CAS Outreach Activities

CAS Outreach Activities

A report by Rebecca Vaughn, African Studies Masters Student


The Center for African Studies (CAS) has continued its outreach efforts during the 2011-2012 academic year by engaging with local educators and encouraging global studies in K-12 classrooms. CAS along with representatives from the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies; Center for Global Studies; Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies; European Union Center; and Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center has been actively involved in strengthening existing community ties and planning new ways to facilitate discussions centered on international topics.

A few event highlights for the year include:

Unit 4 Area Studies Resource Fair (December)
Multicultural Celebration Night at Bottenfield Elementary (January)
Global Fest (March)
International Week Travel Around the World (April)

PhD student Tholani Hlongwa at the Unit 4 Area Studies Resource Fair
(December 2011). 



Along with fellow graduate students Mbhekiseni Madela and Tholani Hlongwa, I had the pleasure of representing the Center by promoting the study of Africa, raising awareness of issues pertinent to the continent and encouraging teachers to consider the Center and Africana library collection as an educational resource. At the Area Studies Resource Fair the Center featured Malawi Project materials pertaining to the Urbana-Zomba Sister City Initiative and classroom curricula on galimotos (toy cars made with found materials).

South African items including Zulu wedding attire and beaded jewelry were showcased at Multicultural Celebration Night while lessons in Zulu greetings were given and Krannert Educational materials such as Ndebele and Kilwa artworks were highlighted at Global Fest which hosted an impressive 803 attendees from 38 schools.

Travel Around the World, tabled by CAS graduate students and African Students’ Organization members featured Krannert materials such as textiles, sculptures, musical instruments,and books addressing cultures from a number of countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
CAS Graduate students Mbhekiseni Madela and Rebecca Vaughn at Bottenfield Elmentary School (January 2012).









Student wearing Zulu beadwork at Bottenfield Elementary Multicultural Celebration Night (January 2012).









CAS Graduate students Mbhekiseni Madela and Rebecca Vaughn attended Global Fest in Bloomington, Illinois.
Pictured: Mbhekiseni Madela teaching Zulu greetings (March 2012).