Where are our voices?

Nov 13, 2012 by

I found an article on Romea this morning, about a conference in the Czech Republic organized by the Association of Jewish Academics titled, “The Holocaust as an Old Story or Moral Appeal?”

The seminar is aimed at assessing the state of research topics and current issues regarding the Holocaust. I thought I would take a look, hopeful that because of the subject matter there may be Romani representation.

Of course, there is no representation. None at all. Well, I will concede there is one 20-minute presentation listed in which the Roma are mentioned in the title.

However, conferences like these are aimed (specifically) at connecting the events of the Holocaust with contemporary racism throughout Europe. Since much of that racism is directed towards the Roma, wouldn’t it be prudent to actually address this topic?

Where is the Association of Romani Academics?

Where are our conferences?

It made me think about Roma in Education in general. There are few classes at all in which our history, language, or culture are taught. Even in history classes dealing specifically with the Holocaust, the Roma are rarely mentioned. I’ve seen universities that offer rather vague and random history and language classes – but never one on the Roma. Of course, I do recognize that there are several universities now that offer Romani Studies, and I think that’s great… I just think we need more recognition in all levels of education.

This brings me to another point – my chosen future. I was looking at Ed.D programs today [Doctor of Education - Educational Leadership] and wondering whether there could be a niche there. Whether I could still make a difference (a more accessible and visible difference?) if I was able to be on theother side of the educational chain; working in policy and curriculum and course design, as well as able to use that knowledge to help non-profits and other NGO organizations. Educational leadership isn’t just about “academia”, but can apply to many things.

Maybe I can weave my undergraduate degree in International Studies (dual minor Geography & History) together with my MA in Communication (Intercultural and Family), with this idea for an Ed.D.

Education for and about the Roma needs to change. I think I would like to work on that.

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Remarkable how many people who matter to me, Rromani and not, passed through Milena’s courses at Charles University. I applaud your pressure for more, but also take the long view. When I was young, Blacks still were hung from trees in the South.

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