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Anti-racism scholar George Dei named Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow

Collaboration aims to build capacity in African higher education

February 2, 2015

George Dei

OISE anti-racism expert George Dei is among 60 Canadian and American scholars named Carnegie African Diaspora Fellows who will travel to Africa to collaborate on joint projects with higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

Carnegie Fellows are African-born academics currently living in the United States and Canada and working in higher education. Born in Asokore-Koforidua, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, Dei received his undergraduate education at the University of Ghana Legon, and came to Canada in 1979 to complete a master’s degree at McMaster University and a doctoral degree at the University of Toronto.

Dei will travel to Ghana where, from June to August 2015, he will work with Kolawale Raheem of the University of Education, Winneba on a project to Africanize school and community science and technology education curriculum. The project aims to foster collaboration and build capacity at the host campus by developing a PhD program in education leadership, innovation and change, mentoring PhD students, teaching, seminars, and collaborating on research.

“The Carnegie Fellowship allows me to ‘give back’ to the country of my birth and also the place I initially received my education. Sharing the richness and diverse experience I have acquired in North American contexts, and also, having an opportunity to interact with my African colleagues on the continent enriches my professional and academic development. In this regard the Carnegie initiative is unique,” said Dei.

For Dei, who has been ‘giving back’ for a long time now, this prestigious recognition from Carnegie is especially welcome. “The award itself recognizes scholarly excellence and impact, not to mention the importance of international collaboration/exchanges in our increasingly globalized world,” he explained.

“The Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship program has made a wise choice in selecting George Dei for this prestigious award. His important project supports collaborative research with faculty and doctoral students at the Institute for Educational Research and Innovation Studies, in the University of Education, in Ghana, and promises to be a point of ongoing collaboration between our institutions. This is a very important contribution, in so many ways,” said Abigail Bakan, Chair of the Department of Social Justice Education, where Dei is a professor.

Dei, an internationally recognized scholar in the field of anti-racism studies, teaches and researches in the areas of integrative anti-racism studies and Indigenous knowledge, schooling and community, development education and international development.

According to Toyin Falola, Nigerian historian and original Carnegie Advisory Council member, “This pool of scholars represents the future of Canada, America and Africa with new talents who represent their fields and the future of their disciplines. Creating large constituencies across the Atlantic reinforces collaboration instead of domination, strategic partnership instead of academic distancing, and the various projects contribute to rethinking the epistemologies of knowledge.”