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Mandela Washington Fellows

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and support for activities in their communities. It is a program of the U.S. government and is supported in its implementation by IREX. The Ohio State University is a sub-grantee of IREX and is supporting the U.S.-based academic program of the Fellowship. Contact: Laura Joseph at joseph.184@osu.edu.

For the second consecutive year, The Ohio State University is one of just 38 academic institutions across the United States hosting a cohort of 25 Mandela Washington Fellows. The fellows are participating in a six-week public management and leadership institute from June 16 – July 28 organized by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Center for African Studies. Ohio State’s program weaves a sequence of leadership development modules into the institute’s classroom activities, site visits, community service, cultural immersion, and professional networking opportunities, both on and off campus.

The Washington Mandela Fellows are men and women between 25 and 35, who have established records of accomplishment in promoting innovation and positive change in their respective organizations by being engaged in community development and youth mentorship. View the Fellow's biography booklet to learn more about each fellow.

City of Columbus leadership hosts Mandela Washington FellowsThe Mandela Washington Fellows visited City Hall on July 12, 2017 and met with Columbus City Department leaders and elected officials. Mayor Andrew J. Ginther welcomed the Fellows to Columbus. Councilmembers Shannon G. Hardin, Michael Stinziano and President Pro Tem Priscilla R. Tyson spoke with the Fellows about city governance.

City Department presentations included Carla Williams-Scott discussing the Department of Neighborhoods, Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian giving an overview of government structure, Tracie Davies explained the role of the Public Utilities, Dan Giangardella explaining the Department of Finance, Steve Francis laying out the role of Diversity and Inclusion and Anthony Celebrezze talking about Building and Zoning. Additional presentations included Hannah Jones from the Department of Development and Kelly Scocco explaining the Department of Public Safety. The Fellows asked questions about the challenges that Columbus is facing and the successes that have resulted from specific program initiatives.

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Senator Tavares and Representative Boggs host Mandela Fellows at Ohio Statehouse

Senator Charleta Tavares and Representative Kristin Boggs hosted the Mandela Washington Fellows for a panel discussion on July 13, 2017. After touring the Ohio Statehouse and other sites at Capitol Square in Columbus, the Fellows enaged in a wide-ranging discussion with the two members of the Ohio General Assembly. Fellows learned about the bicameral system of legislature in Ohio and engaged the

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Mandela Fellows tour Ohio StatehouseThe Mandela Washington Fellows toured Capitol Square, a complex that includes the Ohio Statehouse, Senate Building and Atrium, on July 13, 2017. The guided tour included viewing the buildings of Ohio's working government offices and learning about the period during which Ohio's democracy was founded and formed. The tour included time in the Map Room, the Grand Stair Hall, the Rotunda and the George Washington Williams Memorial Room, a room that honors Ohio's first African-American legislator. The Fellows also enjoyed the opportunity to view the House and Senate Chambers.

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Justice Judith French Hosts Mandela Fellows at Supreme Court of OhioJustice Judith French hosted the Mandela Washington Fellows for a discussion about the Ohio Judicial system at the Supreme Court of Ohio on July 10, 2017. The Mandela Fellows learned what the process is for a case to be brought to the Supreme Court of Ohio and how justices are elected to the court. In addition to explaining how the legal system in Ohio works, Justice French discussed her background in public service and interest in civic education. The Fellows asked numerous questions about the legal process and what it's like to be a Justice on the highest court in Ohio.

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Mandela Washington FellowsThe 25 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted by Ohio State will present their Ignite Talks on Monday, July 24 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. in Saxbe Auditorium in Drinko Hall. Fellows will each share their personal vision for progress and change in Africa during a three to five minute presentation. The Ignite Talks are a culmination of the fellows' six-week stay in Columbus to participate in a Public Management Institute coordinated by the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Center for African Studies.

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Civic engagement and servant leadership workshopAshley L. Pryor, interim director for Social Change at The Ohio State University, and La'Rez Wilson, program coordinator, led the Mandela Washington Fellows through a discussion of social change and social justice. The workshop especially focused on the Mandela Fellows community service experiences in the Near East Side and engaged in a reflection on civic engagement and servant leadership theory. The Fellows explored the constructs of social change, re-evaluated their own expectations and agency, and identified practical steps to benefit their own and community members’ experiences.

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Leon McDougle, MD, MPH, chief diversity officer and associate dean for Diversity and Inclusion, recently served as a College of Medicine representative to Mandela Washington Fellows, where he presented information about U.S. health disparities.

Dr. McDougle’s presentation, “HIV and African Americans: Relationship to Cultural Competence, Implicit Bias and U.S. Jails and Prisons,” brought recognition to the significance of racism and modern day health care disparities and the relationship between incarceration rates of African Americans. Dr. McDougle also defined cultural competence and its role in eliminating HIV health disparities among African Americans as well as the impact that implicit bias has on health disparities among African Americans.

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