African and African Disapora Studies Department
African and African Disapora Studies Department

Nneka Guidelines for AADS Students

Nneka Waturuocha

In Spring 2015, the African and African Diaspora Studies Department (AADS) community lost a brilliant global scholar, Ms. Nneka Waturuocha. Nneka was a 21-year old senior on track to graduate in May 2015 with a double major in African and African Diaspora Studies and International Relations and Global Studies. Nneka spent the summer of 2014 in Nicaragua gathering research to support her honors thesis on the concept of diaspora as a geopolitical strategy of African supranational entities like the African Union. Actively involved in the campus community, after graduation Nneka planned to pursue graduate studies in law or public policy. At the Spring 2015 CoLA graduation ceremony, a moment of silence was observed in her honor.

In her memory, Nneka’s spring 2015 AFR 376 course classmates crafted the “Nneka Guidelines,” (below) modeled after Nneka herself. These five guidelines exemplify the qualities all AADS students should strive to achieve. They are as follows: 

Nneka Guidelines

  1. One must strive to understand the intersectionality of oppressions forced against marginalized groups, with a focus on blackness, not only in America but across the globe.
  2. One must make efforts to shed one's prejudices and respect those who may not think, act, or behave in ways identical or similar to one's self.
  3. Beyond the academy, it is necessary to acknowledge, respect, and reach out to those of our community that may not fit within the spaces we currently occupy, nor within the frames of respectability by which we are forced to live in accordance.
  4. Blackness is multifaceted. Tolerance and understanding therefore need extend beyond race and culture into spheres of sexuality, spirituality, ideology, and otherwise.
  5. Love, respect, and reach out to those of your experience. This journey cannot and should not be suffered alone.

To further recognize Nneka, AADS named the undergraduate student space on the second floor of the Gordon White Building the Nneka Waturuocha Student Lounge. It is the department's hope that students will use this space to study, meet, and explore in the spirit of Nneka's exemplary scholarship. Please drop by the Nneka lounge in GWB 2.116 to learn more about Nneka and her contributions to AADS.