Charlotte Blake Alston and colleague, Steve Tunick, chaperone 12 African and Jewish American teenagers who seek common ground through a cultural immersion abroad in Senegal in Africa. An unanticipated diversion led the group to an encampment of recently expelled or escaped indigenous Mauritanians. Were Charlotte and Steve making a big mistake allowing the students to witness and be among poor, desperate people at such a low and vulnerable moment of their lives? Would the presence of Americans in the refugee camp contribute to increasing tensions between Senegal and its slave-holding northern neighbor, Mauritania? Adults and students alike receive a profound lesson about our common humanity from a group of children whom they had perceived to be the least likely to offer insight.
- What lessons have you learned in unexpected places from those you considered the least likely teachers?
- What encounter or experience resulted in a complete shift in your perspective or caused you to let go of long and firmly held assumptions, beliefs, ideologies, and their accompanying behaviors?
- In what ways do you consistently manifest your deepest understandings about life and humanity in your life, your work, your activism, your one-on-one interactions with all whom you encounter?
- How do you think you’d survive if you suddenly had to leave your home? What would you try to take with you? Who would you most rely on?
- The Ignored Cries of Pain and Injustice from Mauritania by Sidi Sene
- Mauritania (Cultures of the World) by Ettagale Blauer
- African American/Black History
- Crossing Cultures
- Education and Life Lessons
- Living and Traveling Abroad
- Taking A Stand and Peacemaking