Geneseo's Africana/Black Studies program co-sponsors the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration each spring, as well as other dynamic programs that bring renowned artists, poets, and scholars to campus throughout the year.  Explore the links on this page to learn more about events sponsored by the Africana/Black Studies program.

Student Awards 

The Black and Africana Studies Program is seeking submissions/nominations for our two 2023-24 student awards. Each involves a prize of $150.

I - The Essay in Black and/or Africana Studies Award

It is NOT necessary for the paper to have been completed as part of a BLKS course and applicants need not be Black and Africana Studies minors or majors. Papers are read for clarity of argument, sophistication of analysis, quality of writing, and if applicable control of data and/or research material. Essays and other brief papers are welcome and strongly encouraged; the maximum length for a paper is 20 pages including notes. Additionally, if applicable, please give a short summary (of a few sentences to a paragraph) of the context of the assignment for which the paper was written--particularly the name of the course and the gist of the assignment prompt.

Papers should be prepared for anonymous review by removing your name from within the document. Please save the file with the name of the award and the title of your paper/project in the file name. Submit your entry online by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. 

General Guidelines: 

  • Submit 2024 Geneseo Writing Contest entries online by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. As submissions will be judged anonymously, entrants’ names cannot appear on the manuscript.
  • Upload your entry as a Word doc(x), PDF, or video file. Please do not share a Google doc, since it cannot be composed or reviewed anonymously.
  • You may submit separate entries to more than one contest category, but you may submit only one entry in any category. No simultaneous submissions: you cannot submit the same piece of work to more than one category in the contest.
  • Although the English Department organizes the Writing Contest, it is open to any current Geneseo student, and we strongly encourage you to submit excellent writing on any subject, from any academic program.
  • In 2024, winners of the Writing Contest will be honored at the English Department awards ceremony on Study Day, Thursday, May 9.
  • Please address any questions to Dr. Gillian Paku, Director of the Writing Learning Center: or to Dr. Maria Helena Lima at

II - The Art/ Activism/Leadership Award 

This Award is presented for outstanding contributions to Black Studies Art/Activism/Leadership on campus or in the community in the Spring, Summer, and Fall of the previous academic year. 

All nominees will be reviewed based upon:

  1. a current resumé, and 
  2. a letter of nomination of no more than two pages that describes the organization(s) where the nominee worked (on campus, community, or otherwise), the significance of the work accomplished, and specifically how this relates to Black Studies and/or Anti-Racism Initiatives. 

Nominations must be submitted by Thursday, April 11th at 11:59pm via email to both Susana Castillo-Rodriguez (at or Maria Helena Lima (at  

Self-nominations are accepted and strongly encouraged. Those candidates who are nominated by others will be contacted by the committee and asked to submit a resume.