Dear future HIUS 144 Students, I am sure many of you have heard great things about this class and are anticipating a rewarding experience. I am writing this letter specifically for the student who doesn’t know much about this class yet.  I was in the same position as you were when I took this class.  Since it was the first time that the course was ever taught, there were many kinks that had to be worked out. For example, getting students to the different sites was a little hectic, especially for students who did not have a car. Also, some of the deadlines had toRead More →

  These are interviews with Awichu Akwanya who is originally from Pakwach, Uganda but currently resides in City Heights, San Diego.  He was born in November of 1974 and migrated to the United States when he was 29 years old, seeking asylum.  Awichu has 23 siblings who are dispersed throughout the world: in London, Uganda, and the Middle East.  An amazing fact about Awichu is that he speaks 9 languages.  In this interview, Awichu discussed his life in Uganda, his journey to America, and his desire to continue with his education and to be reunited with his family. He also spoke about the effects ofRead More →

My interviewee, Awichu Akwanya, migrated to the United States from Uganda in 2004 and filed for asylum. I wanted to create an art piece that honors his love for his home country. So I decided to create the flag of Uganda out of folded paper cranes.  To create the art piece, I hand folded 37 cranes, which took about 14 hours, and stitched them together in six equal horizontal bands of black, red, and yellow; and black, red, and yellow—the colors and patterns of the Uganda flag.  I chose to make the flag out of cranes because the grey crowned crane, well known for itsRead More →

On Thursday May 24th, the African Student Association (ASA) put on their annual Celebration of Africa (COA) at UCSD. Although this was the seventh year that ASA had put on the COA, it was the first year that they had invited the East African community of City Heights to attend. As a staff member of SPACES, I was the liaison person with the East African Center to make sure that everyone got where they were supposed to be. Over 70 people from the Center attended that day, thanks to the hard work and collaboration of the staff at the East African Center, the COA organizers,Read More →

Friday May 11th was the culminating East African Youth workshop at the East African Cultural and Community Center in City Heights. About 20 youth from the community attended this event. The facilitators began the workshop by asking the youth to discuss in small groups some of the issues that they have learned from the previous workshops. Several of the youth responded that they enjoyed learning about Afrofuturism the best, since all they ever learned about Black history in school is slavery. The students then were asked to draw themselves in the future. Many drew what they wanted to be: soccer player, basketball player, teacher, businessRead More →

Our class visit to Chicano Park in Barrio Logan on May 9, 2018 was my first visit to the park. Professor Luis told us that the park was created in the early 1970s, when organizers demanded a neighborhood park under the bridge as a symbol of their culture and community. I was really impressed by the paintings of murals in the park that were created by local Chicano art groups; each mural tells a powerful independent story or message. Even though the Chicano Park is under a noisy highway, it felt tranquil and relaxing.  Without the community’s determination to make this space theirs, it couldRead More →

      The United Women’s East African Support Team (UWEAST), in partnership with the Southern Sudanese Community Center,  the Critical Refugee Studies Collective, and UCSD SPACES, sponsors a series of youth workshops at the East African Cultural and Community Center in City Heights. Led by UCSD graduate students and the Center staff, these workshops address topics such as African History and Culture; African Diaspora; Colonialism; and Wellness. When I attended a workshop on April 13, the theme of the workshop was on African Culture and Art. At the end of the workshop, they had invited an elder from the East African community to teach the workshop participants how toRead More →