Speaker: Sarah Strader
Title: Founder and Director, Chasing Two Rabbits
Topic: Chasing Two Rabbits: Hunter-Gatherer Education in the 21st Century
Our presenter will discuss 10 years of firsthand experience working with an indigenous group of hunter-gatherers in West Africa so insular, they were not identified as the Baka until the 1950’s. The Baka are masters of their forest home for thousands of years, knowing the medicinal, spiritual, and nutritional value of its plants, animals, and waters. But their home has been under threat by decades of logging, poaching, mining, and even conservation activities. They are unable to defend their rights because they lack literacy and language skills, due to generations of exclusion from formal schooling. Today, the Baka must somehow impart to their children both traditional forest-based education and formal schooling at the same time. A Baka father said this is as impossible as “chasing two rabbits at once” – if you try, you will lose them both. This presentation will focus on the design of an education program that brings both “rabbits” within children’s reach; and will touch upon anthropology, child development, social justice, and how marginalized communities themselves can drive solutions to the challenges they face.
Sarah Strader is an Ann Arbor native who received a B.A. in International Education Development from Georgetown University. She received a Fulbright fellowship in 2011-2012 to live and research in remote Baka villages and founded Chasing Two Rabbits in 2012. In 2017, Strader received an M.E. in education from Havard University. In 2019, she was an Echoing Green fellow, continuing her work among the Baka to expand the reach of Two Rabbits.
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