Students at the University of Oregon, Xavier University of Louisiana, and Southern University in Louisiana are participating in a unique study abroad program this summer.
Students will begin by spending time in New Orleans. They will be housed on the campus of Xavier University and will visit landmarks and other important sites in the state. From there, students will travel to Ghana, where they will live with host families while attending classes and excursions, including visits to historical points of interest related to the trans-Atlantic slave trade. At the conclusion of the program, the group will travel to Kumasi and to Cape Coast to visit one of the largest open-air markets in Africa and to see the castles used in the slave trade.
Yvette Alex-Assensoh, vice president for equity and inclusion and a political science professor at the University of Oregon is one of four faculty members who will travel to Ghana with the students. She notes that “nationally, participation of Black and other underrepresented students in study abroad programs is negligible, and this program is designed to address this issue and, perhaps, serve as a model of how to use inter-university partnerships to share the financial costs and drive change.”
Dr. Alex-Assensoh is a summa cum laude graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science at Ohio State University. Dr. Alex-Assensoh also holds a juris doctorate from Indiana University.