Stories From the Other Side: An Interdisciplinary Experience with Culture, Social Justice and Human Rights in Ghana

Project: Research project

Project Details


Faculty members and graduate students of Arizona State Universitys West campus and the Phoenix Unified School District will engage in an intensive four week seminar Stories from the Other Side in Ghana West Africa from July2 through July 31, 2010. The purpose of the seminar is to expose the high school teachers, college and university professors, and graduate students to an interdisciplinary study of culture and its impact on the issues of social justice and human rights in historical and modern Ghana. Culture, including language, literature, history, economics, politics, religion, ethnicity, and arts and performance, creates a powerful lens through which issues of social justice and human rights may be studied. In addition to lectures, demonstrations, cultural tours, festivals, durbars, and workshops these participants will engage in ethnographic interviews that will equip them with the experiences and knowledge they will extend to their educational institutions and the wider community upon their return to Arizona. Ghana, long before President Barack Obamas historic visit, has featured prominently in the lives of African Americans as a place strongly identified with their African heritage. The unfortunate slave experience itself has been written about by many scholars, yet infrequently do you hear the stories of how slavery affected the families, the economies, the societies from which the slaves were taken. In this seminar, teachers will be addressed by world scholars on a variety of topics including the legacies of the past and present slavery in Ghana; the links between Ghana and the Americas; education, culture and the chieftaincy in Ghana. They will also: study Akan Twi, the most dominant language spoken in Ghana outside of English; visit arts and cultural centers in Accra and Kumasi; visit slave castles along the Ghanaian coast; attend the Twins Festival; interview families about their memories of the slave trade and its impact (there is a common practice for many old families to recall and recite the history of their families from over 400 years); and interview families affected by modern slavery in Ghana. In the final phase of the seminar, students will reflect upon their experiences and create multimedia curriculum modules documenting their study in Ghana. This documentary will include dance performances, drumming, arts and crafts, as well as the interviews collected by the participants. The documentary will be available in the web-based video conferencing site being developed by the Social Justice and Human Rights M.A. degree program at ASU along with links to lectures from the prominent scholars and curriculum modules to be used with the documentary and lectures.!
Effective start/end date3/1/102/28/11


  • US Department of Education (DOEd): $73,340.00


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