Welcome to Black Culture, Innovation & Technology! This is the newest office of the Division of Arts, Belonging and Community.
In order to meet the workforce needs of today and tomorrow, Georgia Tech is engaged in a strategic effort to increase access and success for students from historically underserved communities, with a particular emphasis on students who identify as Black or African-American. Black students have comprised an increasingly greater proportion of the incoming new student class each year. However, we cannot just focus on access: we are responsible to also ensure their success.
As such, Black Culture, Innovation & Technology opened in September and was created to help Georgia Tech increase access, enrollment, retention, and graduation for Black students so as to meet present and future needs across Georgia and the US for diverse, talented professionals and leaders in science, technology, and other growing industries of the future.
Black Culture, Innovation & Technology is open today as much due to the efforts and tenacity of those who came before, as it relies on the contributions and commitment of those who are here today. While advocacy for a Black culture center has been longstanding, there are several milestones of note. In August of 2020, Georgia Tech’s Black Alumni Organization recognized the challenges that Black students face as minorities at Georgia Tech and requested that actions be taken to improve educational access and success for Black Students. Such a program was essential to fostering Black students’ sense of belonging, as well as contribute in notable ways to retention and graduation through array of programs and services. Conversations about establishing such a center continued throughout 2021; a full assessment and resulting report produced by a team of external consultants was endorsed by our Black Student Organizations and student leaders. The Black Culture Center Planning Committee convened for regular meetings starting in December of 2021 and submitted a formal proposal to the President’s office in October of 2022. President Ángel Cabrera then announced the establishment of Black Culture, Innovation and Technology in April of this year, and this new program was founded in September 2023.
The establishment of Black Culture, Innovation & Technology is a significant milestone for Georgia Tech; it signals to our current and prospective students that Georgia Tech is a place where they belong and where they matter. Working collaboratively with all colleges, divisions and departments, co-curricular offerings hosted by this new office will:
- Enhance recruitment and yield in the enrollment management process, increasing our competitive edge with top-tier peer institutions;
- Support academic learning and success at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels with the goal of increasing retention and graduation rates;
- Facilitate student belonging and mattering, as well as community and connections with fellow students, as well as with alumni, faculty, staff, and public and private sectors, by leveraging culture, history, arts, sciences, and other fields of inquiry as the catalysts; and
- Foster synergies between Georgia Tech and the broader community to support innovation and entrepreneurship in technology and related fields.
A national recruitment effort to find the inaugural Director for this new program is well underway and we hope to have an appointee in place by January 1st. An advisory board of students, faculty, staff and alumni met for the first time on September 15, 2023, just before the Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony; they will provide consultation, feedback, recommendations and support to this new program as it moves forward to develop, sustain, and continually improve a comprehensive array of high-impact activities, events, programs, and services in support of our educational mission.