Paris Noir Study Abroad
A corridor. Experientially, we all have them. I’m quite sure you can name one memorable occurrence or series of events that propelled you toward what you are doing today.
Maybe it was a particular lesson taught by an elementary school teacher or the sense of approval you received when you made the game-winning basket that no one thought was possible.
Whatever the event, however insignificant it was to others, it served as a corridor that connected the love and hope of your family, friends or others with a newly-discovered perspective of life and its meaning for you.
Today, I need YOU to be a corridor for my scholars and I as we endeavor to study abroad in Paris as part of a course I teach at Saint Augustine's University called “Paris Noir”. Our major funder slated to cover 50% of the program's cost withdrew its support last week and now I have to raise $5600 - $7,000 in 10 days to cover airfare for the trip.
For many African American college students, despite the best efforts of mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and other caregivers, finances often prevent them from experiencing more than that which is offered in their programs of study and through student activities at their institutions.
According to the most recent data from Institute of International Education's Open Doors Report and the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, of all U.S. students who study abroad only 5.6% are African American (compared with 74.3% Caucasian, 8.3% Hispanic/Latino American and 7.7% Asian/Pacific Islander).
But there is hope for my scholars to defy these statistics! “On Becoming Paris Noir” is an 8-day experience, April 28 through May 6, sponsored by the Office of International Programs at SAU. The total package initially included costs of $2800 (airfare, lodging, educational excursions, programming fees, etc.)My scholars did their part and covered their own lodging and passport expenses (which were over $1300).
However, this week certain programming fees are due and by next Sunday, April 10, the finances to cover roundtrip airfare (out of NYC) is also due. Will YOU consider financially giving and being a corridor for us?
Our exciting itinerary includes 2 nights in London where we will see “Motown…the Musical” in the city’s West End and later meet the “Motown” cast to discuss what it means to be an African-American performer living in Europe in the 21st Century. Then, we will tour the African Gallery at the British Museum before taking the Eurostar to Paris. For our six days in Paris, we will be in class from 9 am through 3 pm. From studying and celebrating Josephine Baker’s illustrious life and career through a walk of Montparnasse and the Champs Elysee and attending lectures by professors from local universities like the Sorbonne, to studying at the famous Café de Flore, where James Baldwin rewrote “Go Tell It on the Mountain”, this experience will immerse participants in the historical contexts of Black Paris.
With your partnership, the reailty of studying abroad will be realized. Would you consider helping me further my efforts with a donation of $20? $50? 100?
Please support our GoFundMe Campaign. Should gifts exceed this campaign, it will be used for general support of all my scholars participants.
I look forward to hearing from you and am appreciative of your partnership.
Midday this past Sunday we reached our minimum goal and days later I'm still being contacted regarding whether people can still donate. Absolutely! Because we reached our minimum goal ($5600), we were able to pay for our roundtrip airfare yesterday. (My ultimate goal was $7,000)
The overage donated thus far is affording a scholar who couldn't go originally due to financial reasons the opportunity to go. THANK YOU!
This GoFundMe campaign will be shut down on April 28. Until then, thank you and keep sharing. Your giving is making a difference.
We hit my goal of $2300 for the day! Thank you for financially standing-in-the-gap and making a difference in the lives of my scholars who desire to study abroad. I believe we're gonna do it!