Hello! My name is NoÃ«l Gordon, and I am a senior at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. I started this GoFund Me campaign in hopes of raising enough money to do HIV prevention and awareness work in Kingston, Jamaica this Spring. As a first generation college student with limited financial resources, I probably cannot afford this trip without your help! The total cost of the program, which includes airfare, housing, and program fees, is roughly 3,200.00.
Global Course Connections (GCC) programs allow students to participate in a field-based extension of selected U-M Courses. Students enroll in specific courses in the fall or winter and then spend 2-4 weeks at a field site typically outside of the United States.
I, and several other students, will be traveling to Kingston, Jamaica with Dr. Nesha Haniff. Dr. Haniff is a Professor in the Women's Studies Department and the Department of African and Afro-American Studies. Her work has focused on empowerment pedagogies and marginalized populations, with an emphasis on HIV, gender, and gay identities. Upon arriving in Jamaica, we will use a module of HIV education developed by Nesha Haniff.
The module is designed to educate the low literate, and to empower them to become second-generation teachers and use the module to teach HIV prevention to their own communities. Dr. Haniff has taught the HIV module in various parts of the Caribbean, South Africa, and the United States.
I am interested in going to Jamaica with Dr. Haniff because I know working with her, and the people of Jamaica, will allow me to turn theory in practice; to leverage my privilege in service of an underprivileged community; and to come back to the United States with a healthy dose of humility and global perspective. It will also be a unique opportunity for me to speak with, and possibly learn from, LGBT activists who work with the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals, & Gays (J-FLAG). Finally, there is a deeply personal reason I would like to participate in this program. My father was born, raised, and murdered in Jamaica. He was never really part of my life, so my own personal relationship to Jamaica is complicated and incredibly incomplete. By going on this trip, I hope to resolve of this internal conflict. At the very least, it will be an opportunity for me to visit my father's gravesite--something I've yet to do in the nine years since his death.
Thank you for reading and potentially donating to this cause. As an aspiring activist committed to queer liberation, I believe it is essential for me to participate in this program. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to email me.
Yours in Earnest,