Ghana: "Year of Return" Intercultural Scholarship

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Ghana: "Year of Return" Intercultural Scholarship



Ghana Map

With this crowdfunding campaign, EMU hopes to off-set costs for students of color who wish to participate in the May-June 2022 intercultural program “Ghana: A year of return.”  This theme is connected to the 1619 project which is honoring the 400-year anniversary since the first documented captured African was brought to Virginia from Ghana. This journey to Ghana is intended to be a healing trip for students of color at Eastern Mennonite University who have historical and ancestral connection to the rich Continent of Africa. Our learning will explore and honor both the historical pain and the power and beauty within our identity.

Case for Support:

Many students of color at EMU struggle with finding the funds to participate in many of the Cross-Cultural trips. In naming some of the reasons why it is a challenge for students of color to have the financial resources for these trips, one of the root causes is systemic racism. I believe this Cross-Cultural trip will be extremely influential for the students of color at EMU to participate in, especially with the current racial climate of this Country. We believe that with the help of a little generosity, all students at EMU will be able to access such an experience, not just those who are able to pay for it.

Facilitators on the trip will use expertise and Strategies for Trauma and Resilience (STAR) training to shape spiritual, emotional and mental preparation throughout this journey. Students and leaders will explore their pre-slavery heritage through history and current expressions of culture in Ghana. 

By giving a gift to this crowdfunding campaign, you are partnering with students who wish to take this transformational journey that will provide a space for deep healing and deeper self-knowledge.

Experience the compelling flavors, rhythms, and stories of a country rich in biodiversity, arts, and history. Explore with the support of an experienced guide and teacher. And most of all, find yourself in the blend of fresh discoveries and ancestral lineages that call to you from Ghana. 



This intercultural trip will be led by Talibah Aquil.

TalibahTalibah Atiya-Najee Aquil has a rich and varied background using the arts as a vehicle for social change. Whether in performances, community organizing, or teaching and facilitating, Talibah cultivates spaces for trauma healing and transforming conflicts that exist both within self and within communities. Ms Aquil has facilitated Restorative Justice Circle Practices centered around racial healing and presented her masters thesis as an arts-based independent research project “Ghana, Remember Me,” which uses poetry, dance and music to speak to healing historical trauma within the African Diaspora community. Read more about Talibah here.

Site Visits:

  • Cape Coast Castle
  • Elmina Castle
  • The Last Bath
  • The Monkey Sanctuary
  • Kente Cloth making in Kumasi
  • WEB Dubois Museum
  • Kwame Nkrumah Memorial
  • Volta River
  • Agumatsa Mountain
  • Black Star Square
  • Labadi Beach
Giving Levels:



Ghanaian bread and butter: this staple dish is made from mashed cassava, yam, or plantain-a beloved dish across West Africa!


"Talking drum"

Now we are drumming! The Atumpan "talking drum" is one type of Ghanaian drum that forms the bass in traditional Adowa dance.



A Ghanaian dance performed by the Akan people. Sway to the beat of the drumming, we're on our way!



A popular dessert of fried plantains seasoned with chili pepper and ginger-something sweet with a little heat!


Donning the Kente Cloth

Ghanaian kente cloth is world-renowned for its beautiful hand-woven, intricate, & colorful patterns. This level of generosity is worthy of a gift of kente!



The concept of “Sankofa” is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa. It literally translates to: "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot." This teaching reminds us to honor our roots in order to move forward into our greatest potential! The spirit of this trip is the spirit of Sankofa.



The theme of this trip is "the Year of Return," an worldwide effort to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first recorded enslaved Africans in the State of Virginia from Ghana. At this level, you truly gift a student this transformational experience of healing.