July 1, 2016
More than 30 students spent the early part of the summer exploring Ghana and the Dominican Republic as part of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs’ Overseas Study program.
This year, 20 students traveled to Ghana May 24 through June 8, for the Historical and Contemporary Cultures of Ghana course. There, students traveled to Accra, Kumasi and Cape Coast, visiting historical and cultural sites such as the Cape Coast and Elmina slave castles, the Kakum National Park, academic institutions such as the University of Ghana, and the Central University, traditional villages and markets such as Kyebi Traditional village and Kejetia market, and learning Ghanaian music and arts at the Dagara Music Center, and spending a day with Ghanaian youth at the and non-governmental organization Future Leaders. By lectures and travel activities, students focused on the cause and effects of the transatlantic slave trade, the impact on historical and contemporary cultures of Ghana and understanding the diversity of Ghanaian cultures and contemporary ways of life for Ghanaians.
The Dominican Republic trip, History of Race in the Americas: Exploring Racial Identity and Representation in Dominican Republic, included 16 students and took place May 22 through June 4. During the trip students traveled to Santo Domingo, San Pedro de Macoris, Samana and Santiago, exploring the multifaceted dimensions of race and racial identity in the Caribbean world, with particular emphasis on African Diaspora in the Dominican Republic. The trip included visits to historical and cultural sites, academic institutions such as Autonomous University of Santo Domingo in Santiago, non-governmental organizations such as the Peace Corps headquarter and Ninos con una Esperanza, which provides an alternative and structured space for children who are on the streets working for family, engaging with local communities such as Barrio Wilmore and Haitian Batey. Students examined issues of racial identity and social struggles in the Caribbean while exploring the history, culture and political aspects of life in the community.
The study abroad program aligns with priorities outlined in the university’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan, including a commitment to student success, celebrating a vibrant and collaborative community of scholars and global engagement.