In November 2016, the ICA office in Washington DC received a shipment of 20 boxes, varying in size, on their way to their next home: Africa. As ICA staff organized the boxes in the lobby, unraveling each of the boxes, they were struck by the depth of the collection and the impact it would have on its recipient. Through a connection made by ICA’s Executive Director, Laura Sawyer, Federico Subervi (Emeritus) was able to make this generous donation to Sister Agnes Lucy Lando (Daystar U) and, in turn, 17 universities in Africa.
After completing his work at Kent State U in the fall of 2015, Federico began his search for a place to donate his collection of ICA journals, books, and other valuable research materials. “You have to be generous and recycle your books and journals,” said Federico. “Don’t just throw away anything for which you can try to find someone or some place that can make use of them.” As the ICA office already has a complete collection of our journals, Laura Sawyer asked Federico if he would be interested in donating them to Sister Lando for distribution among communication scholars in Africa. Due to unreliable internet connectivity, African students, professors, and researchers prefer the use of paper resources.
The 20 boxes donated by Federico contained the ICA journals Journal of Communication and Communication Culture & Critique; along with other journals like The Howard Journal of Communication, Communication Research, and Communication Inquiry. Federico’s donation to Lando allowed her to distribute the books to 17 universities in Africa, each of which received no less than 30 books.
Sr. Lando was excited to accept the donation from Federico, who was equally thrilled. “I’ll be delighted to know that some students, professors and scholars from the African continent are able to make good use of the journals and books to enhance their learning, education, and teaching about Communication,” he said.
As one of Sr. Lando’s objectives is to bring ICA to Africa—and Africa to ICA--she utilized the ICAfrica: Regional Conference mailing list to see if anyone would be interested in the books and journals. “Responses began flowing in!” said Sr. Lando. “People were not just in need of the books, but were very appreciative that ICA could think of supporting the continent in that manner.”
As universities accepted the collection, responses of gratitude came pouring through to Sr. Lando’s inbox.
“Uganda Marytrs University (UMU) is very grateful to ICA and ICAfrica for these valuable books and journals on communication. Since we are just about to launch communication programs, these are great assets for the university! We look forward to further support and collaboration in the areas of research, training on (communication) scholarly writing for emerging scholars and postgraduate students, as well as in teaching. This is especially important for UMU as we make our contribution to the betterment of communication scholarship in Africa and beyond,” says Professor John C. Maviiri.
Newton M. Banda, a Librarian at Malawi Institute of Management said “We at Malawi Institute of Management are so much grateful for your kind gesture and we believe these reading resources will go long way to assist us.”
If you are interested in making a donation, Federico and Sr. Lando have put together a few tips to follow:
1. Reach out to ICA. The staff will be able to assist you in your regional search for potential recipients of your donation.
2. Prepare a detailed inventory of all items, including the volume and year. This will help the recipient know what books are within the boxes.
3. Pack the books in smaller boxes, This will help facilitate the lifting and handling processes.
Federico is the Chair of ICA’s Ethnicity & Race in Communication (ERIC) Division, and has been an ICA member since the late 1970s when he was a doctoral student at the U of Wisconsin. He has since submitted, reviewed, and presented at ICA conferences, and has served as a member of task forces and committees.
Sr. Lando was the 2016 ICAfrica Conference convener. She is also an incoming ICA Board Member-at-Large, making her the first African to hold this position. Sr. Lando is the Internationalization Liaison for the Children, Adolescents, and the Media Division.