Wilberforce is a census-designated place (CDP) in Greene County, Ohio, United States. The population was 1,579 at the 2000 census. It is the home of two historically black universities. Wilberforce University was established in 1856 by the Methodist Episcopal Church and African Methodist Episcopal Church. Central State University originated as a normal school and expanded to a college and university. The community was named for the English statesman William Wilberforce, who worked for abolition of slavery and achieved the end of the slave trade in Great Britain and its empire before he died in 1833. The community was important as a stop on the Underground Railroad before the American Civil War, with seven stations. It has also been important in the history of black education, with Wilberforce University the first college owned and operated by African Americans, and for which African Americans were among the founders. With its National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, the university has expanded its learning opportunities for the regional community. The Association of African American Museums, also located in Wilberforce, works to build professional capacity among smaller museums. Wilberforce is part of the Dayton Metropolitan Statistical Area.