My name is Rezina Habtemariam and I am a Senior International Studies major and Global African Studies minor at Seattle University. I had the opportunity to study abroad in Senegal last August and just recently returned in January. Prior to embarking on this journey, the SU’s Global African Studies Program provided me with the solid foundation that I needed to truly grasp and maximize my experience. I have taken classes with both Professor Adejumobi and Professor Taiwo and the content of those courses still resonate with me. I was introduced to influential leaders like Patrice Lumumba, DuBois, Douglass, Ida B. Wells etc… This only created a greater desire in me to learn all that I can about Africa as well as the African Diaspora.
Professor Taiwo’s Perspective on Aid and Africa course was truly a life changing class. It completely shattered my naïve and undeveloped perception about aid and its manifestation in the African continent. Learning about prominent figures and reading imperative African literature inspired me to continue to learn and to travel abroad.
The Global African Studies Program is what attracted me to SU and is why I have stayed at SU. In addition to the incredible courses offered, the program hosts amazing on-campus events. For example, just last night, GAST along with the Central District Forum hosted Iyasah Shabazz – Malcolm X’s daughter and screened Princes Among Slaves – a documentary about a West African prince who was enslaved and brought to America. I truly believe that GAST has provided the opportunity and space to discuss imperative issues as well as to learn what may not be included in our text books. The Global African Studies Program has allowed me to grow intellectually and continues to shape the person I am becoming.
Rezina Habtemariam, ‘11
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I really appreciate Rezina's statement. I am also studying Global African Studies at Seattle University. The professors who have influenced me the most are from this department. Aid and Africa, African Philosophy of the Human Person, and the African American Religious Experience are courses that have deeply impacted my outlook on life. I hope one day Global African Studies will be a major. I believe it is an important program for SU's dedication to social justice.
I am not studying Global African Studies as a major or a minor, but I have taken a couple of courses. The classes that I have taken have helped me learn about myself and my history. I took two classes that focused on African history: African-American Religious Experience and History 121- Studies in Modern Civilization. As an African-American person, I have had the most amazing experiences in these classes and have learned things about my ancestors that I didn't know and that my parents didn't even know. Global African Studies needs to be a major. I am surprised that it is not. The classes that I have taken have really helped me understand myself better. Being someone who came from a high school that was nearly made of all black students to Seattle University was somewhat of a culture shock. These particular courses made me feel comfortable about talking about diversity in the classroom.
My wife and I graduated from SU in 79 and 81. We have a ministry working in Sierra Leone Africa. We have built schools, wells, and provided medical care in Sierra Leone. Attached is one short video that is an intro to one of our trips and second video is one we use in raising awareness.