The Center for RECAAL’s research driven programming and academic year events are built around an annual theme. Events are interdisciplinary in scope, drawing on history, social sciences, theory and method, culture and the arts.

First year Kick-Off Event

April 27, 2021

The Center for Research, Engagement and Collaboration in African American Life’s Black Entrepreneurs, Innovators & Business Leaders Series

A public conversation with Dawn Davis, the first Black female Editor in Chief of Bon Appétit.

Last year Dawn Davis became one of the few Black top editors in Condé Nast’s history. In her wide-ranging role she will lead the Bon Appétit brand and have editorial control of the company’s food outlets Epicurious​, ​Healthyish​ and ​Basically across all media, including print, digital, social media and video. Dawn Davis brings over 30 years of experience as a prominent editor and executive who has been one of the few Black power players in the book world. In her role as a vice president at Simon & Schuster, she founded and published 37 Ink, an outlet promoting and advancing the stories and work of marginalized voices. She also brings her avid cooking skill and a general passion for culinary cultures to this role. Ms. Davis is the author of If You Can Stand the Heat: Tales From Chefs and Restaurateurs, which included profiles of chefs such as Edna Lewis and Anthony Bourdain. Join the Center for RECAAL for a riveting conversation with this powerful business leader about her history making career and plans to advance African American voices in the culinary world.

This virtual event will be held on April 27, 2021 at 6PM EDT and is free and open to the public. Registration is required here:

Dawn Davis Event Registration

Opening Symposium: “The Future of Research, Teaching, and Engagement in African American Life”

May 22, 2020

In collaboration with Corey Walker, chair of Wake Forest University’s new African American Studies program, we convened nine preeminent scholars, center directors and department chairs of units focusing on African American life for an enriching dialogue. These scholars offered perspectives from their respective disciplines, giving attention to the significant possibilities of having both a center and program on one campus. Each participant spoke to the ways their representative scholarship speaks to current trends in the evolving study of African American life and offered perspectives regarding untapped possibilities of future studies. Most importantly, we learned practical strategies for getting the center off the grown successfully. The participants included: Eddie Glaude (Princeton); John Jackson (UPenn); Kesha-Khan Perry (Brown); Greg Carr (Howard); Dana Williams (Howard); Claudrena Harold (Virginia); Mark Little (UNC Chapel Hill); Sylvester Johnson (Virginia Tech); and Josef Sorett (Columbia).

Examples of RECAAL Events:

Black Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Business Leaders Series

Each year the center will host a speaker or a symposium comprised of Black leaders in various professional fields to share their experiences in route to success.

Faculty Seminars

Annual research seminars comprising of faculty from various disciplines to investigate common topics related to African American life.

Research Symposiums

Held annually by and for Wake Forest faculty and students. The topic will be tied to RECAAL’s chosen theme for that academic year and will encourage broad research and curricular initiatives by faculty and students.

Lecture Series

Speakers will be chosen collaboratively by members of the executive and steering committees, representing multiple disciplines and departments.

Semester Receptions

Hosted casual receptions each semester to bring people together to introduce them to the Center and each other. Receptions will focus on a theme or be driven by a five minute presentation from a faculty member to generate conversation. This effort is intended to encourage additional opportunities for collaboration among faculty across campus.

Annual Theme Focus

The Center for RECAAL will frame its focused research initiatives and programming around annual themes. In this way it brings together scholars, students, practitioners and local community members in critical interdisciplinary engagement about topics such as public health and Black communities, mass incarceration, and food justice and culinary culture.

More on Thematic Events