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A Promising Reality

Reflections on Race, Gender, and Culture in Cuba

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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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1. Introduction (Venessa Ann Brown / Menah Pratt-Clarke)

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1. Introduction

VENESSA ANN BROWN AND MENAH PRATT-CLARKE

Editors’ Note: Dr. Venessa Ann Brown is the Associate Chancellor for the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) with a tenured faculty appointment as Professor in the Department of Social Work. She also served as Associate Provost in Academic Affairs and Executive Director of the SIUE East Saint Louis Center (ESLC).

Prior to her administrative roles at SIUE, she began her academic career in 1993 as an assistant professor of sociology and social work in the Department of Social Sciences at Greenville College (GC). Following in her commitment to accredited social work programs, Dr. Brown accepted a position at SIUE in 1995 as an Assistant Professor to start the master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) program. She was tenured and promoted to Associate Professor in 2001, to Full Professor in 2006, and to Department Chair from 2006 to 2007. In this role, she contributed to the overall success of the BSW/MSW program being fully accredited.

Dr. Brown is a native of Missouri. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work and Psychology at Greenville College in 1983, her master’s degree in Social Work from Atlanta University School of Social Work in 1985 and her doctorate in Social Work with a Concentration in Statistics and Computer Science from Clark Atlanta University in 1994. After attending her master’s program, she worked for the...

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