Africa Scholars Forum
The Africa Scholars Forum serves many functions, including building a more formal educational presence around African studies, providing a collaborative hub for work on Africa at UMass Boston, and facilitating among Africanist faculty shared resources and existing initiatives in African Studies in a convened, organized, institutional space.
Goals and Objectives
On May 30th, 2018 at the inaugural meeting of the Africa Scholars Forum steering committee. All committee members listed below agreed to work on the following initiatives:
- Develop an undergraduate minor and a graduate certificate in African Studies
- Establish a formal speaker series on African issues at UMass Boston
- Engage student groups on campus who have Africa programming missions, and create undergraduate student research initiatives on African study
- Establish a platform for deepened African research study for graduate students at UMass Boston
- Promote existing and new exchanges with area African Studies programs and universities in Africa to facilitate faculty and student exchange, especially study abroad and community research
- Achieve prestigious grant awards on African study collaboratively.
Launching Event: First Africa Day - February 27, 2019
The Africa Scholars Forum launched a successful 1st Africa Day with the theme “Pan Africa Rising.” The event featured keynote speakers, panel discussions, graduate student flash talks, an African marketplace, and a gala night reception with Afrobeat entertainment and African food. Africa Day was a premier event that hopes to establish a platform for deepened Africa Research study for graduate and undergraduate students here at UMass Boston.
Africa Day 2020 - March 6, 2020
The Africa Scholars Forum celebrated its 2020 Africa Day with the theme “Challenges to Pan Africanism: Afrophobia and Migration within Africa’s Borders.” The event featured a plenary keynote address by Ambassador Fatima Kyari Mohammed ( the African Union Ambassador to the United Nations) and a gala keynote address by renowned Nollywood filmmaker Rahman Oladigbolu( Producer of the award-winning film “Soul Sisters”). The event also featured a plenary panel session with distinguished scholars from the Greater Boston Area, a graduate student roundtable, a fashion show, Afrobeat entertainment, and African food. The Africa Day 2020 event celebrated and deepened discussion and Africa research study for graduate and undergraduate students at UMass Boston. It also led to the establishment of the Fatima Kyari Mohammed ASF scholarship fund.
Faculty Committee Members by College and Department
McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
Rita Kiki Edozie, Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Maria Ivanova, Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Darren Kew, Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Jane L. Parpart, Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Malcolm Russell-Einhorn, Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Timothy Shaw, Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Courtenay Sprague, Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
Stacy D. VanDeveer, Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
School for Global and Social Inclusion and Social Development
Sindiso Minsi Weeks, Global Inclusion and Social Development
College of Education and Human Development
Tyra Mendez, Director of Assessment, Accreditation, and Licensure
Angela K. Stone-MacDonald, Graduate Program Director of Doctoral Program in Early Education and Care
College of Liberal Arts
Nada Mustafa Ali, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Ping-Ann Addo, Anthropology
Chinelo Achebe Ejueyitchie, Africana Studies
Christopher Fung, Anthropology
Heidi Gengenbach, History
Jemadari Kamara, Africana Studies
Adugna Lemi, Economics
Aminah Pilgrim, Africana Studies
Jean L. Rene, Africana Studies
Kibibi Mack-Shelton, Africana Studies
Anthony Van Der Meer, Africana Studies
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Carrie Ann Gakumo, College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Charlie Titus, Division of Athletics, Recreation, Special Projects and Programs
- Rita Kiki Edozie will be serving on the Local Arrangements Committee for the African Studies Association (ASA) 62nd Annual Meeting. ASA is the world's leading international association of scholars and professionals focusing on the study of Africa. The Annual Meeting in Boston will bring together the African diaspora and African studies communities who have played significant roles in the history of New England, as Massachusetts was the first US state to abolish slavery and today comprises diverse communities of peoples of African descent.
- The ASA Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of Africanist scholars in the world. With an attendance of about 2,000 scholars and professionals, the conference offers the following:
- More than 300 panels and roundtable
- Plenary events featuring keynote speakers
- Awards ceremony and dance party
- Institutional and organizational receptions and meetings
- An international exhibit hall
- Strengthening Rwandan Administrative Justice (SRAJ) Project is a Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development initiative led by Malcolm Russell-Einhorn. The project aims to improve the quality, consistency, legality, and transparency of decision-making by Rwandan district authorities in administrative cases that involve thousands of citizens and businesses.
- African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) is a Kenya-based, capacity-building organization. Adugna Lemi is involved in the training program. The AERC Training Program is designed to augment the pool of economic researchers in sub-Saharan Africa by supporting postgraduate studies in Economics and Agricultural Economics and by enhancing the capacities of departments of Economics and departments of Agricultural Economics/Agribusiness in local public universities.
- Assessing the New Green Revolution for Africa: The Impact of a Value Chain Approach on Women Farmers and Household Food Security is a collaborative, interdisciplinary, multi-country project with co-PIs from the University of Minnesota, Macalester College, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, and Illinois Wesleyan University. Heidi Gengenbach is leading the Mozambique case study, which is investigating the nutritional consequences of women farmers’ participation in an ongoing donor-funded program to commercialize cassava production.
- The Center for Governance and Sustainability, led by Maria Ivanova, is home to Regional Environmental Diplomacy Institute (REDI), which is an experiential environmental governance teaching program that is designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of negotiators, policymakers, and students. REDI has so far focused on supporting the Horn of Africa, a region that is particularly vulnerable to climate change. A cohort of PhD students recently visited the region as part of their coursework. View Part I and Part II of a video describing the project.
- Youth Education and Sports with Africa (YES) is a multiethnic, coeducational, sports and leadership development program administered in conjunction with partner organizations in West Africa by the Division of Athletics and Recreation, Special Projects and Programs and the Department of African Studies. The program affords young athletes and coaches in West Africa the opportunity to participate in basketball clinics. Every summer, Charlie Titus participates in the program by conducting clinics.
McCormack Graduate School