– November 16th, 2012 by Amazjah Grant –
International Education Week features African experiences
International Education Week is about promoting programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and to attract future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange experiences in the U.S. All these extraordinary events were organized by the Office of International and Diversity Programs.
Every year for one week Colby-Sawyer hosts IEW celebrating a different part of the world. From Nov. 12-15 the college celebrated Africa’s Culture, Politics and Social issues. There were a large variety of different events that were free to the whole community.
The week started off with senior Enoch Holu’s Wesson’s Honors research presentation about “ Modern Day Effects on the Slave Trade in Ghana.” Then after his intriguing presentation, the day continued with a film screening called An African Election (2011). This film was directed by Jarreth Merz and was about the chronicles of West Africa’s country 2008 presidential elections. This documentary captured the complexity of a third-world democracy struggling to legitimize itself in the eyes of its first-world contemporaries.
The next day Colby- Sawyer African Students hosted a poster session, which gave them the opportunity to share their regional experiences to highlight Africa’s cultural diversity. In the evening there was a film showed called Sweet Crude (2007). This is a documentary that explains the effects of sweet crude oil in Nigeria Niger Delta, which also talks about the environmental degradation and disparity between immense wealth and abject poverty.
November 14 featured the Global Nomads Group (GNG) who is a non-governmental organization that aims to foster dialogue and understanding among the youth of the world. Their most current project is called “Million Bones.” This project calls on North American students to combat the humanitarian crises of the Democratic Republic of Congo. GNG promotes students to take the “Million Bones Challenge,” in which students would have to contribute 1,000,000 papier-mâché bones.
The African Students ended that day by hosting many festivities, including a fashion show of African attire, traditional food, corn-row braiding, traditional dances from various regions, and vibrant music.
Last day of this exciting week ended with West African drumming virtuoso Sayon Camara. He conducted a workshop for Windy Hill students at 4-4:30 p.m. and for the community at 5:30 p.m. that allowed participants to embrace traditional Guinean music. Vigil Yu ’14 had two words to say about this workshop “Fun and Original.” The drumming was very cool experience. Camara taught students and teachers had to drum together as a group and different types of techniques. After the workshop he had a full out performance of drumming and music in the Sawyer Center.
This week has been fulfilling and educational for the students, faculty and community of New London. Next year is going to be even better.