The American University of Paris celebrated Black History Month in 2022 and featured student-led initiatives opened to the AUP community. Check out the events that were planned down below and learn more on the organizing groups on AUP Engage. 

2022 Events

Barthélemy Exhibition in the Combes Gallery

Elodie Barthélemy is an artist of dual Haitian and French culture whose work explores questions concerning multiple identities and the myriad of relationships woven into the history of human interaction. Elodie uses various mediums to great effect, including drawing, painting, installation, sculpture, performance, participative work, and scenography.

In celebration of Black History Month, Elodie has chosen to exhibit her artworks that transform and deform the codes of The Fine Arts Academy. History painting, full-length portraiture, and marine painting are employed to force each viewer to reconsider important figures and places from the period of slavery.  The port of Nantes, the Marquise de Vaudreuil, even the philosophers of the Enlightenment are shown to be connected to the commerce of the triangular trade and, by extension, the crimes committed on Saint Domingue and beyond.

In addition to the two-dimensional works, the installation in the Quai Building evokes the vital relationship between the living and the dead in Haitian culture. Elodie presents the syncretism of Voodoo and Catholicism, complete with the Guedés, the intermediaries of the world of death, and the tombs that rise throughout the Haitian countryside.

Educational Inclusivity Discussion

Since its creation in Fall 2019, Black and Abroad has been standing strong in its mission to advocate, educate and represent. In our strive to create safe-spaces for Afro-descendant students, it is crucial to also analyze the spaces we all navigate as global explorers. In light of Black History Month, it was important for Black and Abroad to initiate a conversation around the inclusivity of academia. We must acknowledge the quality of education and the freedom of expression that bring about diverse opinions that already permeate through the walls of AUP. Nonetheless, it is still a valuable discussion that may lead to a greater experience in forming the global citizens we are. Black and Abroad believes that conversations around this are important as change is an element of society that waits for no individual.

An inclusive classroom climate begins with an inclusive syllabus. It is crucial for us to ask ourselves who is represented in readings, themes and topics or the reasons behind why one group or another is not represented frequently.  To foster a culture of inclusivity, equity, and diversity, this is a conversation that must involve all – faculty, staff, and students. We want to ensure that you are heard, your experiences are valued, and you feel represented as an individual full of unique characteristics true to yourself. We invite respective AUP departments to contribute to this conversation that aims to foster representation of all members of the American University of Paris community.

Date: Wednesday, February 9 & 11, 2022

Time: 6:30 PM CEST Paris Time

Place: Microsoft Teams

Storytelling and Representation 

Black and Abroad will be hosting poet Yazmin Monet Watkins for a poetry workshop around Feminism, Self-appreciation, and representation in literature and her works. Yazmin Monet Watkins is a bisexual poet, comedian, writer, actress, producer, educator and organizer. Touring her intimate yet political poetry from Obama’s White House to Johannesburg, and empowering students from Harvard to youth prisons, Watkins’ body of work weaves art and activism, exploring the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, self-love and all things Black Girl Magic. Theatrically she is represented by United Talent Agency and has worked on numerous feature films, commercials, sketches, shorts and new media projects including collaborations with her all Black female comedy team Obama's Other Daughters. You can see their work on Comedy Central and Shondaland. She has performed, taught, lectured and empowered students internationally and across the U.S. at colleges, universities, and community organizations—including as a featured performer and opening events for Angela Davis, Roxane Gay, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, and the Dalai Lama. She serves as co-chair of the Arts & Culture committee for Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.

This event will be centered around creative writing, self-appreciation, Black and intersectional feminism, and is also OPEN TO ALL ALLIES AND STUDENTS OF THE AUP COMMUNITY.

Date: Saturday, February 12, 2022

Time: 4:30 PM CEST Paris Time

Place: Combes Student Life Center


Black and Abroad

The mission of Black and Abroad is to create and establish a sense of community for all Black students attending the The American University of Paris (AUP). Our purpose is to provide a safe space exclusively for Black identifying students of African descent. The main objectives are to educate, advocate, and represent the Black student population at AUP.

Our club consists of weekly closed meetings and open public events. 

Learn more about Black and Abroad on Engage

International and Comparative Politics Executive Board 

The ICP Board’s creation stemmed from a strong desire to unite the Department of International and Comparative Politics and ensure the representation of their interests. It was adamant for us to gather a group of student leaders within the field of politics to facilitate events, guest speakers, and community building across our department. Our goal is to ensure inclusivity across all cohorts as we guide the first-year students navigating their educational path and assist the seniors in their respective journeys to being the future leaders of tomorrow. 

In honor of Black History Month, the International and Comparative Politics Executive Board and faculty curated a video in 2021 to recognize the Black community and commemorate the momentous political figures whose legacies have influenced and inspired a generation of new leaders.  

We’d like to thank Professor Julian Culp, Lillian Agar, Adaeze Nwokolobia, Krystel Nozier, Mitchell Rutledge, and Fatimata Atty G. Djibrine for their participation and input. 


Black Alumni at AUP

In partnership with the University, the mission of Black Alumni at AUP is to provide resources, create opportunities, and support those who experience discrimination and racial injustice. As citizens of the world, our humanity binds us to the cause of “bridging the gap of narrow nationalisms” and shaping a better future for a new generation.   

The Diversity Council

The Diversity Council supports a culture of ever-greater diversity, equity, and inclusion at AUP. It functions as an advisory council and recommending body to the President and Provost, as a liaison to departments across the University, and as an advocate for all members of the AUP community who feel they have experienced bias or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.