Outreach & Engagement
In 2014–2018, the African Studies Initiative (ASI) organized and convened a dynamic and highly successful program of workshops and summer institutes for K–12 and community college educators, including educators at federally designated minority serving institutions (MSIs), on topics ranging from understanding African global migration, teaching African identities through film, and African literature in the classroom to Arabic and Somali for educators, colonialism and health care in Africa, teaching the genocides of Darfur and Rwanda, and economies of Africa. Most engaged educators from the Twin Cities metro and across the state of Minnesota; several, however, addressed educators at major national conferences, including those of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). A monthly Africana book club also brought together local educators to discuss books well suited to helping younger student audiences explore African literatures, histories, and lives with critical sensitivity and with attention to the diversity of African perspectives.
ASI outreach and engagement programs also forged collaborations with educators to think “Africa” outside the box. Two notable programs bookended the ASI's work in 2014–2018. In the first, Narratives of Identity: Challenges and Issues (3 April 2015), faculty presenters Elaine Fleming (Leech Lake Tribal College), Nadia Mohamed (Minneapolis Community and Technical College), Anthony Adah (Minnesota State University–Moorhead), and Joseph Mbele (St. Olaf College) joined faculty attendees from the University of Minnesota to explore indigeneities, anti-colonial struggles, and the quest for sovereignty in Anishinabeg (Ojibwe) and diverse African nations. In the latest, African Voices of Paris (31 October 2018), Normandale Community College faculty member Jen Bouchard and filmmaker Joanna Kohler came to the University of Minnesota to share the documentaries they have created on the lives of four individuals of Guinean, Senegalese, and Rwandan origin in contemporary Paris, as well as a curricular website that supports multi-modal pedagogy on African migrations at the K–12, college, and university levels. This Title VI-funded project developed from a longstanding University of Minnesota collaboration with Normandale Community College in a series of ASI curriculum development institutes.
In 2018–2022, the Institute for Global Studies (IGS) will continue outreach to educators on topics addressing multiple world areas, including Africa. Visit the Professional Development for Educators page for upcoming programs—and an archive of past events.
In conjunction with IGS professional development opportunities, licensed K–12 teachers have developed a rich array of units, lesson plans, websites, and resource lists. Lessons are linked to state standards. Many resources featured on this page highlight creative ways to bring Africa into the curriculum.
IGS provides professional development opportunities for K–16 teachers on global and international topics. We are dedicated to teaching international studies and increasing global literacy in students. Many of the workshops, summer institutes, book clubs, and other opportunities featured in these pages engage African topics. See what lies ahead.