The Connecting Human Origin and Cultural Diversity Program was founded in Fall, 1995, as a joint venture between the Anthropology Department, the College of Education and the Maybuye Center (Archive of the African National Congress) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. It is administered through Academic Affairs and housed on the UMSL south campus.
The College of Arts and Sciences provides additional expertise in understanding human origin and cultural diversity; the College of Education provides expertise in developing pedagogy and designing curriculum for elementary through high school levels. Building on the 21st Century COE and foundations of anthropological knowledge, the program has designed a 4-12 grade curriculum as well pre-service and in-service teacher instruction guides. CHOCD has been selected by museums and exhibit coordinators to develop and execute both staff and public educational training. It currently provides teacher and academic feed-back to the traveling American Anthropology Association exhibit,”Race: Are We So Different?” now touring the United States. CHOCD is one of the very few comprehensive, experiential learning-based public anthropology programs in the United States.
The program advises education administrators and classroom teachers in the development of social justice and cultural awareness professional development and curriculum that enhances their standard subject presentations and compliments the NCSS, Common Core and MAP standards.