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THRIVE: Black and Talented Learning Community

Located in Walsh Hall, the THRIVE: Black and Talented Learning Community is Saint Louis University's newest learning community. This learning community celebrates black diasporic identities and promotes mentorship and professional networking.

Baccalaureate celebration

Why Choose the THRIVE: Black and Talented Learning Community?

SLU's THRIVE: Black and Talented Learning Community helps students deepen their cultural understanding and awareness of the African Diasporic experience and develop the skills and tools to address institutional and societal change. The community engages in common courses and activities, including optional spring break excursions. In addition, frequent dialogue with faculty, staff and alumni serves to foster students' learning and development. As part of the experience, participants will take part in a mentoring program dedicated to personal and academic excellence during the undergraduate experience and beyond.

This learning community  is open to students of all majors. As part of the curricular component of this learning community, students will be enrolled in courses within African American studies, American studies, communication, theology, psychology, sociology, women's and gender studies and others from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Associated Classes for 2020-2021


  • UNIV 1010: Enhancing First-Year Success

  • AAM 2000: Freedom Dreams: Introduction to African-American Studies


  • AAM 2010: Contemporary Black America

Medallion: THRIVE Curricular and Co-Curricular Tracking

Students who complete all curricular and co-curricular requirements of the learning community program will receive a Gold Medallion to be worn at graduation and a learning community certificate in recognition of their commitment and achievement within their LC. 

You are encouraged to track and share progress in the learning community program with your advisers. Use the downloadable form below to keep a personal record of  your participation, and to share your LC course progress, plans, co-curricular activities and service hours throughout the academic year. 

Tracking Form for the THRIVE Learning Community

THRIVE Course Changes

All learning community students will be placed into the associated THRIVE courses by the learning community academic coordinator. To request adds, drops or other changes to your LC course schedule, you or your advisor should complete the corresponding Google Forms located below. 

Faculty Associate

Christopher M. Tinson, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Africana studies and history at Saint Louis University, where he is the director of the African American Studies Program. His scholarship and teaching focuses on African Diasporic intellectual and political history, U.S. Ethnic Studies, critical media studies, incarceration, and race and sports. His writings and reviews have been published in The Black Scholar, Equity & Excellence in Education, SOULS and Counterpunch. His first book, entitled "Radical Intellect: Liberator Magazine and Black Activism in the 1960s" is published on UNC Press, and was the winner of the inaugural Pauli Murray Prize for best book in African American Intellectual History.

Professor Tinson is a highly sought-after speaker and mentor who has led professional development workshops and lectured at numerous college campuses, high schools and carceral institutions throughout the country. He is an avid lover of basketball, used bookstores and good coffee.