TESANDA is a transnational interdisciplinary network of scholarship and pedagogy born during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Linking educators, scholars, and academics across borders, TESANDA has a collective of folks engaging in interdisciplinary transnational work focused on justice and equity.

TESANDA aims to:

  • Building a network of colleagues in the U.S. and transnationally to share references, methods, experiences on research within and across national borders.
  • Elevate examples of research from the Global South to integrate into our teaching and our literature reviews.
  • Strengthen opportunities from colleagues outside the U.S. to apply for grants that will enhance their local work.
  • Evolve and collaboratively publish a platform for thinking through transnational ethics
  • Deepen cross-cultural psychology (both scholarship and teaching) with a commitment to decolonizing knowledge.

Join the conversation on our SLACK Channel:

Please log onto our SLACK channel to discuss and share before and after the event! Similarly to our first TESANDA event we will be hosting asynchronous conversations on slack. Members of the Uganda Peace Project will be facilitating the dialogues in English. You will find a welcome message and link to the videos already in place. To participate asynchronously please join the channel using the invitation link below. Please introduce yourself and meet members of the Uganda Peace Project. If you are already a member of the TESANDA channel we look forward to your engagement in the conversation. We will have discussion prompts posted by Sunday April 4 and we anticipate facilitating the dialogues through April 13.

The Uganda Peace Project Team will be facilitating the asynchronous discussion this time. The Uganda Peace Project Team is comprised of faculty and staff in the Department of Psychology at Kyambogo University in Kampala Uganda along with Chalmer Thompson (IUPUI) and Barbara Dennis (IUB). The team began nearly 2 decades ago through a collaboration between Dr. Chalmer Thompson and the late Mr. Okumu. The team studies critical peace conceptions among children and is working to bring critical peace and social justice into their higher education curriculum and counseling practices. You will meet individual members, like Dr. James Kagaari, Dr. Ali Baguwemu, Dr. Nathan Mayengo, Dr. Jane Namusoke, Dr. Henry Kibedi, Gastone Byamugisha, Richard Altuhaire, and Kirabo Nakasiita, of the team when you join the slack channel.

TESANDA’s Origins & Intentions

Originally, TESANDA was named Transnational Educators, Scholars, and Activists Network to Decolonize Academia (TESANDA), though we as a collective are in the process of renaming. We are a coalition of community researchers and teachers, university faculty and graduate students, eager to challenge American centricity in our teaching and our critical scholarship, think critically about the colonial and imperial histories and contemporary design of the academy and take seriously our academic debt to work with/teach with/teach about transnational struggles of race/ethnicity/gender/class/religion/sexuality/(dis)ability. In conversation with 5 scholars, our first event brought together over 50 folks from across 25 nations to discuss working across borders to lift up, informally, questions of epistemic justice and ethics, decolonial praxis in teaching and research; ​​​sharing some from their own experiences working transnationally – joys, concerns, dilemmas, insights, theories, ideas that will help propel us forward in efforts to destabilize our US-centered pedagogy and practices in higher education. We want to encourage dialogues that are attentive to the global power differentials, colonialism, and social justice within and across borders. Following our panelists, broke out into groups to discuss and reimagine possibilities and futures. We specifically want to know what you would like to contribute to the network, what you would like to happen within the network, and how we can be ‘of use’ in our varied movements and contexts. Please join us and help us launch a transnational network of solidarity and praxis in troubling times.

Our first event included:

What Does Decolonization Demand from Us: Reflections on Transnational Struggles
Sunil Bhatia (Connecticut College)

Some Perspectives of a Global North Scholar Working With Global South Colleagues
Chalmer Thompson (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)

Unsettling Slaves and Monsters: A Call for Decentering Whiteness and Dismantling Normalcy
Richard Clark (CUNY Graduate Center)

Black Eyes, Dark Nights, and the Search for the Light: Reflections of Doing Critical Research in Contemporary China
Pengfei Zhao (University of Florida)

Restorative Validity: Exploring How Critical Participatory Inquiry Can Promote Peace,
 Justice, and Healing
Giovanni Dazzo (George Mason University)

Our second event included:

Ko Rongomaiwāhine, Ngati Kahungunu me Ngati Tuwharetoa oku iwi, e tipu ake ahau ki Māhia Adreanne’s Māori nations are Rongomaiwāhine, Ngati Kahungunu and Ngati Tuwharetoa and she is raised on her ancestral homeland of Māhia peninsula. Dr. Adreanne Ormond’s research includes Māori young people, race and culture, cultural identity and critical white studies. https://people.wgtn.ac.nz/adreanne.ormond/about

Puleng Segalo is an Associate Professor of Social and Community Psychology at the University of South Africa. She did her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She also holds a doctoral certificate in Women Studies from the same university. Her areas of specialization include Community Psychology, Social Psychology and Gender and Feminism in Psychology. She is passionate about and is actively involved in the decolonization and Africanization projects; she is a member of the South African Young Academy of Sciences, and the current president of the Forum of African Psychology.

