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Mandela Washington Fellows: 2016 Civic Leadership Institute

In the summer of 2016, the Staley School of Leadership Studies hosted 27 Mandela Washington Fellows for a Civic Leadership Institute. The Mandela Fellowship is part of the Young African Leaders Initiative, established by the Obama Administration to help develop the next generation of leaders in Africa. Each Mandela Washington Fellow is a leader in their home community, recognized for their positive contributions to innovation and change across the continent of Africa. During their time at K-State, the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows engaged in a diverse array of leadership development and cultural exchange activities to grow their capacity to make change upon their return home.

Photo from the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows Graduation in July. It features all 27 fellows and the program staff for the Staley School's Civic Leadership Institute.
Photo from the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows’ Graduation in July. It features all 27 fellows and the program staff for the Staley School’s Civic Leadership Institute.

Who Are the Mandela Washington Fellows?

Below are the bios for the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows. Read about who these young, inspiring leaders are, where they are from, and the types of work they are engaged in.

What Happened at the 2016 Civic Leadership Institute?

Throughout the institute, the Mandela Fellows took part in academic coursework focused on leadership, facilitated by faculty of the Staley School. In addition, they engaged in leadership development and cultural exchange through meetings with community leaders and site visits around the state of Kansas.

They interacted with several community organizations and partners in Manhattan, such as Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the City of Manhattan, the Konza United Way, Manhattan Special Olympics, CivicPlus, Wonder Workshop, Manhattan Rotary, Optimist Club, and the Boys and Girls Club. On a visit to Topeka, the Fellows visited the state judicial court, Brown v Board of Education historical site, and state capitol. In Kansas City, they visited Harvesters, Operation Breakthrough, and El Centro. And, in Wichita, they attended the Kansas Leadership Center‘s three-day training, “You. Lead. Now.”

The Fellows organized a performance and community dialogue through an event called Africulture. They organized the event including staging, promotion, and soliciting acts from within their cohort to present on their home cultures. Following the event Fellows used skills from an academic session on facilitation, deliberation, and dialogue to host a short discussion that engaged those in attendance. The Fellows turned this into a philanthropic event by inviting attendees to make a small donation upon entry into the event. As a group, they determined that money collected during the event would be donated to ReStore, the first organization they volunteered.

Community service was a recurring element of the Institute. In addition to service with the ReStore, the Fellows participated in events with Manhattan Special Olympics and volunteered at Manhattan’s community-wide Furniture Amnesty Day through the City of Manhattan and the Konza United Way.

In addition to community service and networking through the peer network, the fellows had the opportunity to meet with several representatives of the U.S. government and other political and corporate leaders, including:

View more photos from the 2016 Civic Leadership Institute on Facebook!

How will the Staley School support continued efforts to lead change?

The David and Ellie Everitt Endowment for the Leading Change Institutes established the Staley School as a convener of influential and lasting networks that work to diagnose and address pressing and complex challenges locally and globally. The first Leading Change Institute was held in the summer of 2015 and brought together globally recognized leaders and scholars to generate creative, collaborative thinking and work towards clear and tangible solutions to issues in the field of Global Service-Learning and Leadership. The partnership with the Young African Leaders Initiative, through the 2016 Civic Leadership Institute and potential future institutes, are a continuation of this work.

Check out this video to see work from the 2016 Civic Leadership Institute for the Mandela Washington Fellowship, and learn about the Staley School’s approach to “Leading Change:”

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