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African Diaspora map

African Diaspora and the World (ADW) Program

The African Diaspora and the World (ADW) Program at Spelman College is centered on the experiences of African descended people. ADW 111 and 112 courses are required the first year, a two-semester course sequence that speaks to students’ experiences as Black women. Students learn about themselves, their history, and place in the African diaspora and the world. Many alumnae who took the ADW courses refer to them as being the most formative educational influence in their lives.

A Conversation with Tara Roberts, National Geographic Explorer

March 23, 2022: Drs. Francesina Jackson and Pushpa Parekh talk with National Geographic explorer and storyteller Tara Roberts about her work searching for and documenting slave trade shipwrecks around the world.


ADW Vision and Mission

The overarching vision of ADW is to prepare students to develop a perception of themselves as citizens of a changing and increasingly compressed world, to sharpen awareness of diverse cultural and historical experiences and to promote the association between learning and social change.

The more specific mission of the African Diaspora and the World Program is to offer a gender-informed, interdisciplinary study of the histories and cultures of Africa and its diasporas. Particular emphasis is placed on the intersections and connections among the various communities of African descent globally.


Student Learning Objectives

Through scholarly and experiential engagement, the program seeks to prepare students to become members of a world community committed to positive social change. Building on discussions of epistemology, pedagogy and other critical terms of engagement in ADW 111 and ADW 112, students at the end of the two-course sequence will be able to do the following:

  • Analyze historical and modern diasporas in terms of international migration, movement and community formation.
  • Critically analyze and evaluate how internal and external power relations have shaped and impacted Africa and its diasporas.
  • Examine, interrogate and deconstruct dominant knowledge systems about Africa and its diasporas.
  • Identify how Africa and African diasporan communities have shaped the modern world.
  • Analyze categories of identity, especially in relation to difference and the construction of gender, race, ethnicity, class and citizenship.
  • Identify in the context of Africa and its diasporas the link between degradation of the environment and human exploitation.

Learning Experiences and Activities

ADW is a reading and writing-infused course that requires students to develop well-informed questions about course content and respond to such questions in written, oral and digital form. Students create and participate in the following:
  • Short reflective free-responses
  • Essays
  • Museum audio-narratives
  • Reading logs
  • Map quizzes
  • Informal discussions
  • Formal class presentations
Bonwire Village Ghana May 2011

Bonwire Village, Ghana, May 14, 2011

Do you want to deepen your knowledge of the diaspora? Explore our African Diaspora Studies (ADS) Minor.

Contact Us

African Diaspora & The World
404-270-5530
Giles Hall

Additional Contact Info


ADW In Action