The African Diaspora Reading Group

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On Saturday, February 27th, 2016, from noon to 5pm, I had the opportunity to observe the African Diaspora Reading Group (ADRG)’s leadership meeting. The purpose of the leadership meeting was to plan the upcoming event “Complexifying Conversations” and check on the leaders to see how their semester was going so far. Each year, ADRG hosts a large scale-event discussing topics of the African Diaspora. Generally, each semester we have a leadership retreat, a day to come together and plan for the upcoming semester including the large event. However, this semester, we were unable to have the retreat. Saturday was the closest meeting we had to a leadership retreat. Before the event, we had several unsuccessful telephone meetings and brief meetings before our weekly general body meetings. Most of the leaders were feeling overwhelmed from college and creeping post-undergraduate stressors which made it difficult to focus on the event. However, overall, the meeting was successful. Background of ADRG and its leaders and members ADRG is an English Department reading group. Dr. Mary Helen Washington and I found the reading group in fall 2014. I have been president since the beginning of the organization. Our leadership structure is currently comprised of an Advisor, President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Event Planner, Public Relations Coordinator, and two Representatives. Our leadership comes from many different majors, we have English, African American Studies, Theatre, and even Engineering majors who lead ADRG. Our members come from nearly all colleges and schools at the University of Maryland. Our leaders are mostly African, African American and white. Our members are mostly African, African American, Hispanic, white, and more, w... ... middle of paper ... ...uld have been done a certain way. The clearest benefit of observing is seeing areas of improvement and even progress that I had not seen before. As a leader, I have pride in my organization, but watching them flow and follow and recreate my leadership style has been tremendous. I never imagined that ADRG would be what it is today. However, I also know that we must change and grow. One drawback to observing is sometimes being overly critical of my organization. Even though I generally can perceive others emotions very well, getting on the balcony allowed me a chance to really perceive others emotions since I did not have the pressure to respond as well. I intend to keep getting on the balcony in my future endeavors especially in the classroom. I will ask my students about their experiences in my classroom and also observe other teachers’ classrooms to learn from them.
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