The Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale University (“the House”) commemorated its 50th anniversary April 29 – May 1, 2022. With a theme of “Renaissance & Revolution: Celebrating 50 Years of the Afro-American Cultural Center’s Legacy at Yale & Beyond,” this celebration recognized the historical significance of this great institution and the invaluable intellectual, professional, and cultural contributions made by its members to the university community and society at large. 

[Related: Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale 50th Anniversary Video Series]

Here, alumni share their meaningful memories from their time on campus and stories of how the House shaped who they are today.

Icon of the logo for the Afro-American Cultural Center 50th Anniversary celebration

Wendell Nii Laryea Adjetey ’15 MA/MPhil, ’18 PhD

“There is a strong spirit of service and sacrifice at the House. House pioneers, such as O.R.D., embodied these traits, which are part and parcel of the African American experience, which, of course, is integral to the history of the African Diaspora.

“For Black people – regardless of where they call home in the African Diaspora – a Yale education is most potent when one uses it to transform the material conditions of Black people whom injustice and exploitation have rendered invisible. Our first and still undisputed greatest Yalie, Dr. Edward Alexander Bouchet, taught us this lesson through his selfless and humble service in behalf of our marginalized.”

Icon of the logo for the Afro-American Cultural Center 50th Anniversary celebration

Nicole Angela Tinson, MAR

“When I was at Yale, the Afro-American Cultural Center, also known as the House, was the place I found solace. The House was my home away from home and the community I so desperately needed to be a part of. Dean [Risë] Nelson, the students, the staff, the events, and the opportunities to breathe new life into the overall Yale community shaped me for the better. I'm a successful business leader because of the skills I gained while at the House. I'm also a better person. I'm forever grateful to and for the House and hope for the next 50 years, students will also find a place they can call home.”

Icon of the logo for the Afro-American Cultural Center 50th Anniversary celebration

Nicholas Roman Lewis ’93

“It is a bit surreal to be arriving at this anniversary. It's very exciting, even just being in the room during the Bouchet Ball. I’m honored to be recognized [with a Champion Award] by the Afro-American Cultural Center and to join in celebrating my fellow Yalies.”

Icon of the logo for the Afro-American Cultural Center 50th Anniversary celebration

Leonard A. Thomas ’14

“It’s impossible to choose one specific memory, but I just remember being at the House in the office all the time. I was on student staff there, so all my all-nighters and writing my papers were in the office. I remember staying up late, falling asleep, waking up, and just being on that couch and being there. The House is so much more than a building. It’s a home.”

Icon of the logo for the Afro-American Cultural Center 50th Anniversary celebration

Ivetty Estepan ’18

“My most memorable moments here was the March of Resilience, which came out of the House. I remember finishing my Black and Freedom Identities class with Jafari Allen and then walking downstairs to train de-escalators. Then, walking outside to hundreds of people lined up already and we all started here. We started chanting and we walked around the whole university and that's still one of the biggest demonstrations in university history. And that all started at the House. And I was part of that.”

(Adapted from her appearance on Yale Alumni LIVE)

Join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale! Share your meaningful memories today. 

You May Also Be Interested In