Program Purpose and Overview
The purpose of the Cultural Imperative Program is to increase cultural awareness and critical thinking skills among high school students of color. Critical thinking skills are not only essential to academic success but they also influence how students navigate their day-to-day activities. The foundation of cultural awareness is built upon learning a historically accurate interpretation of African history and culture, which will positively impact the student’s self-image and behavior, and strengthen their connection to African and African American people, places and things. The Cultural Imperative Program is designed to help students embrace Africa as a foundation for historical and cultural identity, in order to recognize and materialize their potential for greatness through self-determination, hard-work, perseverance, and education. We strive to help students feel empowered as descendants of African people, instead of feeling ashamed of their skin color or hair texture, or other negative stereotypes associated with being “black”. As a result of participating in the Cultural Imperative Program, students will enhance their critical thinking skills and develop cultural awareness by reading, analyzing, and discussing a variety of texts. Students participating in the program are referred to as the Browder Scholars, embodying the leadership and scholarship of the program founder, Anthony Browder. Throughout the program students will read selected articles from Browder’s book, “From the Browder Files: 22 Essays on the African American Experience” and view introductory videos. During each session, the Browder Scholars will learn about Ancient African history and the African American experience and will gain greater appreciation for their history and culture. Through text analysis and open discussion, Browder Scholars will learn how to think critically, communicate effectively, and engage in meaningful discussions with their peers and adults. Students will also have an opportunity to reflect on required readings through creative expression and written reflections. Browder Scholars are given a safe space to talk about culturally relevant information that is often omitted in school curriculum.
Browder Scholars are led by CIP Site Coordinators and select volunteer staff. Site Coordinators will receive live video training with the program founder and other support from program staff. Session leaders are required to read and become familiar with the text that they will review with their students in order to facilitate organized, meaningful and engaging sessions. Session Leaders serve as role models who have an opportunity to shape the lives of young people and direct them towards a positive and productive path in life. CIP sessions are held one Saturday a month between January and May. Sessions lasts for three hours and will include no more than 40 students.
Led by Youth Organizer- Josh Harrison
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