Date(s) - 02/23/21
Celebrating Black History Month during the 75th Anniversary of the Fulbright Program
Centering Our Voices: Perspectives on Race, Equity, and Access in Fulbright
Presented by Alanna Diggs, Mecca Slaughter and Dr. Maria Martin
The current state of affairs in the US has communicated that issues of equity and access persist. These issues are ingrained in every level of society and have created obstacles to opportunities, resources, quality education, and transformative experiences for many people of color. This panel of African American women, who are former Fulbright recipients, will speak to issues of equity and access that affected their level of engagement with the Fulbright organization. This panel will also discuss the nuanced experience of being ambassadors for a nation that often excludes the Black experience and offers guidance on how Fulbrighters of color can reintegrate into US society after the grant period. Within this conversation, Dr. Martin, Ms. Diggs, and Ms. Slaughter will share their experiences within the Fulbright organization from applying to pre-departure, travel abroad, and returning home to ultimately make recommendations on how the Fulbright organization can make its programs more visible to and inclusive of communities of color.
About the Speakers
Alanna Diggs was an educator and marketer before departing for Andorra as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant from 2018 to 2019. During her time in Andorra, she stayed with a welcoming host family while teaching 14 to 16 year old students in Catalonia. She was fortunate enough to visit 14 countries in her time abroad. Since returning to the States, she has turned her attention toward higher education as an employee of the University of Chicago. Alanna speaks Catalan and Spanish.
Mecca Slaughter graduated with her Master’s in Integrated Media Communications from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018. She was awarded an English Teaching Assistant grant from the Fulbright Organization and begun teaching at two universities in North Macedonia. During her time she taught various courses including, but not limited to, American Law, Black History, Conversational English, and Prep courses for the ELT. While abroad Mecca was able to visit several countries and be apart of Fulbright Noir. Now back in the Unites States Mecca is a full time mom to a set of twins while she starts the process to begin her PhD. Along with hopes of continuing her career in higher education.
Dr. Martin is a Black Studies Africanist and gender scholar in the department of History and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Merced. Her research centers Nigerian women’s intellectual history and theoretical development from the African context. She is a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship alumna and has won different Fulbright awards in addition to receiving an honorable mention from the Ford Foundation for her research. Her most recent Fulbright was for teaching graduate courses in gender methods at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria where she helped build the Gender Studies Mentoring Program and helped establish the inaugural Gender Studies conference. She remains connected to Nigeria and is currently on a team of scholars and NGOs offering virtual mental healthcare to vulnerable youth in Nigeria whose lives were distressed by COVID-19.