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 (BCC), 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, it  evolved into a dynamic academic and community engagement space, 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 research.

As a Center under the Office of the Provost, we embrace a university-wide mandate to acquire, analyze, and disseminate information through education.

Our work centers educational and academic programming that is broadly grouped into four categories: ARTS & CULTURE, OUTREACH & SERVICE, SCHOLARSHIP and RESEARCH. Notably, while no longer a separate entity, the research focus of the IAAR is folded into the fabric of our initiatives. 

The Stone Center encourages a critical approach to intellectual inquiry, supports principled scholarship, and encourages collaboration and engagement with audiences on and beyond the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

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.

By the numbers


Public events


Unique visitors annually


Undergraduate and graduate students served


Upcoming Events

No event found!


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