AFRICAN DEMOCRACY PROJECT
On October 21st through November 2, 2016, seven Wayne State University students and one graduate mentor traveled with Dr. Reid to Ghana. Students complete a series of vigorous exercises exploring the contemporary international connections between Ghana and the United States. With support from the University of Ghana, Wayne State Students documented their personal journeys throughout the program via blogs and video.
On October 19 through November 1st, 2015, scholars from Wayne State visited Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania accompanied by President Emeritus Irvin D. Reid, and Professor Jennifer Hart. Scholars explored the contemporary international connections between Tanzania and the United States. Probing Tanzania's rich history, culture and political landscape, the Wayne State scholars had the unique experience of observing elections, and interviewing Tanzanians of all walks of life about a variety of topics, including their views of their nation in the broader international community.
On March 13 through 24, 2015, 8 scholars from Wayne State visited Windhoek, Namibia accompanied by President Emeritus Irvin D. Reid, and Adjunct Professor Audley Kano Smith. After completing an intense preparatory course in the Fall of 2014, students with the support of the Polytechnic of Namibia traveled to complete a series of vigorous research exercises, and documented their personal journeys during the Inauguration of The Honorable Hage G. Geingob.
On December 2 through 14, 2012, 10 Wayne State University students and two graduate mentors traveled with Dr. Reid to Ghana in an intensive study of three critical elements of political communication during the presidential election year: (1) Salient public policy issues as identified by Ghanaian citizens; (2) Modes of political communication by citizens, civic-activists and political leaders; and (3) Possible conflicts or consensus about public issues. Students complete a series of vigorous exercises exploring the contemporary international connections between Ghana and the United States.
On October 5 through 16, 2011, 11 Wayne State scholars immersed themsleves in a 12 day experience in Monrovia. Led by Dr. Reid and co-instructor Sharon Lean, they observed national elections and interviewed a wide spectrum of participants in the construction of Liberian democracy. Upon their return, students produced original research papers and shared their work and experiences with the class, the university and the greater Detroit community. Students applied their experience in Liberia to better understand how local issues resonate globally and how global issues resonate locally.
On March 10 through 21, 2011, 13 university scholars engaged Botswana of all walks of life on a variety of topics. Students examined democratic institution in Botswana, emphasizing HIV/AIDS care and counseling, gender equality, sustainable energy development, and the challenges of life in Africa in a turbulent, globalizing world. Beginning in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana, students traveled through the country with Dr. Reid and co-instructor Xavier Livermon in order to gain perspectives on rural Botswana. Students filmed and journaled, not only their interviews, but also their own experiences in adapting to Botswanan life and their own reflections on the experience.
On October 23 through November 3, 2009, 12 scholars from Wayne State visited Maputo, Mozambique accompanied by President Emeritus Irvin D. Reid, Associate Professor Kevin Deegan-Krause and Assistant Professor Juanita Anderson. Students documented their personal journeys throughout the program via blogs and video, as well as film interviews with a broad range of constituents in the fledgling democracy - ranging from former president Joaquim Chissano to citizens 'on the street' - as they gathered first-hand accounts of democracy in action. Divided into research teams exploring, education and legal systems; religion and culture; and health care; the contingent of Wayne State students fanned out across Maputo Province poking every corner of the emerging democracy to dissect and understand it. As a corollary to the African Democracy Project: Mozambique, President Chissano visited Wayne State in Oct. 2010 as the second former head-of-state to deliver the keynote lecture at FOCIS.