I am thrilled to be leading the research component of The Gahu Project. The Gahu Project is a racial justice community music initiative in the Waterloo Region of Ontario that brings together youth, professional artists and arts organizations to explore and discover the music of Ghana. Through a series of workshops, high school students will engage in conversations about racial justice and learn Gahu, a recreational and social dance music of the Ewe people of Ghana which combines drumming, dancing and singing. The event will culminate on Music Monday (May 6) as over 400 local high school students will gather at Kitchener City Hall Square and be led by Ghanaian master drummer Kwasi Dunyo in a mass musical experience of Ghanaian drumming, dancing and singing.
The research that I am undertaking uses arts-based participatory action research to centre the voices of African, Caribbean, and Black identifying (ACBI) students in examining how The Gahu Project affects high school climates from a racial justice lens. The goal of the research is to strengthen relationships among high school students while also understanding challenges and possibilities in creating more inclusive high school climates for ACBI students to thrive. The specific objectives are:
- To create participatory music performances that contribute to understanding and improving the high school climates that foster the wellbeing of ACBI students.
- To identify ACBI student experiences of wellbeing in relation to learning environments, relationships among the students and school staff, and school safety/physical environment.
- To generate policy and curriculum recommendations for WRDSB that will enhance its efforts to foster inclusive high school cultures and wellbeing of ACBI students across the district.
The research component of The Gahu Project is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Follow the Gahu Project on Instagram: @thegahuproject or #thegahuproject.