Simspon elected VP of NCBS

Published 2:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2018

Western Illinois University Professor Alphonso Simpson, Jr. was recently elected vice president of the National Council for Black Studies.

Simpson, who is also chair of WIU’s Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was nominated for the position by colleagues across the United States. He is an Andalusia native.

“I have always been passionate about Black Studies, and the space it occupies within the academy,” said Simpson. “As vice president of this national organization, I seek to continue to be a voice for Africana/Black Studies programs all over the country. My colleagues and I will establish standards of excellence and provide development guidance for Black Studies programs in institutions of higher learning, facilitate the recruitment of black scholars at all levels and promote scholarly Afrocentric research on all aspects of the African World Experience, and make this information more accessible to the general public.”

The National Council for Black Studies is based at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio. For more than 40 years its members have been involved in driving the development of Black-Africana Studies as a respected academic discipline. The organization was started in 1975 by African American scholars who recognized the need to formalize the study of the African World Experience, and to expand and strengthen academic units and community programs devoted to the endeavor.

Simpson received his doctoral degree in philosophy from the University of Wyoming, his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his bachelor’s degree in music education from Alabama State University.

At Western, Simpson is also the founding director of the United Voices of Western Inspirational Singers (UVOWIS), a 45-voice student choral organization. He brought the group to Andalusia in 2013 and again in 2014.

For more information on the National Council for Black Studies, visit