UMKC’s new director of Black Studies is introduced to the community
Adrienne Walker Hoard, Ph.D., the new director of UMKC Black Studies, was recently introduced to Kansas City at a reception held in her honor at the Black Archives of Mid-America.
The Black Archives is housed in an old stone building in the 18th and Vine District, with several exhibition rooms.
One room was filled with paintings, photographs and jewelry. They were the creations of Hoard, a professional artist as well as an educator.
“We are excited to have Dr. Hoard here, and I look forward to working with her,” said Gail Hackett, UMKC’s executive vice chancellor and provost. “And, I might take a few of those pieces home with me.”
As the new director of the Black Studies Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, effective Sept. 1, Hoard has plans to introduce changes to the program, including incorporating the visual arts into the program.
“Our visual arts history needs to be preserved as an emphasis area for current creativity, and the best way to preserve it is to teach it,” Hoard said.
Hoard also plans to expand the program curriculum by creating courses in African-American art, which introduce students to the history and contemporary impact of African-American artists in American society.
And, she will – as part of her long-term goals – complete the process begun by her colleagues to develop an undergraduate major in Black Studies.
The program currently offers a minor, a graduate certificate and a master’s emphasis in the area of Black Studies.
About 80 Kansas City community members greeted Hoard. Those participating on the program were Hackett; Doretha Williams, Ph.D., executive director of the Black Archives; Joe Seabrooks, president of the Metropolitan Community College; and Wayne Vaught, dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences.
“As the candidate who stood head and shoulders above the rest, I am glad she accepted our offer,” Vaught said. “I have pledged my support to Dr. Hoard and to the Black Studies Program. And we agree that we will integrate the programming into the curriculum systematically and will be seen as a resource for the community.”
“I did not arrive at this place on my own, but with a long history of black pride,” said Hoard. “I stand on the broad shoulders of those who came before me. We have passionate faculty in the Black Studies Program whose mission is to help others understand the African world – not just to teach it.”
For additional information about Hoard, visit UMKC Today “The Art of Black Studies.”