African American History Month 2018
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in
moments of comfort and convenience, but where
he stands at times of challenge and controversy”.
M.L. King Jr. “Strength to Love”, 1963
The International Seminar
“Responding to Educational Challenges in Multicultural Societies”
February 24, 2018
On February 24 The American Studies Center of Moldova have organized the International Seminar “Responding to Educational Challenges in Multicultural Societies” dedicated to African American History Month 2018 at the Moldova State University. The presenters were the American and Moldovan specialists in the sphere of American Studies (International Relations, Education, Sociology, History, Literature) and TEFL.
The International Seminar started with the addresses offered by the panel which included representatives of the U.S. Embassy and Peace Corps, the scholars from the USA and the Moldova State University. The moderator – Stacy Kosko, Ph.D., Fulbright Scholar, MSU – spoke about the importance of the events highlighting African American History for promoting human values. Then, the welcome speeches were made by the other members of the panel: Ms. Crawford, Human Rights Officer, US Embassy, Moldova; Elena Crestianicov, Ph.D., dr. conf. univ., Head of the ASC and Viorica Lifari, Ph.D., dr. conf. univ., FLLF, MSU.
The keynote speaker was Francisco Javier Resto, Fulbright ETA, Tiraspol University, who made a presentation about a famous American scholar and novelist Ralph Ellison and his most salient work “The Invisible Man” that centered the ‘discussion on educational issues African-Americans face’ and challenges for teaching in a multicultural society. The other presenters were Alexxa Houk, Fulbright ETA, Balti, Moldova, Brian Dorelus, Peace Corps Volunteer, Moldova and Reginald Gravely, Peace Corps Volunteer, Moldova.
The guests and the members of the discussion panel were speaking on the most significant issues of the civil rights in the USA throwing more light on the less known aspects of American Education and Culture. They have drawn attention to the problems black people and other ethnic minorities face in the US, to the needs of colored youth in public schools as they lack the resources, hence, racial achievement gap. They stressed the importance of movies shattering ‘the negative stereotypes’ and demonstrated ‘the value African American culture has in America’.
The presentations, unique materials and questions asked and answered during the Seminar, stimulated the following round-table discussion and helped the Moldovan professors, the former graduates of the Master’s Degree program in American Studies, MA and PhD students see the new approaches to teaching youth of various backgrounds and do further research on cultural and linguistic issues as the presenters also focused on many ‘benefits to additionally teaching nonstandard dialects of English which include improving students’ abilities to understand and effectively communicate with native English speakers as well as validating the communities in which these dialects are spoken’. The active involvement of the audience has shown the desire for further cooperation. The participants stressed the importance of the topics selected, the innovative quality and the impressive way of establishing rapport with the audience.
The American Studies Center express special thanks to the US Embassy for the support of the American Government and the Moldova State University for helping and hosting the American Studies Center and the events. This is a great inspiration for organizing many more events.
Elena Crestianicov, PhD
Head of the American Studies Center