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K-State Today

February 14, 2017



Staley School of Leadership Studies selected as Mandela Washington Fellowship Young African Leader Civic Leadership Institute for second year

By Taylor Harrelson

The Staley School of Leadership Studies, in partnership with the Office of International Programs, has been selected for a second time to host a Civic Leadership Institute for the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, the Staley School of Leadership Studies will host 25 of Africa's brightest emerging civic leaders for a six-week academic and leadership institute.

2015 was the first year of the Kansas State University Civic Leadership Institute in which the Staley School hosted 24 Mandela Washington Fellows. During their time at K-State, the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellows took part in academic coursework focused on leadership, engaged in leadership development through work in the Manhattan community, and cultural exchange through meetings with community leaders and site visits around the state of Kansas. Partners in this effort included the Kansas Leadership Center, the city of Manhattan, Konza United Way, ReStore and Habitat for Humanity, and the Manhattan Special Olympics, to name a few. 2017 will bring new partnerships and build on those from the 2016 Civic Leadership Institute.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative, or YALI, empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities in their communities. Fellows are young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa who have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries. The cohort of fellows hosted by the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University will be part of a larger group of 1,000 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at institutions across the United States this summer. Since 2014, 2,000 fellows from all 49 countries in Sub-saharan Africa have participated in this program. These exceptional young leaders will culminate their experience with a summit in Washington, D.C.; select fellows also will spend six weeks in professional development training with U.S. nongovernmental organizations, private companies and government agencies.

Working closely with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational Affairs and its implementing partner, International Research and Exchanges Board, or IREX, host institutions have designed academic programs that will challenge, inspire and empower these inspiring young leaders from Africa. This year, more than 64,000 applicants applied to be Mandela Washington Fellows. K-State is one of 38 universities to host fellows this year.

Highlights of the Kansas State University program include:

  • Fellows will work with the Staley School of Leadership Studies to move through an engaged six-week course focused on civic leaders in Kansas.
  • Fellows will attend a Kansas Leadership Center immersive program on adaptive leadership.
  • Working alongside the community, the fellows will plan and facilitate several communitywide days of service.
  • State and local elected officials will visit with the fellows about civic leadership and advocacy in Topeka.
  • Fellows will work in one-on-one and group engagement experiences with local peer collaborators and the community.

If you would like to get involved, or learn more about the summer institute, contact Trisha Gott at tcgott@k-state.edu.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is a U.S. government program that is supported in its implementation by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit MandelaWashingtonFellowship.state.gov and join the conversation with #YALI2017.

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