Mentoring Program


The UCSB AfroLatinidades Institute is a multifaceted component of the Global Latinidades Project that participates in the recovery and analysis of the African roots of Latinx history, culture, and identity. Through a $485,000 grant from the University of California promoting partnerships between University of California campuses and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with additional cost-sharing from the Erickson Presidential Chair in English, the AfroLatinidades Institute has inaugurated a unique collaborative partnership between UCSB and three Historically Black Colleges & Universities—Spelman College, Morehouse College & Texas Southern University—The AfroLatinidades Advanced Mentoring and Summer Research Program.

This three-year undergraduate program provides six student interns per year—two from each partnering HBCU—with research opportunities and resources to explore interdisciplinary scholarship on AfroLatinidades, that is, the African roots and contemporary contexts of Latinx history, culture, identity and politics. It focuses on AfroLatinx literature, film and popular culture by and about AfroLatinx populations in the US: Dominican American, Puerto Rican, Chicanx, Mexican and broader Caribbean, Central and South American heritage nations from the African diaspora. The program is designed as an advanced sustained interdisciplinary research experience that prepares interns for acceptance into and success in graduate programs in the literary and cultural arts as well as the humanities and social sciences in general. The goal of this UC-HBCU partnership is to increase representation of Black students in University of California Ph.D. programs.

The AfroLatinidades Advanced Mentoring and Summer Research Program pursues this goal with year-long activities that include remote discussion groups, a live six-week summer school session at UCSB, and follow-up mentoring and chaperone support for interns to present their research at conferences. The capstone summer school session includes two summer session courses at UCSB—AfroLatinx Literature & Art, and AfroLatinx Cultural and Political Theory—are taught by faculty specialists Kiley Acosta and Ben Olguín. Academic activities include a creative writing workshop by noted poet Rick Benjamin, GRE preparation sessions and mentorship on applying to UC graduate programs. Interns interact with UCSB student and faculty mentors in academic and social settings, and also travel to UCLA & UC Riverside to meet students and faculty to discuss graduate program opportunities. Interns will have support to present research at the National Collegiate Honors Council, National Association of African American Honors Programs and National Conferences for Undergraduate Research, with UCSB and HBCU faculty mentors joining.

For more information about the Summer Program, see AfroLatinidades Institute website at:


Highlights from the inaugural 2022 Intern Cohort activities are pending.


The AfroLatinidades Mentoring Program is a yearlong initiative that offers intense mentoring in AfroLatinx literary and cultural studies, humanities and interdisciplinary research methods, professionalization mentoring, and team-building and leadership mentoring. The program is designed to cultivate research relationships with top students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, with the ultimate goal of having them apply to UC graduate programs as part of larger efforts to increase African American students in UC graduate programs. The schedule of activities thus spans January - December 2022.


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Monthly Thematic Discussions

As an introduction to the mentoring program, and in preparation for the intensive in-person summer mentoring program at UCSB, Interns will participate monthly thematic discussions from January to May. The thematic discussions will provide an overview of the general field of Latinx Studies vis-a-vis Latin American Studies, with attention to Afro-Latinx Studies vis-a-vis African American and ethnic studies in general. Specific subtopics such as Nuyorican Poetics and Politics, AfroMexican Cultural Renaissance, and more will be explored.

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Intern Activities

Faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate peers provide a network of unique mentoring resources. Significantly, the majority of faculty mentors consists of people of color. Student interns also will network with participants in other UCSB HBCU programs. Regular social events will serve as the space for these interactions, and several cohort bonding weekend excursions also are planned. Additionally, student interns will meet with diverse faculty and students at 2 university campuses in the UC System: UC Riverside and UC Los Angeles.

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Student Internships for the annual AfroLatinidades Advanced Mentoring and Summer Research Program are open only to students enrolled at Morehouse College, Spelman College, or Texas Southern University. All Student Internship applications are administered through each partnering institution. Please consult the HBCU Faculty Associates for your respective HBCU to apply directly. For any questions contact your campus AfroLatinidades Advanced Mentoring and Summer Research Program Faculty representatives or staff at or Program Director Ben Olguín at