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Published on Dec 4, 2009
UMass Amherst awarded an honorary doctorate on Dec. 3, 2009, to Chuck Davis, the internationally renowned founder and artistic director of the African American Dance Ensemble and the New York-based festival DanceAfrica. Davis has strong ties to UMass Amherst. Davis has visited and been in residence at UMass Amherst in recent years, to set choreography for dancers at university performances, give master classes and lectures and to share the joy of dance with young children in Springfield and other local communities through The Sankofa Dance Project: Celebrating African Roots in American Dance. The Sankofa Youth Reach program serves Springfield youth ages 14-22, bringing dance classes to the schools and providing tuition and housing scholarships to Springfield youth to attend the Sankofa Dance Project Summer Dance Intensive at UMass Amherst.