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VBLM Quest to East Africa!

Did you know that our Editor-In-Chief recently participated in a once in a lifetime opportunity to return to the Mother Land?

Ms. Neville standing before a herd led by a young Masai, in Arusha, Tanzania.

Be sure to subscribe to our TikTok to follow her along her journey to Kenya and Tanzania through a series of videos; where she spent the entire month of June conducting research for her Global Curriculum Project, "Familiar Struggles."

Ms. Cydny A. Neville was selected by Virginia Tech’s Global Education Office for the inaugural East Africa Summer Institute for Educators.

Under the leadership of Professor Tom Hamlett, Ms. Neville and 11 other educators, professors and university staff spent four weeks in Tanzania and Kenya for immersive and intensive Global Curriculum Project development.

Ms. Neville taking a break from learning Kiswahili at the University of Dar El Salaam, in Tanzania.

While in Tanzania and Kenya, Ms. Neville worked with local universities (University of Dar es Salaam, Sokoine University of Agriculture, and Ardhi University in Tanzania as well as Egerton University in Kenya), local schools, and a plethora of amazing organizations to have had a firsthand experience with East African culture and to develop global curricula through collaboration with local experts.

For the four weeks Ms. Neville traveled through nine cities across the two countries to conduct research for her Global Curriculum Project, “Familiar Struggles: Getting to the Root of the Matter, Analyzing the Lingering Effects of Colonialism on Blacks in America and East Africa.” “Familiar Struggles” will guide learners of all ages to: analyze the effects of colonialism, implore inquiry-based learning to compare and contrast the familiar struggles, inform participants of the culture, folklore, and lesser-known history of the East African Slave Trade. Participants will also explore the intersectionality of Sustainable Development Goals involving: Poverty, Education, Economic Growth, Sustainable Cities & Communities, and Combating Hunger.

The general public and educators of all levels are invited to join Ms. Neville for a

Ms. Neville photographed inside of a slave dungeon in Stone Town Zanzibar. More than 75 humans were held in this space at any given time during the Indian Ocean Slave Trade.

presentation of her Global Curriculum Project in areas throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Presentations will be face-to-face in the train-the-trainer format, and will incorporate interactive activities, her personal experience visiting the Mother Land and interactions with members of her bloodline, a mini-lesson on beading, and more! If you are interested in learning more, please complete this google form to be updated when logistics are finalized.


The Institute was made possible through a grant from the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program. It was largely guided by EDU Africa, a local entity that specializes in creating intentional programs and educational experiences in Africa.

Since 1961, the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program has awarded grants to universities, state departments of education, and private nonprofit educational organizations to provide training opportunities for faculty, teachers, and students in countries where the United States has diplomatic representation. Under this program, awards are made to conduct overseas group projects in research, training, and curriculum development.


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