2016 Global Visionary Fellows with the Consul General of Argentina

Global Cities Cultural Exchange Program (GCCEP)

 

Mission

The Global Cities Cultural Exchange Program seeks to provide an international exchange experience
for U.S. students to travel to a global city and engage with underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities of the African diaspora.

Purpose

The Global Cities Cultural Exchange Program functions as an international incubator that unites students of the African Diaspora. Global Visionary Fellows will build transnational relationships within a racially/ethnically conscious safe space to explore the intricacies of identity, African Diaspora community history and development, and social responsibility for minority travelers. In addition, Fellows will explore how different elements of culture (e.g. language, literature, music, art, clothing) shape identity within the context of globalization. Lastly, fellows will analyze what issues minority communities face within the current climate of global cities. By developing a cross-­cultural team of visionary ethical leaders, chosen students will demonstrate dedication to challenging systemic discrimination and inequalities in their home community and/or around the world. 

  • Address race, gender, class, and other identity constructs in a global context
  • Address issues minority communities face while dispelling cultural stereotypes
  • Engage with racial and ethnic minorities of the African diaspora in global cities around the world
  • Build cross-cultural alliances within safe spaces to explore the intricacies of identity, history, development, and social responsibility of minority travelers
  • Prepare students to become ethical and empathetic global leaders

Once Fellows return, they will be expected to continue necessary conversations regarding identity and the experiences of minorities in their own communities, thus expanding the impact of the initiative.

Benefits for Students

  • Improved marketability for students entering into the workforce
  • Increased personal social and cultural capital
  • Increased knowledge,understanding of spoken, written languages within community
  • Strengthened cultural adaptability
  • Educated cultural perception of communities of the African Diaspora
  • Improved understanding of one’s own identity

Destination: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Why Santo Domingo? 

When you land in Santo Domingo, you may immediately find yourself in Zona Colonial, one of the first colonized neighborhoods in the “Americas”. The original Spanish architect dedicated to the Spanish King and Queen will catch your eye, but what may not are the faces, names, and stories of millions of African slaves that were first brought to the “Americas” through Santo Domingo, also known as the “Gateway of Slavery”. You may notice in the middle of Zona Colonial amidst an array of diverse faces and skin complexions, a giant statue of Christopher Columbus, symbolizing the continued existence of colonial rule and white supremacy in this majority brown and black nation.  Santo Domingo was one of the first cities to import African slaves in what became deemed as the “New World”, thus today more than 85% of the Dominican population are African descendants. Despite this high percentage, in a recent census only 4.13% identified as “Black”, which has ignited an important conversation regarding race, racial identifiers, and labels throughout the Caribbean. Given the unwritten histories and complex realities that the Dominican Republic faces, BBB is eager to uncover the connections that exist in this central African Diasporic Community.

 

 

Learning Outcomes

Part 1: Difficult Dialogues Virtual Series

Cultural Competency and Travel Preparedness Training:

  • Demonstrate deeper knowledge of Dominican social, political, and economic history and present realities;
  • Communicate effectively and grow relationships with Dominican students; 
  • Define race, class, and gender identity in the context of Dominican culture and community; 
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the importance of cross-cultural dialogue and transnational relationship building. 

Part 2: Cultural Exchange

Held in Santo Domingo:

  • Demonstrate researched knowledge of one aspect of Argentine culture; 
  • Establish lasting cross-cultural relationships and a deeper understanding of Argentines; 
  • Effectively communicate personal race, class, and gender identity in context of U.S. culture and communities.

Part 3: Global Cities Analysis Portfolio

Concluding Activity

  • Compilation of three reflection blog posts on chosen cultural aspect
  • Pre/mid/post exchange survey of knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors
  • Action plan for community or on-campus engagement activity 

Sample activities and Sites

  • Walking History Tour and visit of the ruins of Zona Colonial
  • Visit Batey (Sugar Cane Plantation) or Boca de Nigua Sugar Mill
  • Bachata/Merengue Lessons with Dominican Fellows
  • Visit to the 1st Natural Hair Salon in the Country
  • Boca Chica Beach
  • Memorial Museum of Dominican Resistance
  • Playa Grande
  • Los Haitises, Boat Trip to Uninhabited Island, and Waterfall