Indiana University is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. On June 8, Indiana University welcomed 24 of Africa’s bright, emerging civic engagement leaders and is hosting a six-week Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities, and local community engagement. YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 5,100 Mandela Washington Fellows from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals. The cohort of Fellows hosted by Indiana University will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 educational institutions across the United States.
After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 100 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies, and government agencies.
Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, Leadership Institutes will offer programs that will challenge, motivate, and empower young leaders from Africa to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.
The 2022 Leadership in Civic Engagement Institute at IU, implemented by the IU Office of International Development, will mark the office’s sixth year of hosting a cohort of Mandela Washington Fellows. IU is excited to welcome this group of 24 accomplished young professionals from 18 countries across sub-Saharan Africa to Indiana this summer for in-person programming on our campuses. Over six weeks, the Institute will provide the Fellows with unique opportunities for learning and developing skills and technical capacity in areas such as community development, volunteerism, grassroots activism, leadership, social entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and fundraising for non-profits.
“We are thrilled to welcome the 2022 cohort of Africa’s brightest young leaders to Indiana,” said Dr. Teshome Alemneh, IU associate vice president for international development, who is directing the IU’s Institute. “The presence of these accomplished young leaders will generate meaningful connections and cross-cultural learning with community and business leaders, as well as educators and students in Indiana.”
IU is committed to a high-quality experience for all Fellows, integrating and incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion practices into all aspects of programming and logistics. The Institute will strengthen and further goals of enhancing good governance, promoting peace and security across Africa, and cementing stronger ties between the people of Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.
Engaging young African Fellows with IU faculty and surrounding communities creates mutually beneficial opportunities for learning and exchange as Fellows share their personal and professional experiences, meet with Americans and peer collaborators, offer diverse cultural perspectives, and work toward building strong networks for sharing ideas and best practices. Extensive networking opportunities help Fellows plant seeds for future cooperation and knowledge-sharing, while one-on-one coaching and mentoring around individual “focus projects” will further empower them to make an impact on important issues in their home countries and communities. Activities such as dinners with local families create opportunities for cross-cultural learning and creating people-to-people relationships.
The Fellows will also connect with a deep well of expert partners and resources on and off campus. For example, a full-day training at the Lilly School of Philanthropy provides Fellows with practical tools for building the right team and developing a “case for support” to attract stakeholders to their causes. Interactive discussions at The Mill help Fellows learn to incubate and develop their innovative ideas for creating social change, while a session at the Kelley School of Business engages them with concepts of design thinking and the intersections of business and civil society. During a site visit with Cook, Fellows will learn about the company’s work in global health, discuss the principles of corporate social responsibility, and visit the Cook-Goodwill project site in Indianapolis to learn how they are giving back by partnering on local community development initiatives.
Other university collaborators include the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, Maurer School of Law, The Media School, Bradford Woods, and the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. Additional community partners include Ivy Tech Community College, the City of Bloomington, The International Center, and non-profit organizations like the Lotus Education and Arts Foundation, American Printing House for the Blind, Middleway House, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, and other community agencies and local leaders.
For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at Indiana University, please Teshome Alemneh at email@example.com or visit the website of the Office of International Development.
The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit mandelawashingtonfellowship.org and join the conversation at #YALI2022.