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George Clement Bond Center for African Education

Teachers College, Columbia University

Past Events

Panel: Voices from Teachers College | April 12, 2016
 
TC alumni and students discussed their research and professional experience related to education in Africa and theAfrican Diaspora. Panelists included Kelly Nims, Ph.D., an alumna of TC whose research focuses on historic racialcategorization of Coloured or mixed race peoples in Zimbabwe; Evan Hendon, a TC alumnus and co-founder ofInstill Education, a graduate school of education based in South Africa that aims to change the paradigm ofteacher education in the country; Emily Bishop, a doctoral fellow in International Educational Developmentresearching gender and reproductive health in DRC; Kumbirai Khosa, a doctoral candidate in Curriculum andTeaching researching Zimbabwean secondary English teachers’ perspectives on inclusive pedagogical practices inmultilingual contexts; and Carine Verschueren, an Ed.M. candidate in International Educational Development whohas studied boarding schools for nomadic children in Kenya.
 
 
 
Coffee Hour: Summer Internships in Burundi with Village Health Works April 13, 2016
 
TC students enjoyed a coffee break and learned about the new partnership between the Center for AfricanEducation and Village Health Works (VHW). Deogratias “Deo” Niyizonkiza, VHW Founder and Columbiaalumnus, and Julie Dunn, TC alumna and former CAE coordinator who now serves as VHW’s EducationPrograms Director, spoke about VHW’s Kigutu Fundamental School and described summer internshipopportunities. VHW will recruit TC graduate students to design and implement professional development forteachers and support curriculum development efforts.
 
 
A Talk with Dr. Noel Tshiani: Economic Development Plan for the Democratic Republic of Congo March 5, 2016
 
Dr. Noel Tshiani, World Bank economist, presented his Congolese Economic Recovery Plan, a proposal for economic development in theDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Dr. Tshiani asserted that themismanagement of the DRC’s abundant resources must be reversed byrethinking development strategy and making transparency a priority. Asa DRC native who has worked in international development for 25years in 85 countries, Dr. Tshiani expressed confidence that the DRC, currently one of the world’s pooresteconomies, can be turned into a driver of African Growth. He presented his detailed vision for how this can beaccomplished. In addition to students from TC and NYU, many guests of Congolese descent traveled fromoutside of the NYC area to attend the event, as one key emphasis in Dr. Tshiani’s talk was the important role thatdiaspora expertise can play in the DRC’s transformation.
 
 
Guest Talk with Dr. Rajendra Chetty: Intersectionality of Race and Class November 5, 2015
 
In collaboration with the Gottesman Libraries, the CAE hosted Dr. Rajendra Chetty,Head of the Department of Research in the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences atthe Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Drawing upon critical pedagogy,Dr. Chetty reflected on the race and class debate in South Africa. The talk highlightedhow universities and schools often reproduce social and economic power systems, whichpresents a disadvantage to the advancement of poor and working class youth (most of whom are black). The talkgenerated discussions on marginalization, and racial and class inequities in education.
 
 
 
Film Screening: RFK in the Land of Apartheid, A Ripple of Hope October 29,2015
 
Co-hosted by the Gottesman Libraries, the CAE welcomed Dr. Larry Shore to sharehis film, RFK in the Land of Apartheid, co-created with Tami Gold. Using never beforeseen archival footage, and interviews in South Africa and the United States, the film tellsthe unknown story of Robert Kennedy’s 1966 visit to South Africa at the height ofapartheid. The film evokes connections between the American Civil Rights Movementand the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa. The film and the followingconversation gave special attention to Robert Kennedy’s 1966 “Ripple of Hope” speechcalling upon each of us to change a small portion of events through diverse acts of courage. The discussion alsohighlighted the historic meeting between Kennedy and Chief Albert Luthuli and the great impression that Luthuli'sleadership made on Kennedy.

 

Ethiopian Children's Storybook Author, Alem Eshetu

Writing and Publishing Children's Books in African Languages: The Case of Amharic in Ethiopia

On May 6, 2015, Mr. Eshetu, author of more that 23 children's books in Amharic, joined students and staff for a brown bag lunch to discuss the challenges Ethiopian writers and children are facing. Mr. Eshetu highlighted the work of the Academy of African Languages (ACALAN) and the Stories Across Africa project (StAAF) in promoting and supporting a culture of reading and writing in the working languages of Africa. As an Ethiopian author, he emphasized the need to build awareness for children's literature and to incorporate literature into the current school curriculum in an effort to build the nation's interest for literature. Most recently, Mr. Eshetu collaborated with TC Professor Cate Crowley to develop storybooks to be used by Ethiopian children and adults to refine their speech following cleft palate repair.

 

 

Guest Talk with Okey Ndibe, Author of Foreign Gods, Inc.

On April 1, 2015, with funding from the Vice President’s Grant for Diversity and Community Initiatives and in collaboration with the TC Department of Arts and Humanities, the Gottesman Libraries, and the CU Institute for African Studies, Nigerian author and journalist Okey Ndibe spoke about his two recent publications Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods, Inc., and preparations for future publications.

Africa39 Launch in New York City

The launch on March 3, 2015 provided a “snapshot of what is written across the continent,” according to by Africa39 editor Ellah Wakatama Allfrey. Published by the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, Africa39 is an anthology of the best Sub-Saharan authors under the age of 39. Authors Tope Florian and Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond joined Allfrey to read excerpts from their short stories, and to field questions from the audience, particularly on the need to invest in more creative industries such as literature and book publishing.

CEO of South African Human Rights Commission, Kayum Ahmed

The event was Co-hosted by the CU Institute for African Studies on December 2, 2014. Mr. Ahmed spoke on the need to shift the dominant discourse on human rights in education and to encourage teachers to facilitate open discussion and debate between students. With the riots in Ferguson, Missouri held just days earlier, Mr. Ahmed outlined the need to  “build bridges” between police and communities and to begin a narrative of empowerment.

Coffee Hour with visiting Human Rights Advocates

On November 18, 2014, the Center for African Education welcomed the participants of the Human Rights Advocates Program hosted by the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University over coffee and conversation. Each of the six advocates with work across Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and South Sudan reflected on what they learned in studying together over the past few months before they each return home to warmer weather in early December. The discussion moved from the similarities among the issues present both here and abroad to the importance of incorporating “indigenous knowledge" into international and national frameworks. One advocate expressed a need to open a “platform” for discussion among various populations to welcome this knowledge. The conversation also stressed the need to work in advocacy according to the "human perspective" and limited to the academic perspective.

Discussion with South Sudanese Education Advocate, Ador Riak

On November 10, 2014, co-sponsored by the TC Center for African Education, SIPA's Humanitarian Affairs Working Group, and the Gottesman Libraries, Ador Riak, Deputy Principal of Malek Academy in Bor, South Sudan spoke on behalf of his educational experiences. He received teacher training in Kakuma refugee camp, a post-secondary degree from the University of Nairobi's Education in Emergencies program, and has recently returned to South Sudan as a teacher. Ador expressed the importance of education in helping South Sudanese students form their identities in the newly independent country. He emphasized the role of education in peacebuilding and helping citizens to "understand diversity and appreciate each other." Ador remains hopeful in building teacher capacity and encouraging education for all, particularly among his female students, even as his school, Malek Academy is challenged by conflict.