Black Cultural Center



The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center welcomes our new and returning students for the 2017-18 academic year.  We hope this year will be both successful and exciting for our entire Vanderbilt community.  Please come by the Center early and often as your time permits for interesting cultural programming, great food, and fellowship.  Also, visit this site often for programming announcements and updates throughout the year.


Vanderbilt University is rich with the history of African Americans since Joseph Johnson became the first to attend the university.  In addition to the many current events highlighted on this page, please visit the Black History Alumni Spotlight page to learn more about African American students who changed the campus landscape and enhanced Vanderbilt University as one of the top institutions in the world. You may also wish to visit our Celebrating Change website for even more highlights celebrating the legacy of African Americans at Vanderbilt University.


next at the BCC…

Fit with Faculty/Staff
Tuesday, Nov. 28th • 6:00 PM

Join us for another session on healthy living with our guest facilitator Dominique Ennis.

Dominique came to Vanderbilt University Student Centers in July 2017 from Tulane University where she was the Associate Director of Facilities for the Department of Campus Recreation.  Historically working in collegiate recreation, she specializes in facility operations, construction project management, and special events.  She has worked with a variety of operations, maintenance, custodial, professional and student staff throughout her career.  Originally from Norfolk Virginia, Dominique received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Old Dominion University in Exercise Science and Sports Management respectively.  Her professional career has taken her from the United States Navy to the University of North Carolina at Asheville where her involvement with Student Affairs began.  Upon leaving UNC Asheville her career path included stints at the University of Miami (Florida) and Tulane University (New Orleans) before ending up with us at Vanderbilt.  Dominique loves to be active in a variety of ways from walking her two Shiba Inus, to rock climbing, yoga, or a quick run.  She’s very excited to be with us here in Nashville to continue her scenic southern tour with us at Vanderbilt.  Be sure to say hello if you see her in the building!


BCC Career Mentoring Luncheon: Financial Services
Wednesday, Nov. 29th • 12:15 PM
BCC Seminar Room

Join us as we host Cathy Bender-Jackson, Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor for Merrill Lynch for her talk on careers in Financial Planning.  Lunch served.

•Invitation only through Anchor Link•

Cathy Bender-Jackson

Cathy Bender is a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor in Global Wealth Management based in the heart of Nashville. She and her team provide Goals-Based Wealth Management strategies for high net worth clients and their families.

With a concentration on retirement income and estate planning needs, Cathy brings 30 years of experience and expertise to help families make the most of their resources and achieve financial independence. As the lead Advisor on her team, planning related to life-changing events, distribution options of retirement plan assets, and professional asset management are a special focus. The investment management approach is personalized to each client’s objectives, tax situation, and personal preferences to ensure the desired client experience is achieved. The objective of her team is to provide proactive, educational and comprehensive solutions for high net worth clients.

Cathy was the first African American female to receive a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. Her tenure at E.I. DuPont and Textron Aerostructures provided springboards of success that have bred ongoing achievement throughout her 30 years at Merrill Lynch. In 2008, she received the designation of Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, CRPC ®.

Cathy has served two terms on both the Vanderbilt Alumni Board and the Vanderbilt Athletics Committee. In 2015, she was one of only 56 athletes to ever be inducted into the Vanderbilt Athletics Sports Hall of Fame. Cathy co-chaired the Endowed Scholarship Fund for the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni. As a co-chair of the Baron’s Society, Cathy helped to raise over one million dollars for the National Museum of African American Music. In her fourth term on the Metropolitan Sports Authority, Bender is the only member to ever be appointed by three different sitting Mayors. Cathy is a member of the 1996 Class of Leadership Nashville and a former nominee for the Athena Award. She is a past president of the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni, Parthenon Chapter of the Links, Inc., Renewal House, Inc. and Bethlehem Centers of Nashville. At present, she serves as Chair of the Ridley Temple Foundation and as Fund Raising Co-Chair for the Nashville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. At Merrill Lynch, she serves on the National Leadership Council which focuses on creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Serving in numerous volunteer and leadership capacities, she has demonstrated her commitment to empowering the underserved in her community and creating a more equitable environment in which others can achieve success. Cathy is a member of Mays Chapel Baptist Church in Mt. Juliet, TN and she attributes her ability to stay humble and grounded to being raised in a family with an abundance of love and strong moral values.


Graduate School Mentoring Dinner
Thursday, Nov. 30th • 6:00 PM
BCC Auditorium (Dinner Served)

Planning to apply to graduate schools and/or professional programs upon graduation?  If so, you need to attend this dinner.  The Organization of Black Graduate and Professional Students (OBGAPS) and the BCC are offering this dinner as an opportunity for you to learn how to navigate the process of applying to graduate and professional programs.  During this dinner, we will work to match undergraduates with current graduate and professional students in your program(s) of interest.  Come out and enjoy dinner and leave with the info you need to pursue your advanced educational goals.



Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration Luncheon
Wednesday, December 6th • 12:00-1:30 pm
BCC Auditorium (Lunch Served)

Please join us for great food, music, and fellowship as we celebrate the holiday season and conclude the fall semester.


Uncovered Portraits. Identities Discovered
Exhibit on display from
October 17th-December 1st
Monday-Friday • 8AM-5PM

In the decision to confront ourselves we can be free in the act of discovery. These discoveries become our dreams silhouetted against a vast backdrop. These dreams become our realities and our truths.
Lakesha Moore was formally educated in Nashville but calls the Caribbean home.  She earned her M.F.A. with a focus on painting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a B.F.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her M.Ed. in Instructional Practice at Lipscomb University.  As an artist and art educator, she is constantly looking for opportunities to learn and share ideas.  She currently lives in Nashville and is a faculty member in Tennessee State University’s Art Department.   This exhibit will be on display at the Black Cultural Center from October 17th – November 17th at 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday – Friday.
For additional information call 615.322.2524 or visit our website at
At the center of my work are ideas of identity and memory, and how and where the two meet. The two are inseparable and undeniable in the concept of oneself. I am moved by ideas of self-perception, the perception others form about us, and by the individual and collective histories that reflect these influences. The portraits’ direct or indirect gaze speak to the confrontation of the self or confrontation with the other. 
    Lakesha Moore






Click below to view Family Welcome &
Harambee March Video • August 19, 2017

2017 First-Year Harambee March