Munashe Furusa Honored By Carson Black Chamber of Commerce
Munashe Furusa, associate professor and chair of Africana studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills, was honored by the Carson Black Chamber of Commerce during the third annual Black Business Awards Gala on Dec. 4. He received the organization’s Education Award.
“We wish to acknowledge our appreciation of the positive role and knowledge that Munashe has shared with others in our education system,” said Chamber President-Founder Sadie Judge-Kimbrew of selecting Dr. Furusa for the award. “Munashe spends countless hours working with African Americans (of all ages) in our community and surrounding communities developing a relationship and an understanding regarding the two cultures (Africans and African Americans). He understands that education is the main tool that helped him to be the person he is today. He is passing that torch of education to others.”
Furusa came to CSUDH in 2000 as a visiting professor in African literature from the University of Zimbabwe. A student petition drive encouraged him to stay, and in 2001 he joined the faculty in Africana studies permanently.
Widely liked and respected outside the classroom as well, Furusa became chair of his department in 2006 and this school year was elected chair of the Academic Senate, the governance board for all CSUDH faculty. He has received numerous university recognitions including the 2007-08 CSUDH Excellence in Service Award, the 2004 Lyle E. Gibson Dominguez Hills Distinguished Teacher Award, the Frederick Douglass Award for Outstanding Leadership and Service and the 2000 Cheikh Anta Diop Award for Outstanding Research in Africana Studies.
In the community, Furusa works with at-risk African American and Latino youth to assist them in returning and completing their secondary education through the Divine Education Youth Mentoring Program. He serves as that program’s CEO. In 2007, in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity, he hosted the Secondary Transition Education Program (STEP), which brought hundreds of middle and high school students to CSUDH, where they engaged in exercises to build leadership skills and tolerance, and to enhance their self worth.
“I would like to thank the Carson Black Chamber of Commerce for this special recognition. It is always great to know that the community appreciates what we do within the university,” Furusa said. “I love what I do and the students I teach. I believe that the best gift we can give to our future generations is quality education that prepares them to participate fully in the affairs of their communities. I train my students to think, read, and write critically and with power. I encourage and inspire them to believe in themselves and to aspire to reach their highest human potential.”
Furusa earned a diploma in education at the Bondolfi Teachers College in Zimbabwe before continuing at the University of Zimbabwe, where he received a bachelor’s degree in English and African literature, a master’s degree in English and a doctorate in African literature and critical theory.
- Amy Bentley-Smith