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Voice of Black Studies Blog
Monday, April 20 2015
Our 39th Annual NCBS Reflection
On the 9th of March ten Final year students from the faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources majoring in Natural Resources Management, had the privilege of attending the 39th annual National Council for Black Studies (NCBS) conference in Los Angeles which took place from the 11th-14th of March 2015. Our group was made up of two panels the first panel under the theme Africa, Environment and Sustainable Livelihoods presented on the 12th of March from 9:00-10:15am. The panel participants were Soneni Moyo, Innocent N Chitsiku, Mutsa T Msabaeka, Daphne Mutenga and Fadzai M Dube. The second panel presented in the afternoon session under theme Black Studies, the African Experience and Gender and the participants were Rudorwashe V. Zvikaramba, Robina Nambafu, Rutendo R. Marovatsanga, Tinotenda E Maravanyika and Moira Dhliwayo. Both sessions were chaired by Mrs Zanele Furusa who organized the trip and guided the research of students. Our lecturer Ms. Munashe C Kurehwatira presented on the 14th of March under the theme Africa: Continental Experiences.
The students who participated in the 39th Annual NCBS conference selected and carried out thorough researches in areas which they are passionate about. The research projects done were both desktop and on the ground. The students worked very hard to see the researches through as they were done alongside their studies which include classes and exams. The research took us about six months under the thorough scrutiny of our lecturers Mrs. Furusa, (the Organiser) and Ms Kurehwatira (Assistant Organiser). Despite the pressure from our courses, power-point presentation creation and researches, we managed to come up with fruitful papers. The zeal to carry out our research paper just escalated by day through the tireless efforts and support we received from our organisers and lecturers who worked so diligently to help make our papers a success.
At The Event:
We attended the Luncheon where we experienced and enjoyed the food varieties we were exposed to. We also got the opportunity to meet with students from other Universities and exchanged academic and social ideas. We were amazed by the way people showed interest in knowing more about Africa University and the African Based Science which we shared with them. The student Luncheon celebrated and honored the Winners of the undergraduate essay contest selected from 60 essay submissions. The winning essay proved insightful critical thinking and fine writing. We felt challenged when other students won essay writing awards and wished we had participated too we hope the future attendees will participate in this competition.
During the Luncheon we had an amazing opportunity to be addressed by the Congresswoman Karen Bass from California on African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) its importance and why NCBS should be part of the support and advocacy campaign for its renewal this year.
We also attended the NCBS Awards Banquet where our Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa won an Paul Robeson and Zora Neal Hurston Celebrated Elder Award for outstanding Leadership and Service award in the promotion of African Humanity, March 11-14 2015. We were blessed to meet, mingle and groove with the real deal people who played a pivotal role in the making of Africana/Black Studies the likes of Maulana Karenga of Califonia State University, Molefi Kete Asante of Temple University, Amilcar Shabazz NCBS Vice President and Chair of the Conference Committee, Georgene Bess Montgomery NCBS President We were honored to be in their presence and we really appreciate their heartfelt welcome.
From left to right: Robinah Nambafu. Mrs. Zanele. Furusa, Ms. Georgene Bess Montgomery (NCBS President), Fadzai Dube, Soneni Moyo, Daphne Mutenga, Mutsa Msabaeka, Ms. Munashe Kurehwatira, and Rutendo Marovatsanga.
Through our organizer, Mrs. Furusa working with The NCBS team, we managed to receive a waiver for our registration fee and we really appreciate it. We would like to offer our heartfelt gratitude to the NCBS committee for making the conference a success and choosing a convenient venue Westin Hotel which is near the Airport, Clara Matonhodze for making us feel at home, Adrienne Sedgwick for the smooth arrangements she made for our travel and stay as well as Westin LAX’s workers. We would not have enjoyed NCBS and L.A without you!
The trip was a mind opener, educational and encouraged us to strive for greater academic excellence. We are grateful for the support we received from the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, administration, Vice Chancellor’s and Deputy Vice Chancellor’s offices, the Bursar, Individual Lecturers, our parents and Osborne Furusa and wife who chauffeured and gave us a tour around in and around LA. Lastly we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the Almighty God who made it possible. Our Participation in the 39th Annual NCBS is a testimony of the great work done in and out of the classrooms in trying to uplift African communities, promote African culture and talk about what we have witnessed in the livelihoods of people around us. Thumbs up to you NCBS board for creating a forum for conversations that uplift Africa!