Laguna Teacher Dr. Montague Participates in US Delegation To Ghana
Last month, Laguna Social Science Teacher Dena Montague traveled to Accra, Ghana as part of the US State Department Partnership Opportunity Delegation. In addition to her roles as teacher at Laguna and professor at UCSB, Dr. Montague is the founder and executive director of ÉnergieRich, a social enterprise that establishes local production of innovative clean energy solutions to advance energy justice.
"I am thrilled to have joined the State Department Partnership Opportunity Delegation (POD) to Ghana this winter,” says Dr. Montague. “ÉnergieRich is at a critical moment in our work expanding energy justice. Joining the POD provided vital space to help us establish new partnerships and networks in Ghana and with the Delegation as well as to enhance our innovative and impactful work.”
This important initiative extends not only to Ghana but to her classroom as well. In her AP Comparative Government and Politics class at Laguna, she uses Ghana as an example when discussing Structural Adjustment Policies, Neo-Colonialism, and characteristics of newly developing countries. She plans to discuss her experience in Ghana even more when the class begins a case study on Nigeria to better understand the challenges facing West African countries.
“My involvement with ÉnergieRich helps me to provide real examples of work towards energy justice to my students,” she says.
Dr. Montague also extends advice to any students hoping to pursue advocacy work one day as well. “Talk extensively with the people you want to impact,” she encourages. “Oftentimes, there is a disconnect between organizations, particularly ones that operate internationally, and the communities they intend to serve. You want to make sure the work is effective, so the people in the communities served must be involved.”