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### Sponsorship Opportunities Available for USA Students to Embark on Study Abroad Journey in Africa

A professor from the University of South Alabama, pivotal in the preservation of Mobile’s Africatown history, is seeking sponsorship to facilitate a spring trip to Africa with a select group of students.

Renowned for his involvement in the acclaimed documentary “Descendant,” Kern Jackson, alongside director Margaret Brown, co-wrote the film. Jackson is now spearheading an immersive study-abroad initiative slated for the May semester post-USA’s spring graduation. This program aims to explore Benin, Ghana, and Togo, offering a comprehensive experience at approximately \(5,000 per participant. The cost encompasses international health coverage, lodging, local travel, most meals, and excursions, excluding the airfare of around \)2,000, which students are responsible for.

Titled “USA in West Africa: Dreams of Alabamians in Africa,” the program pays homage to Sylviane Diouf’s seminal work on Africatown, “Dreams of Africa in Alabama.” Jackson revealed that the majority of interested students hail from Alabama, with diverse academic backgrounds, including science and medical studies, despite enrolling in the African American Studies program he supervises.

Anticipating manifold benefits from the fieldwork, Jackson emphasized the transformative impact of such experiences on participants’ civic engagement and leadership development. By immersing students in unfamiliar environments, he aims to broaden their perspectives and catalyze their potential contributions on a global scale.

The itinerary includes visits to Keta in Ghana, Lome in Togo, and Ouidah in Benin, a significant slave port during the era of the Clotilda’s illicit voyage in 1860. The students will engage in fieldwork in Keta, collaborating with local drum makers and weavers, alongside exploring historical sites.

While the trip remains open to both students and non-students, with a looming mid-March application deadline, additional funding is crucial to enable aspiring participants to afford the program. Interested sponsors can contribute through designated online channels, including one facilitated by USA. For further details or inquiries about the trip, individuals can reach out to Jackson via email.