Legacies: Whose University?


Legacies: Whose University?


This collection discusses the lasting impact of Project 500 on the University of Illinois campus, its institutions and curriculum. In the 1970s, African American students at the University of Illinois were the first minority group to fight for an active presence on campus. Project 500 allowed the UIUC campus to become more diverse and open to non-white students. This collection discusses some of the more contemporary aspects of African American presence at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Some of these legacies include the Afro-American studies program and the African American Cultural Center. Elements such as these have paved the way for things like the Native American Cultural House and development in minority studies. Today, SEOP continues at UIUC through organizations like the Office of Minority Student Affairs, or OMSA. Organizations like these allow non-white students to receive any extra support that they might need at the U of I.
We can see now that Project 500 had some wonderful lasting effects. But is there more? What else can be done at UIUC in order to make the campus even more diverse?


Joe Bennett
Joanna Nowak

Collection Items

Habari Newsletter
The "Habari Newsletter" began circulating in 1984, because the African Studies program began to flourish at this time. This publication started as a text-based, newsletter for African American alumni. Initially, it primarily discussed programs on…

Cultural Centers
"In 1969 the African American Cultural Center was created with the two-fold purpose of assisting the University in providing a safe and welcoming environment for African American students and a resource to the campus at-large regarding African…

University of Illinois Black Chorus
Song: "Refuge" by K. Edward Copeland & Ollie Watts-Davis

The University of Illinois Black Chorus was founded by four music-loving students in 1968. Later, in 1969, the chorus was co-sponsored by the School of Music Choral Division and the…

First photo: covers of the first two volumes of "Irepodun."Second photo: photographs from inside the first published "Irepodun."  "Irepodun" was the first African American yearbook to be published at the University of Illinois. The first issue…

Admission Statistics Graph
This graph shows the increase in the minority population of undergraduates at the University of Illinois since the creation of Project 500. The enrollment increases steadily throughout the 1970s and 80s. The biggest increase comes in the Asian…

Accessibility at UIUC
The University of Illinois has continued many affirmative action policies since the inception of Project 500 in the 1960s. Pictured is an official newsletter stating the policies of affirmative action for the University of Illinois in 1974 (bottom).…
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