At Bucknell, students have the opportunity to delve into a variety of independent and course-related Africana research and projects like these.
Caribbean Outreach Partnership
A group of students has been working with the Griot Institute in this partnership connecting Lewisburg, PA and Nevis in the Caribbean with the goal of establishing a better connection with Violet O Jeffers Nichollas (VOJN) Primary School. Their first event was a school supply drive; their next project with this partnership will be to connect a local elementary school with VOJN through a pen pal practice and craft exchange.
Sugar Mills Project
This project involves researching, mapping, historicizing, and narratizing the sugar mills of Antigua. As part of a summer 2016 course in the Caribbean, Carmen Gillespie of The Griot and a group of students began surveying the land on the island of Antigua with a keen eye towards the island's history. In specific, their project is interested in the numerous sugar mills on the island, which totaled about 200 despite the size of the space — about the same size as Union County! Griot Presidential Fellow, Annie Girton, has created a database that holds all the information about each plantation from Antigua's St. John's Parish. She's now constructing similar spreadsheets that will contain the historical data for the island's plantations in other parishes.
On May 1, 2017, Bucknell commemorated the 1875 graduation of Bucknell's first African-American student, Edward McKnight Brawley, and a 1958 visit to campus by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a bronze statue. Located on the Humanities Quad by Vaughn Literature Building, the sculpture shows Brawley's likeness and contains inspirational quotes on its sides. Professor Joe Meiser, (art & art history) designed and sculpted the commemorative bust. The project was made possible through the generous support of the Office of the President and the Black Alumni Association. The Brawley Bust Project was a collaboration between Joe Meiser, Provost Barbara Altmann, the Griot Institute, Development & Alumni Relations, Communications, Facilities and the Samek Art Museum.
The Bucknell Civil Rights Project on Omeka a collection of Bucknell's records from the Civil Rights era. It provides documentation of civil rights issues at Bucknell, Bucknell's NAACP chapter and scholarship opportunities for black students, information on African American speakers that visited the University, materials on exchange programs Bucknell participated in with historically black universities, the University's ongoing attempt to increase diversity, and the difficulties that black students at a predominantly white university during this time period often faced.
By blending technology and tradition, the Griot Storytelling Project allows the Institute to function as a griot for Bucknell. This ongoing project gathers oral narratives created by members of the Bucknell community in order to build a historical record, to encourage creative engagement with the art and utility of oral storytelling, and to showcase the experiential range of our community in an effort to define who we are at this moment in our collective history.
"This idea [for Multicultural Female Playwrights] came out of a very simple concept: diversifying the arts. I took two courses with Professor Meenakshi Ponnuswami, and I fell in love with the idea of having female role models within the theatre. ...The goal of this project is to provide all theatre admirers, dramatic literature fanatics, aspiring directors or actresses, and future English or theatre majors at this institution with some reading material that may not be comforting but will change their lives." — Yulissa Hidalgo '12 (double major in theatre and women's & gender studies with a minor in creative writing)
Places I've Been
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