Welcome to the Barner-McDuffie House!  The Barner-McDuffie House is a place that acknowledges, validates and uplifts the Black experience, benefitting all students on the Syracuse University campus.

Connect with Barner-McDuffie House

To request a tour, for questions or to request accommodations, please email Barner-McDuffie House or call 315.443.4005.

Hours of Operation

At any time during hours of operation, students are encouraged to come to the space.

  • Academic Year: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.–9 p.m., Saturday: Closed, Sunday: 12:30-9 p.m.
  • Thanksgiving, Spring and Winter Breaks: Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday: Closed
  • Summer Hours: Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday: Closed


Barner-McDuffie House Reservation Form

Barner-McDuffie House reservation options and building highlights include the following.

As the room encourages community and comfort, students often congregate in the social lounge.  Elements such as artwork and accessories that are representative of some Black homes are throughout the social lounge.  A variety of activities happen here as students use the space to watch movies, play games, host events, sing karaoke, sleep, study and hangout. This large room includes a television and many modular chairs to accommodate game night, movie night and group discussions.

  • Room Location: 108
  • Room Capacity: 20

This quiet area hosts the names of Black literary giants flanking students while they study.  The student subcommittee identified each of the names and quotes that are showcased in this room and visitors will find that they represent the many intersectionalities that exist within Black individuals.   This room is equipped with plenty of seating and room to study, it can also hold small groups such as book clubs.

  • Room Location: 201
  • Room Capacity: 20

The mural throughout the room was concepted and designed by Syracuse University students.  Offering numerous modular tables, this room is large enough to hold well-attended meetings and small programs.

  • Room Location: 108
  • Room Capacity: 20

Making the building fully accessible, the Barner-McDuffie House hosts an elevator.

The maximum capacity of the house including standing and sitting areas is 150. However, if only seated the number reduces to 80.

Artwork is a major component in the Barner-McDuffie House. Local artists, faculty and alumni are represented in the space and the students took great care to recommend a variety of artists who they feel best express the full Black experience.

This building came to fruition during the social unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd.  It was of the utmost importance to students that there was a space in the Barner-McDuffie House that was dedicated to Black bodies lost to violence.   This space has also become one that allows students time for introspection, contemplation, decompression and rest.

  • Room Location: 205
  • Room Capacity: 4

A fully functioning kitchen equipped with cooking essentials, tables, chairs and a television that can address all presentation and entertainment needs. Students use this space to cook, enjoy catered food and share meals. 

  • Room Location: 106
  • Room Capacity: 20

The theme for this room is entertainment, highlighting representation throughout of entertainers who have shaped the Black experience as well as the global entertainment experience.   This space is fully equipped with a television that can address all presentation and entertainment needs.

  • Room Location: 202
  • Room Capacity: 12

The theme for this room is Black History at Syracuse University.  The Barner-McDuffie House is partnering with other areas on campus to identify visual elements that will represent the historical aspect of the Black student experience.  A great place to meet and study, this space is fully equipped with a television that can address all presentation and entertainment needs.

    • Room Location: 103
    • Room Capacity: 12

Barner-McDuffie House Highlights

As a place of belonging, to grow individual and collective success, to celebrate culture and identity, while learning from one another through conversations, events and community support, highlights include but are not limited to the following. Visit the Syracuse University Event Calendar for upcoming events.

As self-care takes various forms, these seminars help prepare students for creating an alignment of caring for one’s mind, body and soul.

Through collaboration with key University partners and recognized student organizations this initiative helps grow community connections.

Alongside academic year celebratory months, intimate conversations are hosted to further celebrate the intersectionality of being Black. To motivate and empower the campus community, each talk is centered around identities, background, personal and professional growth.

Provides students the opportunity to distinguish the connection between their academic and professional identities, outline their next steps to achieve their goals, while growing their network.

Itanwa Orinwa (Our Story, Our Song) is a graduation ceremony dedicated to celebrating the achievements of Syracuse University graduates of color. ltanwa Orinwa was founded in 2002 at Syracuse University by a group of distinguished Black students.

Class of 2024 Itanwa Orinwa

Friday, May 10, 2024, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

JMA Wireless Dome

Degree recipients who would like to be honored during the ceremony, as well as faculty and staff who would like to process at the ceremony, are asked to complete the Itanwa Orinwa registration form by Friday, May 3. Non-degree recipients and all other attendees do not need to register. For more information about the event, please visit Multicultural Affairs.

Helps to foster relationships through creative collaborative initiatives to serve Syracuse University's self-identified Black diasporas.

Community Engagement

The Barner-McDuffie House is happy to help students find ways to get involved in the greater City of Syracuse community through places to volunteer and Black-owned businesses to explore.

Volunteering Opportunities

Please note, the list below is provided for your information only. Inclusion should not be interpreted as official Syracuse University endorsement.

Brady Market is a community-centered grocery store on the westside of Syracuse that provides the resources to build a new beginning, inspiring change through hope, health and healing: Hope by employing, educating and equipping individuals for success; health by increasing access to healthy and affordable foods; and healing by way of increasing social connections, access to resources and support within the community.

Point of Contact: Samuel De La Paz, samuel@bradymarket.org

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Marketing: Assisting the marketing coordinator with content creation, market research and tracking return on investment (ROI) on marketing campaigns.
  • Data: Tightening up data collection in our point-of-sale (POS) system and analyzing product sales trends to inform future strategy.
  • Supply Chain: Assist with the management of our supplier database, especially in getting ready for the local harvest season so we can capitalize on our relationship with local farms.

