INTL 437i Community Building in Rwanda (12 credits)
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The Rwanda service-learning program explores the history and cultures of Rwanda through collaborative, community-based learning. Students and faculty work alongside partners in the village of Gashora, Rwanda to learn about their culture, the challenges and opportunities they face, and their grassroots approaches to community development. Tim Costello, the Center’s director works closely with established Rwanda partners to serve as guides and mentors for student participants. We learn about the local community issues through the people that live there. Prior to travel, students participate in team building and preparatory study on Rwandan history and culture, cross cultural relationship building, and ethical travel and global citizenship. While in Rwanda students engage in service-learning projects, on-site academic seminars, reading, writing, and reflective practice. Upon return students design their own action project for positive social change informed by their experiences in Rwanda. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.learnlivego.com/.
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Andrew Brown, Fairhaven
Andrew Brown received their Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and is currently Assistant Professor of Performance Art at Fairhaven College. Their teaching and research is situated at the intersections of Performance, Digital Media, Anthropology, Gender and Sexuality, and African Studies. Particular areas of interest include: devising and adaptation, activist performance around race, class, sexuality, and the environment, transnational performance, and queer performance. Andrew is the recipient of the Dwight Conquergood Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Robert S. Breen Memorial Award for Engaged Performance both awarded by Northwestern University.
As a mixed media performance artist, Andrew’s work draws on installation, sound art, visual art, and digital media alongside live performance to explore relationships between gender and sexuality, technology, popular culture, and memory/history. Their pieces Fat Camp, Mother May I?, And Now To Honor America, Row Row Row, and Home/Affair have been performed in New York City, London, Cape Town, Providence, and Mexico City.
Their research draws on five years of collaborative ethnographic performances made with queer refugees in South Africa. These performances on stage and in everyday life work to create alternative representations of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity on the continent and in Diaspora. Their book project, Refugitive Visuality argues that performance constructs experimental geographies of African sexuality and re-imagines the established visuality of queer refugees in transnational law and performance. Their work has been published in the edited volume Performing Arts Resources: A Tyranny of Documents and Theatre Research International.
Tim Costello is the Director of the Center for Service-Learning at Western Washington and has been in his position for 9 years. Working at Western is an extension of his passion for promoting a just and diverse society. Prior to working at Western Tim worked in the nonprofit sector in areas related to HIV/AIDS, Hospice and child welfare. In 1987 while living in New York City he went to the first meeting of ACTUP, the acclaimed and controversial first HIV/AIDS activist organization in the world. He was an active member for 3 years and continued his HIV/AIDS work after moving to Bellingham, WA in 1992. In memory of all women, men, and children who died or live with HIV/AIDS, Tim founded Slum Doctor Programme, an international NGO that brought HIV treatment and education to impoverished areas of Kenya and Uganda. The Center for Service-Learning’s Rwanda and Kenya study abroad programs spring from his dedication to the transformative power of cross cultural relationships through shared living, love, and labor.
Tim has been a recipient of the Whatcom Human Rights Award (2007), the Whatcom Family and Community Network Community Building Award (2013) and selected as one of the “10 People Who Care” by the Bellingham Herald Editorial Board (2007).
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