VFH Announces Content Academy for Teachers in Harrisonburg, VA

Culture & Identity | VFH News

Julia Garcia makes on offering of burning herbs and colorful paper during a traditional Bolivian Mesa Ceremony at the Richmond Folk Festival on 10/10/15.
Photo by Pat Jarrett
Julia Garcia makes on offering of burning herbs and colorful paper during a traditional Bolivian Mesa Ceremony at the Richmond Folk Festival on 10/10/15. Photo by Pat Jarrett

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) announces the first-ever Content Academy for Harrisonburg-area K-12 public school teachers and administrative staff. The academy, titled “Latin American Immigration and Migration in Virginia and the U.S.,” is hosted in collaboration with Harrisonburg City Public Schools and NewBridges Immigrant Resource Center. It will take place at Skyline Middle School in Harrisonburg on Saturday, October 14.

To make this unique initiative broadly accessible, the program includes a preceding free public event on Friday, October 13, from 6:30-9:00 PM at Skyline Middle School titled, “Exploring Latin American Immigration/Celebrating Latin American Cultures.” The public event will open with a traditional Andean ceremony by Virginia Folklife Master Artist Julia Garcia and feature music, dance performances, a film screening of the award-winning documentary film Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America, and a conversation with the film producer Eduardo Lopez.

About the Content Academy

The academy is a unique, content-rich, and intellectually challenging program that will provide public school teachers with insights and information they can use directly in their classrooms in working with Latino students and their families. The program is grounded in the real-world experience of people, some of them immigrants themselves, who either work closely with Latino immigrants and immigrant families or have in-depth knowledge of federal and state policies that affect immigrants, migrants, and refugees from Latin America.

The program aims to answer teachers’ questions regarding migration in Virginia; shifting national, state, and local policies affecting Latino immigrant families; identity and assimilation; the challenges of language and preserving traditions; and what it means to be American (and Virginian) today. The program on October 14 is designed exclusively for school teachers and administrative staff and therefore is not open to the public.

“Today, immigrants and refugees from Latin America are enriching communities all across Virginia, including Harrisonburg,” said David Bearinger, VFH director of grants and community programs. “We hope these programs will create a deeper understanding of the root causes of Latin American immigration, and spark a deeper appreciation for the richness of Latin American cultures and the challenges these new Virginians face in their lives here.”

VFH has held additional content academies on the topics of Virginia Indian history and cultures (Arlington and Norfolk); segregation, desegregation and civil rights (Arlingtion), and Latino immigration in the U.S. (Arlington).

About VFH

The mission of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities is to connect people and ideas to explore the human experience and inspire cultural engagement. VFH reaches an estimated annual audience of 23 million through community programs, digital initiatives, grants and fellowships, radio programs, and the Virginia Center for the Book.