In the summer 2018, we invited Inclusive Curriculum Consultants at Kingston University to work as virtual research assistants on The Hilali Toolkit. Their task was to design, apply and evaluate their experiences of creating activities for teachers and students across the globe around cultural heritage. This month, we’re sharing Beatrice Carey and Linda-Marie Nakibuuka’s reflections on contributing to The Hilali Toolkit.
Reflections on creating ‘Cultural Connections’
Beatrice’s activity is called Identifying the cultural connections different cultures share through the artefact of food (‘Cultural Connections’ for short). In participating in this activity, students are encouraged to identify the cultural connections different cultures share through the artefact of food. Using their own heritage as a base, students will use research, history, and oral recollections to explore the global links hidden in heritage based foods and traditions.
“As I have roots in education and a special interest in equity and inclusion, this project was helpful. It allowed me to recall on my own educational experiences involving culture and actually critically engage with curricula from a fresh and unique perspective. It took some time to narrow down my focus as I had ended up making several starter lessons based on different elements of my own heritage I would love to see taught in the classroom. I aspire to become a professor and this allowed me to apply my K-12 training in a different more open-ended context. After finalizing which lesson to go forth with I began having in depth conversations about food, its message, and origin with friends and family around me.
I am very fortunate that I have multiple generations within my family spanning past the Civil Rights Movement and was actually taught how to prepare some of my traditional meals from my great-grandparents who were born in the generation right after the Emancipation Proclamation. This project actually allowed me to connect more to potential cultural roots in Africa, as I found out that a lot of our traditional food was adapted from the memories and cultures of those who came over during slavery from West Africa. Speaking with friends who are Ghanaian, Jamaican, and Haitian to discover that we had connections through food so strong was moving and humbling.
Then through further interviews and research discovering that a dish as simple as black-eyed peas reached across Asia made this project worthwhile for me. I spent quite some time lost in reading and researching different parts of my heritage, which was quite a great delight and I also got to understand more about myself, my family, and community. Although my project was about food, I learned about hair, celebrations, independence days, and national identity formed through common threads. I really enjoyed being a part of this project”
Reflections on creating ‘Linguistic Diversity’
Linda-Marie’s activity is called Exploring of linguistic diversity using human bingo to facilitate a discussion about language preservation (‘Linguistic Diversity for short). The aim of this activity is to raise students’ awareness about the importance of language preservation and understand the key role language has in culture. In a short space of time, it is designed to help them identify how many languages are spoken by a group and also know what languages other than the dominant languages(s) are spoken. As well as helping to begin a discussion about the importance of language preservation, this activity also facilitates students in getting to know each other. Watch Linda Marie’s reflections:
About the Hilali Toolkit Contributors
Beatrice Carey is an African American contemporary visual artist and art researcher completing her MFA in Fine Art at Kingston University. Her work centers around equity in society, a desire for a deeper understanding of the cultural aesthetic standards that shape our perceptions of African Americans and their relation to black representation and attainment in education, with particular focus to the arts. She is currently a Senior Curriculum Consultant for Kingston University’s Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre where she helps implement the Inclusive Curriculum Framework through the Curriculum Consultancy program.
Linda-Marie Nakibuuka is a curriculum consultant and MSc International Business Management student at Kingston University London. As sitting chairperson of a UK-based youth charity, Ingenium, she brings her experience of equality, diversity and inclusion to the Hilali project. She is currently carrying out research as part of her master’s consultation project on the 4th industrial revolution and how learning will change with the future of work. In addition to this, Linda-Marie has worked extensively in the not-for-profit sector for organisations such as the British Red Cross, the Challenge Network and Envision. As a project engagement worker at the British Red Cross, Linda-Marie was involved in the Inspired Action project which worked to engage more young people in volunteering, particularly those with disabilities. Her involvement gave her a deeper understanding of how essential it is to adopt the social rather than the medical model when looking at disabilities. Her long-term goal is to be in a position where she can influence and apply these ideas in her country of birth, Uganda
The Hilali Toolkit continues to grow with other contributions being developed. The activities are being co-created by teachers, students, researchers, academics and others interested in developing tools for those working in Higher Education and Cultural Heritage. To make an activity, the Hilali Toolkit Learning Designer can be used. If you are interested in contributing activities, please use our learning designer or contact us.