A project of

Excelsior College proposed the project Taking Root: Teaching Our Teachers about Diaspora to the Ford Foundation in order to provide essential tools to schools struggling to address the needs of their immigrant student populations. Whether through choice or as the result of war, natural disasters and economic collapse, millions of refugees are coming to the United States. They are settling not only in urban centers, but in suburbs and rural areas throughout the country. This Web site is intended to provide basic resources to teachers across the nation to build upon success for their students.

Three partner school districts in Lincoln, Nebraska, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Amsterdam, New York participated in the development of curriculum for two master’s level courses on the subject of diaspora, and encouraged staff members to pilot them. You can explore the work of our partners in the area of English as a Learned Language (ELL) teaching through links on the partner area of this Web site. Additional involvement from New York State United Teachers and several experts in the field of immigration and ELL teaching further enhanced the project. Those courses, The Face of Immigration Today, and New Populations and The Community are now available annually to all who desire an in-depth immersion in the topic and an opportunity to relate immigration issues to their professional and personal lives.

Additionally, a third course addressing related issues of social justice is in development. A first offering is anticipated in January, 2009.