What is ADA?

The African Diaspora Alliance (ADA) was founded by two Baltimore activists who experienced first hand the lack of opportunities for black youth to study abroad, and the absence of African Diaspora history in public and private school curriculums. As a solution to these disparities, The African Diaspora Alliance was created to help enlighten, expose, and engage individuals with the diversity and beauty of the African Diaspora. The youth study abroad program is one of many initiatives the organization has to better connect the African Diaspora.


MEET THE TEAM

CO-FOUNDER

             Co-Founder

moriah ray

Moriah completed her undergraduate career at the University of Maryland College Park where she studied Government and Politics with a minor in International Development and Conflict Management. While a student Moriah was a major community organizer on her campus. Moriah has had various travel opportunities throughout the globe studying and researching peoples of the African Diaspora. She has traveled to numerous countries but most recently Cuba and Costa Rica.

CO-FOUNDER

            Co-Founder

Jasmine hall

Jasmine holds a B.A with honors in African and Black Diaspora Studies and Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies with a concentration in International Studies from DePaul University, Chicago, IL. After graduating in 2015, Jasmine lived in Havana for three months where  the seeds for  African Diaspora Alliance were first planted.  She has had extensive travel and research opportunities to study the African Diaspora from her travels to over 13 countries throughout Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Europe.  

HAVANA ops. MANAGER

Havana Operations Director

dr. YARITZA AZCUY m.d.

Yaritza is a proud Afro-Cuban physician from Havana, Cuba where she currently practices. While she was a student in medical school she co-founded an organization that connected the African Diaspora students at the Latin American School of Medicine in Cuba. The student led group facilitated successful events bringing together the various countries of the Diaspora that are represented at the school. She is responsible for assisting ADA in organizing educational programs in Havana.

MEDIA MANAGER

           Media Manager

maya rodriguez

Maya Rodriguez graduated from University of Maryland Baltimore County with a B.F.A. in Visual Arts and Writing. A graphic/web designer by trade and editor by default, Maya has worked with artists, entrepreneurs, non profits, musicians, etc. on content that was original and inspired. Her work has been featured in Miami New Times, AfroPunk.com, and GumRoad. When she is not in DC, you can find her on somebody’s airline. Her favorite country so far is Cuba, that is where she first met Moriah and Jasmine, and fell in love with the mission of ADA.

“Our organization’s goal is to provide more study abroad opportunities for the youth of Baltimore that are accessible, relatable, and affordable.”

 

Students participation in our program will not only be an educational experience, but a chance for them to grow and learn about themselves in a new environment. Before students partake in the study abroad program they must attend and complete coursework through our educational workshops. The workshops will allow students to gain a plethora of skills that will be extremely helpful as they prepare for higher education. While in Havana, Cuba the students will partake in Spanish, Dance, and History classes. They will also partake in a variety of cultural field trips. Additionally, they will get the chance to engage with Cuban youth. Lastly, with our program students will learn more about the African Diaspora and use critical thinking exercises to discuss how to solve challenges that impact the diaspora as a whole. This will include the discussion of complex issues such as systemic racism, health disparities, and manifestations of self-hate within our own communities.

           There is no question that study abroad experiences are extremely important and beneficial to student’s academic and social growth. However, the problem is study abroad programs are often extremely inaccessible to minority youth due to economic constraints and the lack of study abroad programs in inner city schools. In 2015 the U.S State Department revealed that out of all the students in the United States who have the opportunity to study abroad only 5% of those students are black.

Additionally, in the State Department's findings they revealed that in the 2012-2013 school year more than half of the students that study abroad went to European countries.

 

"The history of the African Diaspora is often ignored and neglected within the American Education system."

 

What makes our program unique is that our participants will have the opportunity to go to a country that has been closed off to the United States for over 50 years. Schools across the country are rushing to get their students to Cuba to explore the learning opportunities Cuba has to offer. Cuba is a country that has an extremely unique history through which students will have the ability to learn and contextualize various important historical events, from The Spanish American War to The Cold War. Going to Cuba will allow the students to connect what they have learned in the classroom to actual historical landmarks. Additionally, Cuba will provide the students with an extremely diverse cultural experience because it will allow them to learn about Latin America, The Caribbean, and Africa through only traveling to one country. Lastly, Cuba is a perfect location for students to learn about diplomacy and international politics. The history of the African Diaspora is often ignored and neglected within the American Education system. Through being able to study abroad and experience the African Diaspora in its wholeness our participants will begin to unlearn many of the fallacies taught to them about black history.