The Slosberg Travel Grant was established for graduate students at The American University of Paris to foster high-level graduate research and activism in the field of social justice.
Provided through the by alumna Karen Slosberg MA ’13, this program aims to advance research abroad while incorporating a hands-on humanitarian component. Since its creation in 2011, numerous master’s students have conducted field and scholarly research with a focus on social justice, human rights, humanitarian relief and international development.
AUP graduate students from all programs are eligible to apply for funding to cover the costs of a volunteer/research project with an NGO or civil society organization in the developing world, in an emerging economy or with vulnerable communities in post-industrial societies. Individual grants may cover both travel and living expenses. Students are expected to serve as on location volunteers or as participant observers with a local organization for a period of one to six months on location.
Students should read instructions carefully before they apply.
Andee Gershenberg’s research focuses on the specific experiences of female asylum seekers and refugees in accessing higher educations – particularly, the obstacles that are keeping them from entering into the higher education system or from continuing until completion. Since 2015, France has received an influx of asylum seekers as a result of current global conflicts. As one of the leading members of the European Union, France is highly regarded in terms of the development of sustainable systems for managing migration flows and upholding human and refugee rights. The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) has reported that over 250,000 asylum requests have been made during this time. This places the nation in a critical position to address the rights and needs of asylum seekers and refugees that extend beyond immediate humanitarian assistance and focus on long-term integration.
Andee’s collaboration with UniR was fundamental in positioning her within the NGO ecosystem. As a result, her research is based on 12 research participants in qualitative interviews regarding their migratory journeys, their academic experiences, and their challenges with integration. Through looking into the lives of the research participants, the research provides an in-depth analysis beginning with an examination of the processes in which each of the women have found value in their education, which is often rooted in childhood experiences.
The Dominican Republic is among the countries with highest rates of gender-based physical violence against women in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region and an epicentre of machismo. Yet, femicides – as the most extreme expression of violence against women – are only the visible tip of a much greater and complex iceberg. A wide range of other more subtle ways of discrimination integrated in society lie under the surface but equally push women back from having access to equal opportunities as men. These include, for example, the belief that women are natural caregivers and ought to shoulder the burden of unpaid care and domestic work alone; the condescendence and paternalism with which women are treated throughout their daily lives and at work, even if they are far more qualified; the unequal distribution of power and decision making positions between the two sexes; or the persistent gender wage gap that results in women being paid less for doing exactly the same work as their male colleagues.
Patricia Molinos’ thesis explores these issues and examines the conversation around women´s empowerment through the lens of social stigma in the Dominican Republic. Field research aimed to shed a light on the lesser obvious forms of discrimination such as the aforementioned, which were discussed with key informants to this work. Particularly, the research focussed on identifying what main approaches are in place to advance women's rights and gender equality, what challenges the selected initiatives face and why, and what are potential entry points are to tackle obstacles and eradicate ongoing inequalities.
Despite Kenya's impressive mobile data penetration rates, poverty and unemployment plague Kenya’s youth, especially in the country北京福彩网's slums. Forty five percent of Kenya's population lives in poverty. One in five Kenyan youth are unemployed and Nairobi hosts the highest number of unemployed young adults in the country北京福彩网. Eighty percent of Kenya's population is younger than 35. The youth in Kenya constitute over 50% of the electorate. The year 2017 marked Kenya’s second general election since adopting the 2010 Constitution. The first under this Constitution, in 2013, had lower youth voter turnout than anticipated. In 2016, the United Nations (UN) World Youth Report on Youth Civic Engagement. highlighted that youth participation in electoral processes were on the decline on a global scale. The report also reflected that young adult citizenries who form electorates in Africa are far less likely (34.5% compared to 66.2% in South America) to vote than their counterparts from other continents.
Why are youth participation figures in Africa lower than those of their counterparts? What are some of the communication shortfalls contributing to this problem? Since most young Kenyans acquire most of their information online, what communication efforts were been made by Kenyan civil society to address this political engagement gap for the 2017 election? Kenya's high mobile penetration rates, its digitally savvy youth demographic forming over half of the electorate, the previous low levels of Kenyan youth civic engagement and being a Global Communications student in the Development Track, all contributed to why Nolwazi Mjwara wanted to examine the role of ICTs in youth civic engagement in Kenya. Nolwazi’s study ultimately aimed to contribute to critical, ICT4D and youth civic engagement literature by examining the case of SIDAREC during the 2017 Kenyan presidential election.
Faith’s MA thesis focused on a contemporary reappraisal of the participatory turn in development practices. In particular, her thesis used the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) method popularized in the ‘90s and her field research undertaken in Tamil Nadu, India with a waste management educational initiative, kNOw PLASTICS Educational Programme, designed around “participatory methods of environmental education for social justice.” Faith also collaborated with WasteLess India, an educational research organization focused on sustainable waste management based in Auroville, which is using ‘participatory’ approaches that help to change the harmful habits that affect the way we make, dispose of and think about waste. While with WasteLess, Faith worked as an Education and Communication Coordinator for 6 months. In efforts to address the challenges of the participatory paradigm of development (generally highly theoretically supported, but lacking support in practical theory), Faith engaged the WasteLess team in a wider scope of ‘participatory’ communication, conducting a PRA session yielding a model of participatory communication that proved to be an enjoyable and creative method for the students to generate their own knowledge about waste. It also served as practical data for the participatory paradigm and aligned with the WasteLess aim of targeting the future generation with fun and engaging educational activities concerning waste management, to bring about behavioral change and instill positive habits early on in a child’s life.
To improve development practice and theory, Faith advocates for “another communication” for development, and suggests that good communication must take place in order for development to be experienced. Based on her field research experiencing and facilitating PRA, Faith believes PRA may be used as a prerequisite to gather baseline information on worldviews and knowledge in a development context in order to facilitate a process that is local in context, while being empowering and genuinely participatory.