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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, joseph.184@osu.edu, or Esther Gottlieb, gottlieb.26@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.

The Mandela Washington Fellows toured the Ohio Statehouse on June 22, 2016.

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The Washington Mandela Fellows visited City Hall on July 11, 2016 and met with Columbus City Department leaders and elected officials. The fellows were welcomed by Councilmember Shannon Hardin, Councilmember President Protemp Priscilla Tyson, Mayor's Chiefs of Staff Dawn Tyler-Lee and Kimber Perfect. City Department presentations included Carla Williams-Scott discussing the Department of Neighborhoods, Bill Hedrick explaining the role of the City Attorney, Auditor Hugh Dorrian giving an overview of government structure, Joe Lombardi explaining the Department of Finance, Steve Francis laying out the role of Diversity and Inclusion and Anthony Celebrezze talking about Building and Zoning. The Fellows asked many questions about the Columbus government structure and also attended a City Council Meeting.

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The Washington Mandela Fellows enjoyed a lunch with the Office of International Affairs on July 8, 2016 at the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

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Tune in to "Crossing Cultures" for a look at the Global African Diaspora, every Wednesday at 11 a.m. on Talktainment Radio. Hosted by Columbus native Julialynne Walker, the July 6 episode features a discussion with Mandela Washington Fellows Colisile Hloniphile Thwala, Danso Kwasi Frederick and Tania Kat.

The program is available online, via an app or over-the-air at WCRS FM Radio. Today's conversation will be replayed at 3 p.m. and on Thursday at 1 p.m. and Friday at 6 a.m. Call in to the program via 877-932-9766 or send an emai to Crossingculturestt@gmail.com.

Washington Mandela Fellows wear white to honor Jean Paul UsmanThe Mandela Washington Fellowship family mourns the death of Jean Paul Usman, a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow from Nigeria who passed away after a tragic accident during a hike on Saturday, June 25, 2016 in Pembroke, Virginia. JP was a shining star who was passionate about education, peacebuilding, children’s rights, and amplifying youth voices in sustainable development in Nigeria.

The Ohio State University fellows stand with his family, friends and all Nigerian fellows and strive to honor his legacy moving forward.

A memorial service is schedule for June 29 at 7 p.m. starting at Orton Hall and proceeding to Mirror Lake. The gathering will mirror a simultaneous service at Virginia Tech.

The Washington Mandela Fellows learned about the Columbus Downtown redevelopment work from Guy V. Worley, CEO/President of Columbus Downtown Development Corporation and Capitol South Urban Redevelopment Corporation. He guided the fellows on a tour of Columbus Commons and the The Scioto Mile. Learn more about what's happening in Columbus at downtowncolumbus.com.

On June 22, 2016 the Washington Mandela Fellows took part in a panel discussion at the Ohio Statehouse with Senator Charleta Tavares and Representative Kristin Boggs.