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A Promising Reality

Reflections on Race, Gender, and Culture in Cuba


Edited By Venessa Ann Brown and Menah Pratt-Clarke

A Promising Reality: Reflections on Race, Gender, and Culture in Cuba is a compilation of the reflections of a group of chief diversity officers, faculty, and educators from the United States about Cuba. As part of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education delegation to Cuba in July, 2015, A Promising Reality represents a collection of voices, experiences, and perspectives about issues of race, gender, cultural identity, and the African experience in Cuba. Key themes explored include Cuban culture, the Cuban Revolution, politics, economics, education, equity, and social change. Utilizing narrative inquiry, some of the reflections are comparative with the United States, and some reflections focus exclusively on Cuba. The book takes readers on a journey of thought-provoking stories that reflect the excitement, uncertainty, complexity, and promising possibilities on the cusp of changing diplomatic, political, economic, and social relationships between the United States and Cuba. A Promising Reality seeks to broaden the perspectives of its readers regarding US-Cuban relations. This book is ideal for courses on international relations, international studies, international affairs, comparative cultures, political science, education, politics, sociology, history, race, gender, and social justice. It is a must-read for anyone traveling to Cuba as part of study-abroad, professional development, or personal adventure.

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Dr. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh is the Vice President for Equity and Inclusion at the University of Oregon. She received her B.A. from Dillard University; her M.A. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University; and a J.D. from Indiana University. She is the author/co-author of six books and dozens of scholarly essays, as well as a sought-after consultant on diversity/gender issues.

Dr. Diana Ariza is the Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Quinnipiac University. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. degree from Western Michigan University. Her bachelor’s degree is from Stetson University, Florida. Dr. Ariza has published on Black and Latino student experience on a predominantly white campus. She also published on Florida’s Puerto Rican and second-generation Hispanic communities and the challenges they face in education, identity, and adaptation. Her current research focuses on growing and assessing internationalization and multicultural cultural competency efforts in higher education. Other research and teaching interests include comparative global studies in immigration, Caribbean migration identity, health disparities, and race and ethnic relations, to name a few.

Dr. Venessa Ann Brown is the Associate Chancellor for the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She is a Professor in the Department of Social Work and she received her Ph.D. from Clark Atlanta University, her M.S.W. from Atlanta University, and her B.A. from Greenville College. Dr. Brown is nationally and internationally known for her commitment to public child welfare. Her expertise is in the area of...

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