W. E. B. DuBois at Clark Atlanta University


The Purpose and History of the DuBois Institute Annual Conference


In 1895, Atlanta University inaugurated a series of investigations into the condition of African Americans, which resulted in annual conferences at the University and the publication of a series of monographs based on data presented at the conference. Under the leadership of W. E. B. DuBois, Atlanta University became one of the first institutions in the South to engage in scientific sociological research on the Negro condition. Scholars and teachers in colleges and universities across the nation are still using the Atlanta University conference monographs and other publications by W. E. B. DuBois. The series of conferences and annual reports referred to as the Atlanta University Publications received great attention from scholars throughout the nation and provided a foundation for constructive efforts in social betterment for African Americans. 

            To continue this tradition, Clark Atlanta University in partnership with the Andrew Mellon Foundation is sponsoring a series of annual conferences that focus on contemporary issues of great concern to the African American community.  The goal of the conference program is to ensure that scholarly research on African American issues are made available to a wide audience, with the aim of creating an awareness among the African American community of actions needed, to address those issues and affect public policy.

The inaugural conference took place on March 5, 2002 in collaboration with the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOBPs) focusing on the theme “Health Issues and the African American Community.” The second annual conference was on April 1-2, 2003 on the theme “Housing Issues and the African American Community” and was held at the Thomas Cole Science Research Center, CAU. The third annual conference to be held on April 1-2, 2004 would focus on the theme “ Education Issues and the African American Community.”  

            In reestablishing the Atlanta University conferences, CAU is taking a bold step in its commitment to regain its historic and significant leadership role in the dissemination of information and formulation of public policy on historical and contemporary issues relating to African Americans. The conference program focuses on bringing scholars from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences and create networks that will lead to future collaboration.