Who We Are

The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Research in Black Culture and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was established on July 1, 1988.

Initially known as the Black Cultural Center, it was renamed for beloved faculty member Dr. Sonja Haynes Stone after her untimely passing in 1991. Upon its inception, the Stone Center was focused on raising awareness of and appreciation for African American culture within our campus community.

Over time, that focus has expanded to incorporate cultural and academic programming, including the work of the Institute of African American Research (IAAR), which was conceived of in the early 1990s and founded in 1995 by UNC faculty who believed it was important to have a free-standing center devoted to researching Black life and history.

Audience members at a Stone Center event
Attendees at Nnenna Freelon’s Stone Memorial Lecture, Fall 2018.
Dr. Genna Rae McNeil and Dr. Louise Toppin at the inaugural McNeil Black History Month Lecture
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” performed by Dr. Genna Rae McNeil, professor emeritus of history at UNC, and Dr. Louise Toppin, Professor of Music at the University of Michigan, at the inaugural McNeil Black History Month Lecture (2023).
A woman looking at a painting in the Stone Center gallery
​​Gallery opening of multimedia exhibition “DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual, Resistance by artist Fahamu Pecou,” Fall 2019.


Upcoming Events

Gallery Exhibit: “Initiations” (Curator: Paula Damasceno)

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - Saturday, May 11, 2024
6:30 pm - 6:00 pm
The Stone Center’s Brown Gallery and Museum will feature an exhibition entitled; INITIATIONS curated by Brazilian visual artist Paula Damasceno. The exhibition will open from February 20 at 7:00PM through the end of the spring semester. Regular gallery hours are 8:00AM-5:00PM, Mon - Fri.

McNeil African American History Month Lecture w/Keisha Blain

Thursday, February 22, 2024
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Join us on Thursday February 22, 2024, at 7:00PM in the Stone Center Auditorium, when Dr. Keisha Blain, a New York Times Best-Selling Author & Award-Winning Historian from Brown University, delivers the 2024 McNeil African American History Month Lecture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2024 Spring Diaspora Lecture with Daniel Widener

Tuesday, April 16, 2024
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Join us on Aug. 16 at 6:00PM in the Hitchcock as Prof. Daniel Widener (UC San Diego) for the 2024 Diaspora Lecture entitled: "Continent to Continent: Global/Local Iterations of the Anti-Apartheid Struggle". Prof. Widener is a professor of history at UC San Diego and director of the UC San Diego Institute of Arts and Humanities. His most recent book is: Third Worlds Within: Multi-ethnic Movements and Transnational Solidarity (2024).
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UISF Fellows posing on the Stone Center balcony, 2019.
UISF Fellows posing on the Stone Center balcony, 2019.

Support the Stone Center

Regardless of its size, your gifts have a real and meaningful effect on the work of the Stone Center. Whether you support deserving students through fellowship opportunities, research that leads to innovative revisions to existing schools of thought, community outreach projects, international initiatives, or our visual and performing arts programs, your gift helps us to make a difference in the lives of real people. Thank you in advance for your contribution!

Ways To Support