Tuesday, April 23, 2024

UNCW’s Upperman receives Center of the Year award

UNCW (Port City Daily/Alexandria Sands Williams).

WILMINGTON — UNCW’s Upperman African American Cultural Center has been recognized as Center of the Year by the Association for Black Culture Centers, a national organization focusing on strengthening African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American and multiculture centers. 

The award was announced at the association’s national conference held last week in Albuquerque.

“Upperman has gained national attention over the years for being a center that consistently marries innovation with intention,” said Sean Palmer, Upperman Center director. “I think that coming out of the pandemic, Black culture center directors have been inspired by our digital footprint, our depth of programming, our art gallery and the overall aesthetic and design.”

Upperman was also recognized with two other awards. It received the Kummba Innovative Program of the Year award for its Juneteenth Teach-In, a conference where community members, leaders and university personnel discuss issues affecting the black community and work to find solutions. 

“We are proud that we have had a program that is an expected part of our Juneteenth celebration that centers a number of voices who are doing work to build out spaces for Black communities in southeastern North Carolina,” said Palmer. 

Upperman Program Coordinator Ashlee Fleming received the “New Professional of the Year” award, as well.

“Our awards are a testament to the entirety of UNCW and its commitment to support people of African descent.”

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