Professional Development

The Consortium regularly offers sessions at K-12 and community college conferences statewide. To keep updated on conferences and workshops, join our K-12 or community college listserv by contacting Director of Outreach, Emma Harver at

Upcoming Middle East programs

Click here for Past Educator Workshops, Presentations & Resources!

K-12 Webinar: Challenging Misconceptions of Slavery:
The Life of Omar ibn Said

Tuesday, October 13 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Omar ibn Said was born into a well-educated family around the year 1770 in Futa Toro, in contemporary Senegal. In his thirties he was kidnapped, enslaved, and transported to Charleston, South Carolina. He escaped from his first enslaver and was later imprisoned in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Jim Owen, brother to the governor of North Carolina, purchased Sayyid, and he spent the next fifty-three years of his life with the Owens. Said went on to write a series of manuscripts in Arabic which draw broadly from a range of theological sources, defying the American misconception that African slaves were uneducated and uncultured. Said is most famous for being the only known enslaved person in the United States to write an autobiography in Arabic. His writings attest to robust educational traditions and systems in West Africa, as well as to enslaved peoples’ resistance to the conditions of the American South. Said died in 1864, just a year before the American Civil War ended.

Join Carolina K-12, the NC Museum of History, and UNC’s Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies to learn about the incredible life, work and resistance of Omar Ibn Said, as well as the often-overlooked role of Muslims in Antebellum America. Participating scholars include:

+Naomi Feaste, an independent scholar in the Triangle, who will provide an overview of Muslims in Antebellum America
+Dr. Carl Ernst, a preeminent scholar in Islamic Studies at UNC currently investigating and translating Said’s manuscripts, who will discuss the life and writings of Said
+Yasmine Flodin-Ali, a Ph.D. student in Religious Studies at UNC, who will illuminate the portrayal and racialization of Said in period newspapers
+Bryan Rusch, a Ph.D. Student of Art History at Duke University, who will locate Omar’s life journey spatially using his writings and historic documents as a guide

This program is open to any K-12 educator/staff member, as well as those at the community college or university level. Register in advance at

Sponsored by Carolina K-12, the NC Museum of History, and UNC’s Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies.

Travel to Jordan next summer with the Consortium and GEEO!

July 11-18, 2021
We are thrilled to partner with GEEO again this summer on a trip to Jordan for educators. This 8-day trip will tentatively take place from July 11-18 (this trip is being rescheduled from 2020 due to the coronavirus). We will explore Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum, and the Dead Sea among other important historical cities and sites. GEEO offers cost-subsided travel programs for educators during the spring, winter, and summer. The trips are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers – and you can earn PD and graduate credit. They are a lot of fun! The trips are open to all nationalities of K-12 and university educators, administrators, retired educators, as well as educators’ guests.
More information and register here.

Other Opportunities

The Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies is offering travel grants for NC educators to attend the annual fall meeting of SERMEISS (dates change slightly each year, but always in mid-October at the Valle Crucis Conference Center, Banner Elk, NC). If you are interested in applying, contact Program/Outreach Coordinator Emma Harver at by September 20 of the desired year. Please click here to download the Application form.

• Open to secondary education and community college instructors in North Carolina
• The deadline for applications is September 20 of the desired year
• Please submit your resume or CV along with the completed application
• The applicant must intend on teaching in the consecutive school year
• All awards are a fixed $200, intended as a stipend for travel costs and registration, etc.
• Grant funds are awarded as reimbursements to teachers

World View, a public service program at UNC, equips K-12 and community college educators with global knowledge, best practices, and resources to prepare students to live in an interconnected and diverse world. World View organizes professional development opportunities including seminars and symposiums, workshops, online courses, on-site sessions, and study visits abroad. During these programs, participants immerse themselves with global knowledge and skills in order to integrate global education in all areas of the curriculum. Visit here to learn more about upcoming professional development programs.

Through World View, the Consortium supports the development of community college courses and course modules with Middle East content.  Click here for more information and to apply.
Below, please find sample community college modules developed with Consortium grant support:

  • Art Appreciation (ART111) – 2017
    Chellie LaPointe, Durham Technical Community College
  • Philosophical Issues (PHI215) – 2018
    Gaylyn Eddy, Robeson Community College
  • Theatre History I (DRA211) – 2018
    David J. Glover, Forsyth Technical Community College