Leupp and Wessels Halls, Bishop Quad, College Avenue Campus

The Paul Robeson community was established in 1976 and is a symbol of acknowledgment of the late Paul Robeson, a celebrated African-American activist, scholar, artist, athlete, and Rutgers graduate. This community places special emphasis on aiding first-year students as they make the transition from high school to college. It encourages community interaction and involvement, scholarship, as well as self-growth. Community members stress cultural enrichment and awareness among themselves and the Rutgers community. They work collaboratively with staff and faculty mentors towards academic achievement and excellence. The community strives to engender curiosity, interest and understanding of the history and origins of the African Diaspora and the relevance and importance of that understanding in day-to-day life.

Community members will live on College Avenue Campus, adjacent to downtown New Brunswick theaters, restaurants, student-friendly shopping, and the NJ Transit train station for easy access to NYC and Philadelphia. Leupp and Wessels Halls are in the heart of the College Avenue Campus in the scenic Bishop Quad area.

  • Build a network of faculty and staff members who are willing to assist you in your college journey
  • Engage in cultural immersion and enrichment
  • Past programming has included:
    • Movie nights
    • Holiday celebrations
    • Cultural dinners
    • Guest speakers
    • Community service
  • Participate in discussions/activities with Rutgers professors to build strong academic connections and mentoring relationships.
  • Connect to other LLCs such as Latin Images (Latin diaspora), Asian American Identities and Images (Asian American diaspora) and French Language and Culture.
  • Explore Rutgers within a smaller community of students and make friends!
  • You do not need to identify as Black in order to participate in the Paul Robeson LLC.
  • Students applying should have an interest in leadership, cultural enrichment, and the African Diaspora.
  • In order to participate in an LLC, you must live in the building in which the LLC is located.
  • Incoming first-year must place into Basic Composition or higher for English testing
  • All class years within all undergraduate schools.

LLC Orientation

Make Rutgers home! We’d like you to begin to connect with students, faculty, and staff even before the start of classes. We intend to have an LLC orientation in late August or early September. Students who have been accepted to the community will be provided further information on the LLC orientation date and time.

  • Incoming first-years will take a specific section of the Byrne Seminar: Introduction to Paul Robeson as a Global Citizen. Incoming transfers and continuing students, not in the Community Ambassador Program, will take a specific section of Introduction to Africana Studies. 
  • Participate in academic success workshops and opportunities for academic coaching
  • Receive individualized attention from residence life staff, who will guide and advise you to provide a smooth and successful transition into Rutgers through course registrations, getting involved, managing your time, academic development, showing you the “ropes” and common pitfalls to avoid in your first year.
  • Upper-class students will have the opportunity to engage in leadership roles and serve as mentors for first-year students

Student Testimonials

  • “As part of the Paul Robeson LLC experience, I had the amazing opportunity to learn so much more about the political and cultural history of American social movements, especially regarding the civil rights movement and the political philosophies of Robeson himself. Coming into college I was not fully sure of what major I was planning to do, but learning more about Robeson’s political activism throughout his life made me realize how personally passionate I truly am about politics and philosophy. The LLC experience did indeed help narrow my decision-making in this regard!”
  • “The most beneficial aspect of the LLC this year was having the great opportunity to make new friendships with fellow LLC members and new connections with the PRCC and PRLLC staff members!”

Paul Robeson Community Ambassador Program

Students who have participated in the Paul Robeson Living-Learning Community, and taken the seminar, may come back to the community the following year, and participate in the Community Ambassador Program (CAP). Rather than taking the seminar again, CAP members are encouraged to continue their cultural and personal growth by actively participating in the following activities:

  • 1-2 service projects/academic year created in collaboration with the community;
  • Attend events hosted by the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, Center for Latino Arts and Culture, and the Asian American Cultural Center;
  • Meet twice a month for a film, music, or book review, and discuss where participants see the respective identity group within the film, historical context related to the film, parallels to current events, etc. Each month CAP members will review media from a different group’s culture, rotating between the Paul Robeson LLC, Latin Images LLC, and Asian American Identities and Images LLC.

Application Process

Paul Robeson Success Institute

Looking for other supportive communities? The Paul Robeson Success Institute (PRSI) is a 3-day signature experience that will help academically and socially prepare you for the transition into Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The PRSI experience is open to first-generation, low-income, and/or historically underrepresented incoming and transfer students. Connect with peers, faculty, and staff to build support and become a successful student scholar. Sign up here to learn about how you can participate in the 2022 Paul Robeson Success Institute!

For more information, please submit an interest form.