Mwalimu Van Putten lectures on a variety of topics relating to what she calls the “lessons of empowerment” that emanate through the history and culture of global African people. All of her programs are interactive and accessible, with practical application in mind. This is a sample listing of lectures and workshops.
African Philosophy and the African Foundation Timeline
Lecture provides basic Pan-African philosophical thinking that continues to undergird traditional Black communities. The interactive African Foundation Timeline utilizes audience members to form a human timeline, dramatically demonstrating important contributions of African people to world civilization in one thousand year increments.
Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
A multi-dimensional performance-lecture showcasing the literature, philosophy and politics of the Harlem Renaissance, using history, readings, poetry and voice to illuminate the brilliance of African American writers from the era, including W.E.B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke and Langston Hughes.
Understanding Global African Imagery: Art and Stereotypes
A thought-provoking workshop that explores authentic African art contrasted with stereotypes of African Americans pervasive in American life. Interactive and multimedia, the workshop features artifacts, film clips, popular icons and other items to move toward an understanding of affirming imagery and insight.
Mother of Many Nations: The History of African & African Diasporian Women
An overview history of the great warrior women of color beginning with Dinquesh, Hapshepsut, the Candances and Nzingha and concluding with warrior women of color in the Diaspora: Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Fannie Lou Hamer, and others. Their feats of courage continue to capture the imagination and give inspiration to women around the world.
Traditional and Contemporary African Values
Concentrating on a legacy of values, this workshop explores the value systems of Ma’at and the Nguzo Saba as universal concepts for progress. The lecture exposes participants to the philosophical foundation of traditional and contemporary African values through cultural rituals, books, voice and interactive moments.
Friendship Before Relationship
Workshop focuses on self-knowledge and friendship as the foundation for a successful romantic relationship. Steeped in self-reflection, the workshop asks a series of provocative questions – “What are my values, goals, standards, strengths and weaknesses?” and encourages honesty and “value alignment” as a prerequisite for wholeness in any relationship. This workshop can be customized for age appropriateness.
African & African American Inventions
This is an eye-opening lecture utilizing actual or mock Black inventions to expose participants to the many, little-known contributions and achievements of African Americans to world civilization. Entertaining and informative, the lecture provides documentation, i.e. patent numbers, books.
We Are Not Invisible: African American Women Writers
Lecture emphasizes the thoughts, concerns and dreams of African American women through writings, poetry and books. Sources include a variety of Black women from the enslavement era to the present: Harriet E. Wilson, Jessie Fauset, Zora Neale Hurston, Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Alice Walker, amongst others.
The African Foundation Timeline
An interactive presentation, The African Foundation Timeline workshops visually presents the antiquity of African history and the numerous contributions that established world civilization.