IRT’s 29th Summer Workshop by Leislie Godo-Solo

Godo-Solo head shot
Leislie Godo-Solo, IRT ’91, Education Programs Specialist, IRT

Without a doubt, June and July are exciting months in the IRT office. As we embark upon school list advising with a new cohort of 166 IRT scholars, the office also is buzzing in anticipation of the 29th Summer Workshop and the arrival of 29 Interns. This year’s Interns will descend on Andover on July 2, 2019. The cohort is a diverse one representing 24 institutions:

Allegheny College
Bard College
Binghamton University
Brown University
California State University, Sacramento
City College
Columbia University
Davidson College
Emory University
Morehouse College
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Queens College
Salem State University
Scripps College
Smith College
Southern University
Spelman College
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Pittsburg
University of Texas, Austin
Vassar College
Wayne State University

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Alumni Accolades – June 2019

-2002 Cohort-

Congratulations to Women’s Studies Professor LaKisha Simmons, IRT ’02 who is the recipient of this year’s Black Celebratory Cornerstone Award! Selected annually by graduating students, the award recognizes faculty or staff who enhance the academic and social progress of African American students at the University of Michigan.

-2017 Cohort-

Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, IRT ’17 was featured in a spring Ms. Magazine article written by Chivas Sandage, “Ms. Muse: What Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie’s Womanist Poems Tell Us About Love, Language and Race in America.” Mariahadessa is currently a PhD student at Brown University studying theatre and performance studies.

Tashal Brown, IRT ’14  and Eliana Castro, IRT ’15 contributed to the article, The Impossibility of Being “Perfect and White”: Black Girls’ Racialized and Gendered Schooling Experiences, first published in the American Educational Research Journal, May 2019. Read more on Eliana Castro by viewing her guest post.

 

 

Sara Mokuria, IRT ’05 was a guest presenter at Next City for an event in their online seminar series this past May. Sara Mokuria, is co-founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality and a Next City Vanguard and spoke about creating a world without police brutality.
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Creating a Syllabus that Centers Black History

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Creating a Syllabus that Centers Black History
 – by Andrea Adomako, IRT ’14

In James Baldwin’s “A Talk to Teachers” (1963) Baldwin wrote the following:
The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become   conscious one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated. The purpose of education…is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions, to say to himself this is black or this is white…to ask questions of the universe, and then learn to live with those questions, is the way he achieves his own identity. But no society is really anxious to have that kind of person around. What societies really, ideally, want is a citizenry which will simply obey the rules of society.  

Today, considering the current socio-political environment we live in, Baldwin’s words still ring true. As students are taught to “ask questions of the universe and then learn to live with those questions” Black History has a historical role in inspiring the productive inquiry Baldwin speaks of. In recent years there has been a greater push to consider Black History beyond the month of February. Incorporating Black history year round is an important pedagogical shift that asks educators to elevate the history, events, and individuals that shape Black history both in the United States and globally. This shift begins first and foremost with the syllabus. Whether you are teaching a traditional History, English, or Engineering Course; or if you are teaching within an interdisciplinary field, the syllabus is the place to express and reflect your political and ethical commitments to Black History.
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Annita Lucchesi, IRT ’11 Launches Sovereign Bodies Institute

Annita Lucchesi

My participation in IRT’s summer workshop, and the mentorship I received afterwards, was one of my first experiences in being asked to consider what kind of scholarly research I intended to do, and was where I first learned to be mindful in deciding where my ‘intervention’ might be. Being asked to imagine myself as a future leader in research was an empowering experience, and I credit IRT with many of the lessons I work to impart upon the students I work with today. Indeed, one of my most powerful memories of IRT’s summer workshop is watching our entire cohort, one by one, learn to proudly identify ourselves as scholars—I now do that same exercise with the students I mentor.

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