Dunbar Leadership Society
Forward Together

Southern Illinois University was founded in 1869 and from the university’s inception, African American students could attend without specific admission barriers. The Dunbar Society was established in 1904 to organize the activities of African American students, but it was not until 1925 that the Dunbar Society began organizing academic, athletic, and social activities. The society served as a precursor to the university’s Black Studies Program (currently Africana Studies) and the Black Affairs Council, both of which were founded in the 1960s.

Through the SIU Foundation, the Dunbar Society has been reintroduced as the Dunbar Leadership Society. With your support, we will become the leading program supporting African American students of any Illinois public university. 

Since the 1960s, Southern Illinois University has maintained one of the highest African American enrollments of state-funded universities in Illinois. Current African American enrollment at SIU is 14.3 percent. The Dunbar Leadership Society will actively engage with the Africana Studies program, which helps ensure SIU students have access to a diverse, socially enriching educational experience.


• Establish an advisory board with direct access to the Office of Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 

• Provide college scholarships (recruitment and retention) to low-tomoderate income African American students who have expressed a desire to attend college and have shown academic promise. 

• Provide support to the Black Affairs Council and host key events that will attract African American students from across the country. Such events will address academic and professional development topics, which will enhance personal development and community engagement.

We are asking donors to pledge a minimum of $1,000 annually to support DLS initiatives. ($83.33 per month).  To make a pledge, please visit:  https://connect.siuf.org/giving/make-a-gift  Click Find A Fund, search for Dunbar and select the fund.  

See what people are sharing about SIU Day Of Giving!
Don't forget to share!

Questions? See our FAQ.

Or you can contact us at feedback@foundation.siu.edu.