The Center for African American Studies organizes events and programs that enrich the offerings of the African American Studies Program. The Center's programming deepens campus and community conversations about contemporary and historic matters relating to African American Studies and the African diaspora. The Center often cosponsors events with student organizations as well as departments, programs, and center colleagues. The lecture series, symposia, poetry readings, exhibits and artistic events are open to the Wesleyan Community and the general public.
The CAAS Distinguished Lecture series, launched in 1994, has brought to campus individuals known for their influencial writing, inspiring activism, demonstrated leadership, and fearless community engagement. Past speakers have included Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights leader Julian Bond, historian Robin D.G. Kelley, scholar of public policy and law Dorothy Roberts, and university professor and author Cheryl LaRoche.