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Pan’s history of violence in focus at Studio 66

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

US Fulbright Scholar, Dr Ajamu Nyomba, will be the guest speaker at Studio 66’s pan focus today. A former Solo Harmonites player, Nyomba will speak on Steelbands in Trinidad and Tobago: A History of Violence at 66 Sixth Street, Barataria, at 7.30 pm. Dr Nyomba is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences at Clark Atlanta University (CAU), in Atlanta, Georgia. He holds a BA degree in economics from Clark College and a MA and PhD (economics) from the University of Texas at Austin. 


In 1984, he joined the faculty at Clark College, and has served in various capacities including chairman of the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences (2006-10) and Director of CAU’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2003-04). In 2003, Nyomba organised the first national conference on teaching and learning at CAU—“Scholarly Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.” His teaching and research interests include microeconomics, history of economic thought and economic and community development.  In 1999-2000, he received CAU’s First Annual Aldridge-McMillian Achievement Award for Outstanding Performance in Teaching. 


Dr Nyomba is very involved in community related activities. He has directed several programmes for youth in Atlanta’s public housing communities and other economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods in the Metropolitan Atlanta area. He has convened community meetings and symposia on issues affecting poor and oppressed peoples. In 2004 he organised Community Forum on Gentrification and, in 2007, he convened Globalisation: An Introduction to the Issues, a panel discussion featuring consuls general, international business professors and other experts. Dr Nyomba has managed to integrate his intellectual pursuits as an economist with his passion for the steelpan. He has presented several papers on the steelpan at professional meetings in Trinidad, Barbados and the US. 


He is also a major contributor to the intellectual discourse on the steelpan, both in the United States and abroad.  At Clark Atlanta University, he organised 50 Years of the Steel Drum: Symposium and Concert (1995); Pan in the 21st Century:  The Scholarship and Music of Steel Drums (2006); and, Emergent Business Enterprises:  Pan in Educational, Religious, and Community Institutions (April 2008). He is the co-founder/director of Pan People’s Steelband (1986-2011); the Oglethorpe Steeldrum Ensemble (1999-2007); and, the Bethune Steelband Project (2007-2008). He has directed steel ­drum programmes in several schools in the Atlanta Public School System and the Fulton County School System. Dr Nyomba has conducted workshops on the steelpan and lectured to over 100,000 students in the Fulton County’s elementary, middle and high schools. He is a staunch advocate for cultural and economic equity for artists and other arts practitioners.


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