Tulane University hosts Mandela Washington Fellows

June 19, 2015

Keith Brannon
Phone: 504-862-8789

For the second year, Tulane University will host 25 of Africa’s brightest emerging civic leaders on campus for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders program, a six-week summer academic and leadership institute sponsored by the State Department.

Tulane is one of 21 universities selected to participate in the international exchange program, which is part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), a program to empower African leaders via academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring and support for activities in their communities.

Tulane’s fellows, who are all between the ages of 22 and 34, are a dynamic and varied group, including community organizers, public health workers, education and human rights advocates and artists, among others.

Fellows begin civic leadership training next week with daily classes taught by Tulane faculty and local community leaders. Sessions will cover various aspects of civic engagement from explaining concepts of how nonprofits work with governments and communities to principles of social entrepreneurship. The program also covers community resiliency lessons from post-Katrina New Orleans.

Each fellow will also work weekly with one local community organization to learn U.S. nonprofit management and social service practices and to share insights about service provision in their home countries.

“Our program is unique in that participants will be working one-on-one with a local nonprofit throughout their fellowship experience,” said Katie Houck, assistant director of outreach and leadership development for the Center for Public Service at Tulane University. “Staying with one organization helps each fellow make a deeper connection with New Orleans and its people.”

The program isn’t all work. Fellows will also take part in historical tours and cultural events to fully experience the local community.

Fellows will visit Washington, D.C., for a summit featuring a town hall with President Obama. The three-day event will include panel discussions with U.S. leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000