During the 2019-20 academic year, the Center for African Education (CAE) and our affiliated student group the African Studies Working Group (ASWG) have hosted several events to provide opportunities for students to develop their scholarly interests and academic pursuits related to African education. The CAE staff would like to thank the Vice President’s Office for Diversity and Community Affairs at Teachers College for its continuous support. We would also like to thank the faculty, students and community members who enrich our programs. You can read more about our events this past year below:


Coffee Hour 

September 11, 2019 

In the fall, the CAE hosted a coffee hour event for students and faculty with interests in the fields of Education and African Studies to connect with each other. The work of the CAE was highlighted and upcoming events for the semester were presented. 

Student Research Presentations 

October 16, 2019 

Students’ research projects are a core part of CAE’s mission in promoting research and teaching about education in Africa and in the African diaspora, fostering interdisciplinary study and discussion at TC and throughout the Columbia University and creating exchanges and partnerships with African universities. The CAE’s annual Student Research Presentations, co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs, featured TC students’ research projects and work experiences in various African countries. This year, the presenters included Jamie Bowen who presented her research project on Teacher Professional Development in Crisis Contexts focusing on supporting educators with working refugees in Uganda; Alyssa Baylor who presented on her study on School Leadership and Teacher Professional Development in Learner-Centered Pedagogy in Tanzania; Theresa Cann who spoke about her research on Collective Amnesia focusing on the case of African Women in Politics; Katrina Webster who discussed her study on The Emergence of Education Public-Private Partnerships in Higher Education in Guyana; and Darren Rabinowitz who presented on his research project on Rwandan Orphaned and Vulnerable Children’s Self-Reported Feelings of Belonging and Their Perceptions of Peacebuilding. 

Human Rights in Africa Advocates’ Panel

November 4, 2019

In collaboration with the Columbia University Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP), the CAE hosted a panel of human rights activists conducting work in Africa. The panelists included Charbonnel Nodjigoto, Association Jeunesse pour la Paix et la Non-Violence (Chad), Ektaa Deochand, Section 27- Legal Assistance and Social Justice Advocacy (South Africa), Joanita Warry Ssenfuka, Freedom and Roam Uganda, Wisdom Kwame Bebli, Solace Initiative (Ghana). Following the presentations, a discussion panel invited questions from students.

"Our Languages, Our Voices" Panel

November 21, 2019

The ASWG hosted a panel discussion highlighting the lived experiences of students who are speakers of Indigenous and/or nondominant African (Diasporan) languages. At this event, panelists considered how speaking non-dominant African languages shapes the way people individually and collectively navigate the world.

Professor Garnett Russell’s Book Launch: Becoming Rwandan

December 4, 2019

Professor Russell recently published her book Becoming Rwandan: Education, Reconciliation, and the Making of a Post-Genocide Citizen. The CAE hosted the book launch where Professor Russell presented her work and answered questions from fellow faculty, students and community members. Professor Russell’s book analyzes how the Rwandan government has used education for peacebuilding and uncovers the tensions that arise when teachers and students engage with global models of citizenship, human rights and reconciliation. Becoming Rwandan is available for purchase here

“It Will Be Chaos” Film Screening

February 04, 2020

In collaboration with the Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR), and Barnard College Education Department, the CAE hosted a documentary screening followed by a Q&A session with Filippo Piscoppo, the film co-director. The HBO documentary and winner of the Emmy award for Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary portrayed the refugee crisis unfolding between Italy and the Balkan corridor. The documentary focused on two refugee stories of human strength and resilience in search of a better and safer future. 

African Education and Schooling in Response to COVID-19

April 22, 2020

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, the African Studies Working Group (ASWG), which is a student group that frequently collaborates with the CAE, hosted an online discussion about how the coronavirus outbreak is impacting education and schooling across Africa. The event invited two Rwandan educators from a university and a secondary boarding school; a university student studying in Ghana; a professor based in South Africa; and an evacuated Peace Corps volunteer from Ethiopia. These guests shared their experiences of how education and schooling were being impacted in their contexts and participants were invited to share ideas and resources for overcoming challenges.