Dr Angela James is a partner and mother to four amazing children. She graduated from the University of Pretoria with a PhD in Curriculum and Instructional Design and Development. She has over 30 years teaching experience and over 20 years research in the schooling, tertiary and Adult Education sectors. She currently works as the Academic Leader for Community Engagement and is Senior Lecturer – Science Education in the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Research and Service-Learning for undergraduate students, Inquiry-based teaching and learning in the Foundation Phase and other phases, Science curriculum related areas (theory and practice), Professional development of teachers – construction and use of Phronesis, Environmental Education, Science – race and ethnicity, and Indigenous Knowledge Systems.

Ifeoma Deca-Anyanwu is a Lecturer with six years of experience working alongside academics in various Higher Education settings. Ifeoma specializes in science education and has experience in technology as well as in ICT Education. Ifeoma graduated with a bachelor degree in Plant Science & Biotechnology and has a PGCE, Honours and Masters in Science Education. She is currently studying for her PhD with focus on Service-Learning and Community Engagement. Ifeoma is a powerful force in the workplace who uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to create an impact in her students and colleagues. Ifeoma is inspired daily by her husband and their two sons.

Caitlin Govender has a degree in FET Life Science and Geography Education from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and is currently a post graduate student doing her honours in Science Education. In 2019, Caitlin began work at the University of KwaZulu-Natal as a laboratory demonstrator for various biology and natural science modules as well as a tutor and is continuing her work. She has a passion for Service-Learning and Community engagement and has completed a course through Rhodes university.  She is currently the president of The Golden Key Honour Society for her campus and is involved in volunteer programmes. 

Sedef Ozoguz is a fourth year doctoral student in the Critical Social/Personality Psychology Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She completed her BSc in Psychology at the University of York and did her Masters at University College London. Sedef teaches Psychology of Women classes at Hunter and at CSI, and her research focuses on epistemologies of ignorance, recovering and creating knowledge around the liberation of women in Turkey.  

After getting a master’s in Clinical Psychology from University of Paris 7, France, Katia Henrys went back to her home country Haiti, where she practiced as a clinician and as a trainer in different settings: Research centers, International NGOs, local NGOs, the State University. As a Fulbright recipient, Katia came to the Graduate Center, CUNY and obtained a master’s in Women’s and Gender Studies before starting a PhD in Critical Social – Personality Psychology. Her research interest includes trauma and healing in medical settings for women who are sexually assaulted; transnational work with a strong attention to ethics.

Urmitapa Dutta is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Grounded in Global South feminist decolonial praxis, her work seeks to understand and disrupt normalized everyday violence across the spaces she is rooted in, and those that she transgresses. Working transnationally, she uses critical qualitative methodologies to denaturalize oppressive conditions and to articulate experiences that are silenced by officially sanctioned narratives. This focus is profoundly shaped by her experiences growing up in the Northeastern borderlands of India, amidst contested and convoluted politics of belonging, marginality, and exclusion. She is currently working alongside, and in solidarity, with Miya people in Northeast India to (co)create communities of resistance and care against coloniality and state violence. Websites: www.urmitapadutta.com | www.miyacommunityresearchcollective.org 

TESANDA was initiated by the following:

Michelle Fine teaches in Critical Psychology, Urban Education, Gender/Women’s Studies and Social Welfare at the Graduate Center CUNY and is a founding member of The Public Science Project.  Recent book: Just research in contentious times: Expanding the methodological imagination (Teachers College Press, 2017).  In 2021, Michelle was honored as a Visiting Scholar at the University of South Africa.

Barbara Dennis is a Professor of Inquiry Methodology at Indiana University. Her work focuses on research with  people, oriented toward methodologies of justice and social transformation. Her recent book Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise provides an intimate account of the struggles of engaging in educational reform for migrating transnational students in the U.S. She is engaged in global anti-racism through peace and social justice work with Ugandan colleagues situated at Kyambogo University and U.S. colleague Dr. Chalmer Thompson at Indiana University Purdue University.

Peiwei Li, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Counseling & Psychology and the Research Coordinator for the PhD program of Counseling & Psychology in Transformative Leadership, Education, & Applied Research at Lesley University. Peiwei’s cross-cultural experiences as an immigrant and a Chinese woman growing up in the late socialist/emerging capitalist era in China have fueled her interest in understanding the intersection of culture, class, race, and gender, and complex power relations that fuel and reproduce social and systemic pathologies and psychological sufferings. Her scholarship locates in the borderland of critical psychology and critical qualitative methodologies, pertaining to identity development, emancipatory interest, consciousness raising, recognition, solidarity, and potentials for liberatory actions. Substantively, she has engaged in research on diversity and social justice education, immigration and detention, and experiences of transnational families.

Chris Hoffman is a dual doctoral student at the Graduate Center at City University of New York where he studies environmental psychology and critical social and personality psychology. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Wadham College Visiting Student Program, Chris studies ways to work with communities through co-produced knowledge, research, and policies. Chris is specifically interested in participatory action research, youth, and the intersections of policy, education, and social justice. Chris is also a former Fulbright grantee and currently teaches Statistics, Psychology of People and Place: From climate change to gentrification, and Queer(ing) Psychology at CCNY.”

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