Published on July 1, 2009
“Towards Democracy and Diversity: Increasing the Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Skills of Caribbean Social Studies Educators A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
I was an invited guest of the University of South Florida (USF) to a reception dinner entitled “Towards Democracy and Diversity”. Although I was aware that it involved welcoming teachers from the Caribbean among other things, the title, my words or the photos could not capture the energy dispersed tonight. A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
Everyone is well aware of my Caribbean roots and that I practice both business law and immigration law. If you know me well, you are further aware that I practice immigration law because I have been blessed with the gift of knowledge and I felt compelled, albeit self imposed to give back directly to the immigrant community. I truly believe innately most attorneys (I did not say all) care about people and it draws them to the profession. Over the years, I knew my life meant more than the practice of law. I genuinely care about others and I care about Caribbeans and how they fit into the American way of life. A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
For years in college and in the community from coast to coast of the U.S., I noticed the difference in assimilating here between English speaking Caribbeans and Non- English speaking Caribbeans. As a native of Jamaica which is an English speaking country, other than certain culture shock as a child, it was rather easy to blend in and become American. I can disguise my accent if I choose to and I can claim New York as my birth home which is where I landed and was educated. This information is not new to any English speaking immigrant regardless of country of origin. A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
What was astounding tonight was the gratitude espoused by the recipients of this scholastic journey. The United States Department of State sponsored this initiative by USF. The Patel Center for Global Solutions, College of Education and the English Language Institute have this magnificent 6 weeks seminar and field trips laid out for 17 Haitian teachers and 20 Dominican Republic teachers who were fortunate to be accepted to this project. A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
However, my reason for this blog was not about the program and the excellent pedagogical skills that will be shared with these Caribbean teachers. It is because as each teacher introduced him or herself, history, sociopolitical issues, gratitude, diversity, democracy, empathy, spirituality, legacy, learning, teaching, culture, intellectual discourse, immigration, immigrants, introspection, humanity, professionalism, community, globalization, identity, race, economics, education, a need for acceptance, gender gap, love for the U.S. and charity was what I saw and heard in one room, one mission, one university, one community through one country, the United States of America. A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
One Haitian teacher said he read somewhere that you should love, learn and leave this earth with a legacy. Do you know how profound this statement is? I’ve championed for weeks now my WHAT’S YOUR CAUSE? imploring you to give back by creating or joining a cause to give back. Tonight, I saw individuals in an academic setting that were human sponges, ready to learn our way to add depth to their way of teaching and learning, in an attempt to enhance their education system. They were giving back with their life everyday in their profession. I observed a socio-political moment where although the two countries are on the same landmass, a citizen of one country had never seen a citizen of another country and had preconceived ideas that English was not of interest to this citizen. A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
Even with the aforementioned observations, they all and we all were grateful to the diversity and democracy literally in the room tonight and the academic product to be delivered over 6 weeks. Trying to reach out to the Tampa Bay community everyday is a joy to me. The community leadership that was there tonight cares about education of the masses and USF’s endeavors and it was felt. I congratulate all the educators and the U.S. government that help to develop this program. I do hope the community leaders here in Tampa, sung and unsung will continue to do their part not only to educate our young but to share with them how much we should appreciate what the United States academia has to offer as we strive to produce an even better educational system. A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
Alicia M. Phidd, Esq received her B.Sc. in Chemistry and Masters in Environmental Studies from S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook in New York and Juris Doctor from St. Thomas University School of Law in Florida. She currently practices Business Law and Immigration Law in Tampa, Florida. In addition, she has taught law at Barry University, graduate school; University of Phoenix, undergraduate business school and Broward Community College. She can be reached through website www.aliciaphidd.com Follow her at www.twitter.com/phidd View http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jJVsm57Awk All copyrights reserved. © 2009 Tuesday, June 30, 2009 A Blog Presentation by Alicia M. Phidd, Esq.
Title “Towards Democracy and Diversity” Author: College of Arts and Sciences Last modified by: Cruz Created Date: 12/10/2009 7:19:00 PM Company
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