Cafe Sankofa is a volunteer-run wellness cooperative on a mission to support, educate and provide the Southside community with healthy options, informed by a model of cooperative economics and community engagement. They’re working towards a future where all people in the City of Syracuse's Southside community have equitable access to healthy food, wellness programming and health-related education and resources, regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

Point of Contact: sankofacafe5@gmail.com

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Fresh Food Access: Farmers markets, food shares, reduced cost groceries and more.
  • Yoga and Fitness: Yoga, zumba, and other wellness and fitness classes.
  • Community Resource Hub: A hub for information about community resources and events.
  • Special Events: Cultural events and other timely programming, all open to the public.

The Center for Community Alternatives, founded in 1981, is a leader in community-based alternatives to incarceration and policy advocacy to reduce reliance on incarceration. They provide direct services to communities in New York City, Syracuse and Rochester, engaging approximately 3,500 youth and adults annually who would otherwise be incarcerated.

Point of Contact: cca@communityalternatives.org

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Court Advocacy
  • Gender-Based Substance Treatment and Recovery Communities
  • Student Advocacy
  • Violence Prevention
  • Workforce Readiness
  • Youth Mentoring for Justice-Involved Youth

The Community Folk Art Center's mission is to exalt cultural and artistic pluralism by collecting, exhibiting, teaching and interpreting the visual and expressive arts. Public programming includes exhibitions, film screenings, gallery talks, workshops and courses in studio and performing arts. A proud unit of the African American Studies Department at Syracuse University, CFAC is a beacon of artistry, creativity and cultural expression engaging the Syracuse community, the region and the world.

Point of Contact: Cedric Bolton, ctbolton@syr.edu

Volunteer Opportunities

  • After-School Programming
  • Arts Exploration
  • Career Exploration
  • Youth Mentoring

The core mission of The Dunbar Association, Inc. is to enhance the quality of life, break the cycle of generational poverty and develop racial equality in our community. The agency has filled the gaps created by the color division in the city and has helped to maintain African American culture in the city by acting as a location for the Black community’s social events like dances, youth groups, meetings and weddings.

Point of Contact: dunbarassociation@dunbarsyr.org

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Senior Services: Health, financial and estate planning services; exercise classes; Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP); Home Headquarter services
  • Youth Programming: Homework assistance, academic tutoring and STEM.

Syracuse Community Connections is a community-based organization whose mission is to help people better manage their lives. With each interaction with their clients, they have an opportunity to impact lives in a positive manner. Their team-oriented approach affords staff an opportunity to grow and develop while providing extraordinary customer service.

Point of Contact: receptionist@smnfswcc.org

Volunteer Opportunities

The majority of their positions are human services and health care-related with a focus on women’s reproductive health. If you are passionate about working with the community and have a positive can-do attitude, learn how you can become part of their team.

Black-Owned Businesses

Please note, the list below is provided for your information only. Inclusion should not be interpreted as official Syracuse University endorsement.

Gwynne A. Wilcox Reflection Room

The Barner-McDuffie House came to fruition during the social unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd. It was of the utmost importance to students that there was a space in the Barner-McDuffie House that was dedicated to Black bodies lost to violence. The following list includes the names of deceased victims of Black violence honored and remembered in the Wilcox Reflection Room.

NameAgeYear of DeathPlace of DeathStory
Celestine Chaney652022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Roberta A. Drury322022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Andre Mackneil532022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Katherine Massey722022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Margus Morrison522022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Heyward Patterson672022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Aaron Salter552022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Geraldine Talley622022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Ruth Whitfield862022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Pearl Young772022New YorkGrocery Shopping
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton452015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
DePayne Middleton Doctor492015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
Cynthia Hurd542015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
Susie Jackson872015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
Ethel Lee Lance702015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
Clementa Pickney412015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
Tywanza Sanders262015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
Daniel L Simmons742015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
Myra Thompson592015South CarolinaAttending Bible Study
Ahmaud Arbery252020GeorgiaJogging
Sandra Bland282015TexasDriving
Rayshard Brooks272020GeorgiaSleeping in His Car
Michael Brown182014MissouriJaywalking
Philando Castile322016MinnesotaDriving
Jamar Clark242015MinnesotaIn Police Custody
Stephon Clark222018CaliforniaComing Home
John Crawford III222014OhioGrocery Shopping
Jordan Russel Davis172012FloridaPlaying Loud Music
Michael Dean282019TexasDriving
Jordan Edwards152017TexasDriving From a Party
George Floyd462020MinnesotaIn Police Custody
Eric Garner432014New YorkIn Police Custody
Freddie Gray252015MarylandIn Police Custody
Gregory Gunn582016AlabamaIn Police Custody
Akai Gurley282014New YorkWalking From His Apartment
Botham Jean262018TexasAt Home
Trayvon Martin172012FloridaStore Run
Laquan McDonald172014IllinoisIn Police Custody
Tyre Nichols292023TennesseeDriving
Tamir Rice122014OhioCarrying a Toy Gun
Keith Lamont Scott432016North CarolinaIn Police Custody
Walter Scott502015South CarolinaDriving
Alton Sterling372016LouisianaIn Police Custody
Breonna Taylor262020KentuckyAt Home
Jayland Walker252022OhioDriving

Make a Gift in Support of Barner-McDuffie House

To make a gift in support of Barner-McDuffie House, please email Rachel Vassel ’91 G’21, associate vice president of Multicultural Advancement.