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Leading Change Institute: 2018 Youth Leadership & Development in West Africa

This past January, the Leading Change Institute (LCI) launched its first institute abroad in Ziguinchor, Senegal. The institute built on relationships started through the 2016 and 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at Kansas State University. LCI is an endowed leadership program made possible through the generous support and vision of David and Ellie Everitt . The Leading Change Institutes launched in 2015 with the sole purpose of bringing together thinkers, doers, scholars, and leaders that are all collectively addressing real issues with tangible strategies. This program marked the sixth institute for the Staley School and the first to be hosted internationally.

(From left to right: Salif Kanoute, from Senegal, and Ishaku Haruna, from Nigeria during the community meal hosted by the 2017 Mandela Fellows)

The Leading Change Institute partnered with DECLIC, an international youth organization that engages passionate, skilled, and positive young leaders from a diverse tapestry of cultural backgrounds to respond to the youth leadership challenge in West Africa. DECLIC was founded in late August 2016 by five Mandela Washington Fellows, one of whom is a 2016 Kansas State University Mandela Washington Fellow graduate, Salif Kanoute.

Throughout the three-day institute, global thought leaders working across a multitude of sectors and youth of varying ages engaged in dialogue to harness new thinking, develop a Theory of Change for DECLIC, and to discuss strengths and the community methodology, all as a way to advance youth leadership across the continent of Africa.

“The model that DELIC has woven into their organization is not just theoretical; it’s how they operate and is an embodied approach to leadership, which was perhaps one of the things that excited us the most throughout the institute,” said Trisha Gott.

In the spirit of the Leading Change Institute model, this group recognizes that the most challenging problems are multi-layered, cross-sector, and interdisciplinary.

“The passionate youth who make up DECLIC are wholly committed to creating opportunities; economically, politically, and socially, for the community that they love. We firmly believe that 10 to 15 years down the road, we will be able to recognize a significant shift as a result of their work,” said Mary Tolar.

Beginning in mid-June, the Staley School will host its next Leading Change Institute; the 2018 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. K-State will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging civic leaders, including two of DECLIC’s core team members, for a six-week Civic Leadership Institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

You can follow DECLIC’s journey on Facebook and subscribe to “The Loop” to receive updates of the upcoming Mandela Washington Fellowship!

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