To become a national model for African-American and African-Diaspora cultural and research centers that effectively provides service, programs, and engages the community and builds toward becoming self-supporting through research, development and alumni participation.


The John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute is committed to intellectually, culturally and socially inspiring students toward excellence, success and service. Through programs, resources, services and activities the Institute fosters a nurturing, supportive and welcoming environment focused on students of African origin. Moreover, the Institute is dedicated to engaging the broader university community, the surrounding urban community and the world for balanced student and leadership development enjoined with the promotion and distinction of their career goals.


The John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute, “The Institute”, as a part of student affairs, has positioned itself within Northeastern to play a significant role in supporting African-American students and providing services and programs to increase opportunities for academic success, civic engagement and social inspiration. The Institute has come a long way since its early days amongst the turbulent 1960s. Its history has been one of determination and progress. Born out of the idea to create an oversight committee for Northeastern’s Black community, the African-American Institute was established in 1968 to develop and implement a long-range plan for a genuine, effective and permanent Black presence at Northeastern University. On October 5, 1992, the African-American Institute was renamed the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute in honor of Vice President John D. O’Bryant, an untiring advocate for educational opportunity and excellence at Northeastern University and throughout the city of Boston.

Read more about the history of the John D. O’Bryant African American institute from its inception to today.