Lea Murray


Hello. My name is Lea Murray. I was born in Berkeley, CA. I am a full time Masters student in the African and African Diaspora Studies Program. I earned a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science and an M.P.H. in Public Health Nutrition—both at U. C. Berkeley. I am just starting my position as a T.A. for Dr. Rahier's online class AFH 2000. I am interested in volunteer tourism and heritage tourism relation to the African Diaspora. I am particularly interested in Volunteer Tourism and its effect on the black identity of orphans as most volunteer tourists who visit orphanages are white and female. Children in orphanages tend to associate "help"/service with whiteness. I have volunteered in Kingston, Jamaica and Port Au Prince, Haiti. In both instances where I volunteered and was the only black female volunteer, the children shunned me an literally threw themselves onto the white volunteers. Eventually the children warmed up to me but, they were hesitant. These experiences have prompted me to study the research question "What Color is Help?"

I expect to learn as much as I can about qualitative research methods as I will be using them in my field work. I anticipate learning how to formulate interviews, how to write field notes, how to design surveys, etc. In five years, I would hope to complete a PhD in the GSS department with emphasis on Anthropology. Notwithstanding, I eventually hope to develop a non-profit organization that sends black people to Africa (for free) similar to the Birthright Israel program model.