Ghana Summer 2020 has been Postponed Until Summer 2021 Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic
The Ghana Summer 2021 African American Educators Fellowship is a unique and immersive master course that is focused on traditional Ghanaian music and dance, culturally responsive pedagogy and arts integration education tailored for students of African descent. It is a partnership between the Ethnomusicology In Action project of Themba Arts and Culture and Nunya Music Academy in Dodze, Ghana. July 18 to August 8, 2020.
Why Ghana? Historically, Ghana is an entry point for African Americans to connect with their African heritage. The relationship between African American and Ghana began during the Trans Atlantic slave trade when 15% of captives were brought into the United States from the Gold Coast region (Gomez, 1998). In the modern age, Ghana and African America’s relationship was sealed through the relationship between Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president after independence and WEB Dubois, renowned African American scholar and leading cultural figure who spent his last years in the country. This legacy continues when Ghanaian president declared 2019 The Year of Return, inviting those of us from the African Diaspora to Ghana to connect with their African homeland.
Therefore, using Ghana as a site of cultural connection, this fellowship equips African American music educators, and educators in other subject areas, to connect their Afro-descendant students with their African heritage through a comprehensive certificate program.
Afro-descendant children must know Africa in order to have a strong sense of self. However, there is no federal mandate to address Black student’s specific need to receive education about their culture: a minority African – American culture that has been historically misconstrued through minstrelsy, attacked through mass media and largely ignored by school systems. Consequently, African – American children are largely alienated from themselves, and hold a diminished view of their image, history and traditions. Reference the well-known Racial Identity and Preference psychological tests used to argue the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education school desegregation case. Drs. Kenneth and Mamie Clark concluded that “prejudice, discrimination, and segregation” created a feeling of inferiority among African-American children and damaged their self-esteem. The test was conducted with Black American children recently in 2010 by CNN, and in 2012, with the same results. Black History month is a start, but it is not enough. African - American children are taught, even if it is by omission, that their culture and history is not valuable. Chicago Educator Gregory Mitchie, in The Huffington Post article “On the Importance of Mirrors for Students (and Teachers)” points to a solution through culturally responsive education. Referencing educators Peggy McIntosh and Emily Style, who direct the National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity): “the curriculum is a structure that ideally provides windows out into the experiences of others, as well as mirrors of the student’s own reality. In other words, schools should be spaces where kids explore the unfamiliar, but also see their own lived experiences validated and valued. For students whose racial, cultural, linguistic, or economic backgrounds differ significantly from that of the mainstream, the “mirrors” part of the metaphor can be particularly powerful.” These ‘mirrors’ are not only powerful, they are essential. The Ghana Summer 2020 African American Educators Fellowship helps equip teachers with a powerful mirror for their African American students.
Our first destination is the Southern Volta Region – Ewe land. For two weeks our fellows will learn traditional Ewe drumming, dance, songs and other aspects of Ewe culture from prolific Ghanaian ethnomusicologist Dr. Kofi Gbolonyo and Nunya Music Academy faculty. The master course also integrates workshops in culturally responsive pedagogy for African American students based in various forms of African American music, Black history and culture led by Fulbright scholar and ethnomusicologist Maya Cunningham and other special guest facilitators. Allyson Chamberlain, a Master Music Educator with District of Columbia Public Schools and Arts Integration specialist will lead workshops on arts integration pedagogy for students of African descent. While in Dzodze the group will engage in unique cultural excursions throughout the Southern Volta Region to Fort Prinzenstein Slave Castle in Keta, a beach visit in Aflao on the Togo border and visits to traditional markets, Kente villages, markets, traditional funerals, festivals and much more.
The fellowship will end with visits to Ghana’s major cultural sites. We will journey to Cape Coast, the infamous Elmina Slave Castle and other unique cultural sites, while enjoying a luxurious stay at the Coconut Grove Beach Resort or a similar hotel. We will also spend two full days in Kumasi, the capital of the Asante Empire, visiting the Manhyia Palace Museum, the royal craft villages, textile markets and other cultural sites. Our final destination will be Accra, Ghana’s capital city where we visit the famous Makola Market, the Accra Cultural Arts Center, WEB Dubois Home, the Kwame Nkrumah house and Ghana’s Cultural Museum. Three fabulous, life changing weeks in Ghana, the destination of homeland return for the African Diaspora.
Download Itinerary (Subject to Change)
*Before you register, please review the information on our Travel Logistics for Ghana page.
Dates: TO BE ANNOUNCED
Destinations: Accra (Capital City), Southern Volta Region, Cape Coast, Kumasi
Host Institutions: Nunya Music Academy; Ethnomusicology In Action, Themba Arts and Culture, Inc.
Registration Fee: $250.00 USD (non-refundable)
Program Fee, including tuition, room, board, meals and ground transportation:
$3,000 USD (Double Occupancy)
$3,500 USD (Single Occupancy)
Program Fee Payment Deadline: TO BE ANNOUNCED
*Themba Arts and Culture is a non-profit organization. All program fees are put towards the cost of the Ghana Summer 2020 program, Nunya Music Academy in Ghana, and our other programs, like creating music education curricula that teaches African American children about their cultural heritage.