The Boston University Diaspora Studies Initiative: progress report and vision for the future
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BACKGROUND AND GOALS The African diaspora has been historically one of the largest and most influential diaspora groups in the United States and has exerted a profound impact on the evolvement of the country’s democratic institutions and civic liberties. It is also one of the most dynamic, diverse, and educated diasporas in the United States, comprising generations of people of African-American heritage as well as millions of foreign-born immigrants. The African diaspora has potential to be a progressive and integrative global force particularly at this moment in the history of the United States. African diaspora actors and organizations are actively seeking opportunities to collaborate with the new administration and make their voices heard here and globally. They are also looking to co-define paths for Africa’s social and economic transformation in the era where over 40 percent of the continent’s population still lives in poverty. The Diaspora Studies Initiative (DSI) of the Boston University African Studies Center has focused on facilitating diaspora engagement and networking for contributing to the development of the countries of their origin. That focus on creating sustainable and productive ties and partnerships with Africa is defined by the Center’s diverse and in-depth expertize on African matters, including its cultural, social, economic, political and linguistic aspects. This report discusses the present and future contributions of DSI to the academic as well as policyoriented study of African diaspora matters. It presents an overview of DSI initiatives and achievements since it was started in 2016, and suggests a vision for the future. [TRUNCATED]
African Studies Center Working Paper No. 271
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