African Diaspora Fellows Program – Summer 2016


What I took out of the African Diaspora
Fellowship Program is that the the feeling that I’m a better teacher. Our experience with ADFP was immersive
on so many different levels. You know we were dancing, you know we were listening
to stories, you know by what I consider our modern-day griots, you know we were
we were constantly engaging each other. We were constantly challenging each
other. In the fall of 2014, I told students in my Blacks and Latin
America course that I realized that I needed to be part of the solution and
help teachers share this information with their students prior to college. Realizing that most teachers probably
weren’t familiar with this material, hadn’t learned about it in college, and
it wasn’t in textbooks or in a lot of the things that students were reading in
middle and high school. So, ADFP really started as an idea it
started as a concern and after I met with Emily Chávez we decided that we
would try to move forward with some type of project that would really help
provide professional training, professional development to teachers. One
of the goals of the African Diaspora Fellows Program was to have
representation from all eight State Board of Education regions. These
teachers came from schools with different demographic populations, urban
and rural schools, and just different amounts of access to the University
content and resources that we were providing here. What I got out of ADFP
was a tremendous amount of resources. They played a vital role in me
rearranging my whole curriculum to incorporate the African diaspora
in almost every single unit I taught along with a lot of professional connections
with another teachers across state North Carolina. Some of the teachers who
participated in African Diaspora Fellows Program
approach this as a way to bring the world to their students, as a way to
connect their students to more enriched and deeper histories than they may have
been previously aware. And as educators it’s important for us to use those
resources in purposeful and intentional ways that are designed to expand our
students understanding. This has allowed me to enrich my study of it so so much
and it allowed me to understand that you know we have Africa but we also have you
know Afro-Latino cultures you know we have prominent groups that are located
over the entire world and sometimes they tend to get lost when we pigeonhole
a view of Black history. In the coming year Kia Caldwell and I will co-edit a book
about the African Diaspora in the K through 12
classroom and hopefully this book will become a resource for teachers, for
education programs, for pre-service teachers and everyone who is interested
in enriching and diversifying curricula at the middle school and high school
levels.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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