About the Griot Institute

Our History

GRIOT: A central figure in many West African cultures. Historically, the griot held many functions, including community historian, cultural critic, indigenous artist and collective spokesperson. The Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures provides faculty, staff and student intellectual and creative engagement with the interdisciplinary investigation of the cultures, histories, narratives, peoples, geographies and arts of Africa and the African diaspora.

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Our Staff

Cymone Fourshey is the acting director of the Griot Institute. The Griot Institute Advisory Committee consists of faculty, staff and emeriti who help to guide the Griot's narrative.

Meet our staff

Carmen Gillespie

Carmen Gillespie was the founder and director of the Griot Institute until her unexpected passing on Aug. 30, 2019. A memorial honoring Carmen was held at Bucknell University on Sept. 28, 2019.

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Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures


Hildreth-Mirza Hall, Second Floor