“Our organization’s goal is to provide more study abroad opportunities for the youth of Baltimore that are accessible, relatable, and affordable.”
Students participation in our program is not only an educational experience, but a chance for them to grow and learn about themselves in a new environment. Before students partake in the study abroad program they must attend and complete coursework through our educational workshops. Our workshops allow students to gain a plethora of skills that will be extremely helpful as they prepare for higher education. During our 2016 program, students traveled to Havana, Cuba and partook in Spanish, Dance, and History classes. Students were also invited to participate in a variety of culturally relevant experiences and connect with Cuban youth. Scholars in our program learn about the African Diaspora and acquire critical thinking skills to discuss solutions to the challenges that impact the African Diaspora globally. This includes the discussion of complex issues such as institutionalized racism, health disparities, and internalized racism.
There is no question that study abroad experiences can be extremely beneficial to student’s academic and social growth. Unfortunately, study abroad programs are extremely inaccessible to African-American youth due to economic oppression, lack of study abroad programs in public schools, and assumed disinterest of black students to participate in international educational programs. In 2015, the U.S. State Department revealed that out of all the students in the United States who have the opportunity to study abroad, only 5% of those students are black. The State Department's findings also showed that in the 2012-2013 school year, more than half of the students that study abroad traveled to European countries. The African Diaspora Alliance directly addresses this issue by providing opportunities for black youth with a focus on countries that are culturally relevant.
MEET THE YOUTH OF THE DIASPORA
Each year, our students participate in educational workshops about the African Diaspora, activism, and international politics. Our educational programming culminates with a two-week international immersion trip to explore African Diaspora history within a specific context. This opportunity is only offered to students who successfully complete the after-school programming.