An Exciting Three-Week Experience in Senegal by Gene Adams
I have just returned from an almost three week visit to Senegal West Africa.
For the better part of 25 years, I’ve worked with friends and colleagues building effective educational pedagogy and curriculum.
My most recent stay in Senegal placed me in the role of student.
Usually during my tenure in Senegal I have lead workshops, coordinated tours, and collaborated with cultural rich institutions.
This time I took on the role and responsibilities as a students. I applied for and was accepted in the Washington D.C. based Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) Senegal Professional Development Seminar from January 5 – January 5 through January 26, 2023.
The CAORC Senegal Professional Development Seminar consisted of Community College faculty and staff participants from around the United States.
Over the years many people have asked me why do I concentrated so much of my effort and resources on Senegal.
The answer is that though I continue to visit and enjoy relationships with colleagues in a number countries, Senegal affords me the opportunity build a documented and measurable body of outcomes with educational leaders and teachers at the Senegalese American Bilingual School (SABS).
Secondly, my efforts in Senegal are part of my larger vision to deliver concrete results that support my rhetorical beliefs about building effective Black institutions.
My experience over the last few week as a participant in the CAROC Professional Development Seminar has added tremendous value to my work in Senegal and with African immigrant student at my university.
In the role of program participant I attended over twelve workshop presentations by experts on Senegal from many areas.
The workshops covered complex and dimensional aspects of Senegalese diverse cultures, traditions, religions, economic, political and spiritual beliefs.
The CAROC project was led by Dr. Mbye Cham and Dr. Cinder Barnes. Professor Ousmane Sene the Director of the West African Research Center (WARC) coordinated the presentations by Senegalese experts.
Our field experiences took us to some of the most celebrated historical, religious, and traditional sites and cities such as Saint Louis, Touba, Salle, and Toubacouta.
In addition I spent time with Stephanie Kane Director of the Senegalese American Bilingual School who invited myself and some to the CAORC participants to her home. Stephanie also assisted my long term friend and fellow martial artist master Professor Mo (Mahaliel Bethea) and his wife Michelle during their stay in Senegal which occurred while I was there.
Professor Mo met with leading martial arts instructors in Dakar and gave numerous demonstrations of his research and application of 52 Blocks an African inspired martial arts system developed in the United States.