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Anne Edwards named Director of NIU Center for Black Studies

July 20, 2020

A familiar face has agreed to lead NIU’s Center for Black Studies. After two years in an interim role, Anne Edwards has been named director of the center on a permanent basis.

Anne Edwards has been named the director of The Center for Black Studies at Northern Illinois University.

As interim director, Edwards increased the number of Black alumni in Homecoming events, increased support from donors and raised the visibility of the center through her involvement in the Association of Black Cultural Centers and higher education professional associations. She has represented NIU on webinars and panel discussions related to Black cultural centers and on the support needed for Black student success and to promote the value and importance of Black studies.

Vernese Edghill-Walden, NIU’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and chief diversity officer said, “I look forward to working with Anne and the CBS staff to strengthen programs and services that promote student leadership opportunities and a stronger awareness of Black history and culture.”

Edwards has worked to engage with students, faculty and staff in developing programs and initiatives about the knowledge of Black culture and the unique experiences of African American and African Diaspora communities and their intersecting identities. And, she has worked to cultivate and strengthen relationships with Black alumni and donors and the NIU and DeKalb communities.

Edwards came to NIU in 2012 as a career counselor in Career Services. She holds master’s degrees in hospitality management from Purdue University and business administration from Valparaiso University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Edwards is expected to complete her Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Psychology in December. Her dissertation is titled, “Black Women and Identity Development: A Qualitative Inquiry of the Educational Experiences of Black Women and their Motivation to Persist.”