The William Payne Innovation Lab for Racial, Social, Political and Communal Sustainability serves as the research arm of the academic program in the Center for Black Studies. The Payne Innovation Lab, named after Denison University alum William Payne, class of 1906, sponsors lectures, working groups, professional development and academic seminars, including activities and resources associated with the Allensworth, California, the first Black colony in California. The William Payne Innovation Lab works in partnership with the California State Parks and Smithsonian Museum to preserve the heritage, ideals, and history of Allensworth, California and its founders Col. Allen Allensworth and William Payne. The Lab also works to assist students with internships, resources, academic support, and career opportunities with the National Parks Service, including the California State Park and Allensworth, California. The Lab also serves as a funding source for the Center for Black Studies faculty initiatives as well as initiatives proposed by faculty external to the Center for Black Studies and Denison that dovetail with the mission and intellectual thrust of the Lab, which includes projects relating to racial, political and social justice, gender, sexuality, academic development, and mentoring.