Applications are due for Summer Insitute Faculty on May 1st. To give you a sense of what teaching at Sadie Nash is like, we are doing a series of short interviews with past faculty. Meet Natasha Camille! Natasha taught a core class: Leadership Seminar at our Brooklyn Summer Institute in 2016. and taught a self-designed academic elective class Ayibobo at Brooklyn Summer Institute in 2017, which was the focus of our conversation
What was your class Ayibobo about?
My class was titled “Ayibobo,” a ritual word commonly exclaimed by vodou practitioners to celebrate freedom and the workings of the universe. Ayibobo was grounded in learning the histories of black liberation movements beginning with the Haitian Revolution, which was the first successful slave rebellion resulting in the Western hemisphere’s first Black republic. We spoke about topics such as colonialism, creating rituals, vodou and other afro-diasporic faiths, herbalism, carnival, the role of music in revolutions, etc. The goal of the class was to encourage Nashers to become familiar with the historical significance of Haiti and aspects of Haitian culture that can inform discussions about our own beliefs about the meaning of liberation, what we feel we need to be liberated from, and how liberation operates on individual and collective levels.
How would you describe your experience teaching Ayibobo at Summer Institute?
Not going to lie— teaching Ayibobo was challenging! When designing the curriculum, I was so excited and eager to share the content that I was creating about topics that I can speak about forever. But actually facilitating conversations and activities with a group of predominantly black youth about the ways in which we have internalized anti-black ideas triggered so many reactions from the Nashers & myself- tears, anger, resistance to name a few. We overcame many challenges together through patience, the love we developed for each other, & our commitment to envisioning what liberation could look like. By the end of the summer, it was unbelievable how far we had all come in our processes of unlearning “truths” that we have believed our whole lives about blackness. I would not have changed anything about that summer, and I treasure it as my most fond and fruitful teaching/ learning experience.
Has teaching at Sadie Nash’s Summer Institute influenced your career path?
Absolutely! Without having become involved with Sadie Nash Leadership Project, I 100% would currently be in a career that does not fit into my vision of what my life’s purpose is. SNLP helped me see “the light” and informed my decision to pursue social work. I LOVE what I do and I will always say a big thank you to SNLP for the support in getting here.
What would you tell people thinking of applying to teach at Summer Institute?
Do it, do it! Teaching at Summer Institute is an incredible opportunity to exercise your creativity and freedom in an environment of folks who want to support you in your growth as an educator. The Nashers will make it a summer that you will never ever forget.
Thank you Natasha!
Interested in applying to teach at Sadie Nash’s award-winning Summer Institute? Apply now! The deadline is Wednesday, May 1st
Are you former Summer Institute faculty interested in sharing your experience for new applicants? We’d love to do a post about you. You can share your story here and we’ll be in touch