As one of Penn’s six cultural resource centers, Makuu: The Black Cultural Center is a nexus of academic, professional, and personal growth for students interested in Black culture and the African Diaspora. Through advising, leadership development, network facilitation, and cultural programming, they expand student access to the University’s resources, enhancing our campus and global communities. It’s also a space for students to gather, plan, study, laugh, rest, and just be.  

The Center is affectionately regarded as “home” for many Black students and alumni and provides a comfortable and convenient space for faculty and alumni talks, academic workshops, and film screenings. In addition, students can reach out to the Center when looking for research opportunities and alumni connections. 

Makuu supports the Robeson Cooper Scholars, a program for students interested in interdisciplinary social justice, and much more to help students navigate their Penn experience while serving the Philadelphia community.  

Group of 9 Makuu leadership students sit on a picnic table and converse outside. They are all wearing matching #BlackExcellence sweaters.

Students from Makku celebrating #BlackExcellence. 

As the parent center of Umoja—the University of Pennsylvania’s coalition of Black student groups—Makuu advises the student leaders of our many academic, cultural, performance and faith groups on campus. Major projects, co-produced with student groups, include the Kwanzaa Dinner, Senior Celebration, and Ase Academy. 

Cultural excellence is the cornerstone of Makuu’s existence. Makkuu celebrates this excellence regularly whether it be in small ways during food-filled dinners, or in big ways by inviting speakers to share about their art, career, or latest endeavor. The Center serves as a nurturing reminder that Penn students can and should define success in rich, holistic ways that add value to their personal experiences and the broader community.