Tuesday, June 16, 2015

'Small World' Connections at the Harvard Ed Portal!

In a program at the Gardner Pilot Academy (GPA) in Allston, a neighborhood of Boston-Massachusetts, the students studied “famous” local people. Pictured below is Marisa in the fifth grade who was assigned to study Brenda McSweeney. Surprisingly, Marisa met up with Brenda at the Harvard Ed Portal opening of the Unbound Visual Arts Exhibition on Community! As part of the Boston Public Schools, GPA's Pilot status gives the school autonomy to offer innovative curricula and a school culture that supports high expectations and achievement.

At right is Marisa pictured here with Brenda and her photographs
of evolving women's roles in the community in West Africa

Marisa is working away at the exhibition's 'Connections' happening! She is connecting her passions to entries of like-minded participants. This activity was designed by Unbound Visual Arts (UVA) President Ruth Rieffanaugh. Also pictured is Marisa's aunt Marcie Laden who is on UVA's Board of Directors (Photo credit: Eric West)

It's possible that Marisa's assignment was inspired by a publication – in which Brenda is one of the Brighton residents featured – called Legendary Locals of Allston-Brighton by Linda Mishkin. Linda is now President of the Brighton-Allston Historical Society, that like UVA is a UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate. More on the Legendary Locals volume here: 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Aminata Salamata Kiello's Paper on the Legacy of Enslavement in West Africa now published!

Aminata Salamata Kiello
UNESCO/UNITWIN at WGS/BU is delighted to announce a new publication in our Occasional Paper Series. The author is Aminata Salamata Kiello of Niamey-Niger and Ouagadougou-Burkina Faso who has prepared a paper entitled "The Legacy of Enslavement of Men and Women: Cases from West Africa". Aminata Kiello examines  the gendered impact of historical to modern-day slavery in several countries in West Africa, as well as its impact on the development of African societies. Her paper highlights the stigmas of modern-day slavery, particularly for women, who are subjugated both within the family structure and society at large, and who may be subject to a gender-specific form of slavery known as wahaya. Championing empowerment through education and cultural pride, Kiello argues that combatting the economic, social, and psychological determinants of slavery is key to West African development overall.

As Saniye Gulser Corat, Director of the Division for Gender Equality, UNESCO Paris, writes: "In West Africa, Kiello's case study about the influence of enslavement on modern slavery analyzes how women and men were impacted differently by describing the condition of “wahaya” women, who are stigmatized unofficial wives and slaves, and the brake the practice represents to African societies’ development."

Here is the link to the 'opens like a book' version of Aminata's Paper: 

The PDF version of the paper can be found at:

Both begin with the original French version authored by Aminata Salamata Kiello, and conclude with an English summary by Cassandra Fox.

Photos: Brenda Gael McSweeney

A First Publication in Our Network Collection in an African Language!

We're happy to announce that a first publication in Moore on women's empowerment in Burkina is available in our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network collection! An article on lightening African women's workloads and freeing up time for educational and lucrative activities has been translated from French into Moore by Adama Jacques Sibalo. Moore is an official language in Burkina Faso, and Adama has published a series of books in Moore since 2002. The article that he translated in June 2015 is "Burkina's Women Shape Progress" by Brenda Gael McSweeney and Scholastique Kompaoré (the French version called Les femmes du Burkina façonnent le progrès was translated from the English by Tshali Kabanga Charlie). The Moore translation was made possible thanks to Professor Emeritus John Hutchison of BU's African Studies Center and Coordinator of The African Language Materials Archive (ALMA) at Michigan State University. More on this story at: http://equalityburkina.blogspot.com/2015/06/hot-off-press-new-publication-in-moore.html

Translator Adama Jacques Sibalo

Photo courtesy of Adama Jacques Sibalo