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TC Announces Its Newly Renamed George Clement Bond Center for African Education

TC has renamed its Center for African Education as the George Clement Bond Center for African Education (CAE), in honor of the late anthropologist, who passed away in May.

Bond, who was TC’s William F. Russell Professor of Anthropology & Education, was an authority on the African diaspora who was widely credited with identifying and representing the historical narratives of indigenous African peoples. He founded the Center to promote research and teaching about education in Africa and the African Diaspora and served as Director until his death in spring 2014. During his tenure, the Center co-sponsored major symposia on topics such as “Africa in an Age of Globalization” and “African and Diasporic Languages and Education”; created a certificate for students with African expertise; and began producing a series of books, Teaching Africa, for use by New York City public school teachers.

“We are excited to continue the work and vision of Professor Bond through  the George Clement Bond Center for African Education,” said Interim Director S. Garnett Russell, Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Education, a sociologist whose own research focuses on education and conflict, human rights, citizenship, and gender, particularly in Rwanda, Burundi, and South Africa.  “I see the Bond Center as means for faculty with common interests to come together to develop new research projects. It’s surprising how much work at TC relates to Africa.”

This past fall, Russell and two other faculty members, Sandra Schmidt (Social Studies and Education) and Michelle Knight (Curriculum & Teaching), were awarded a TC’s Provost’s Investment grant to conduct a series of workshops for teachers from Malawi, South Africa and Kenya, and also for teachers in New York working with African immigrant students in an effort to build expertise in civics education.

In the short term, Russell says, she’ll focus on creating more events to involve people with the Center, and will also try to create support for research and internships in sub-Saharan Africa. This past fall, the Bond Center hosted coffee hours with human rights activists from five African countries and with Azwihangwisi Muthivihi, a senior lecturer at the School of Education at the University of Cape Town, as well as a discussion with South Sudanese education advocate Ador Riak. On April 1, supported by a grant from the Vice President’s Office for Diversity and Community, CAE will host a talk by the Nigerian writer Okey Ndibe. On April 10th, together with Columbia University’s Institute for African Studies, it will host a full-day conference devoted to looking at the history of African studies through the lens of Bond’s work.

Down the road, Russell said, she hopes to create a scholarship to support a master’s or doctoral student from the region.

Published Monday, Mar. 23, 2015


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