Mandela Washington Fellowship returns to Nebraska in summer 2022

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Mandela Washington Fellowship returns to Nebraska in summer 2022

The 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows pose in Memorial Stadium during a group tour.
The 2018 Mandela Washington Fellows gather for a group photo while touring Memorial Stadium. This summer will mark the fifth cohort of Fellows the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has hosted since 2017.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is proud to announce its selection as an Institute Partner for the 2022 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. Beginning in mid-June, the university will host 25 of Africa’s bright, emerging civic engagement leaders for a six-week leadership institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative, empowers young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, mentoring, networking, professional opportunities and local community engagement. YALI was created in 2010 and supports young Africans as they spur economic growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance and enhance peace and security across Africa.

Since 2014, the U.S. Department of State has supported nearly 5,100 Mandela Washington Fellows from across Sub-Saharan Africa to develop their leadership skills and foster connections and collaboration with U.S. professionals. The cohort of Fellows hosted by Nebraska will be part of a group of 700 Mandela Washington Fellows hosted at 27 educational institutions across the United States. This summer also marks the fifth cohort of Fellows the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has hosted since 2017.

After their Leadership Institutes, Fellows will participate in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where they will take part in networking and panel discussions with each other and with U.S. leaders from the public, private and non-profit sectors. Following the Summit, up to 100 competitively-selected Fellows will participate in four weeks of professional development with U.S. non-governmental organizations, private companies and government agencies.

Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and implemented by IREX, Leadership Institutes will offer programs that will challenge, motivate and empower young leaders from Africa to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

Programming for the 2022 Leadership Institute at Nebraska is hosted by the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication and Global Affairs. Through this comprehensive leadership and civic engagement training, Fellows will explore how individuals and organizations can shape the local community and solve societal needs – all while encouraging mutual cultural exchange between the Nebraska community and the Fellows.

Some highlights of the Nebraska program include:

• Interactive academic sessions led by Nebraska faculty and local community leaders for Fellows to explore inclusive leadership practices across the subthemes of advocacy, strategic planning and organizational development;

• Strengths-based leadership training from Nebraska’s Clifton Strengths Institute that emphasizes talent discovery and positive influence development for Fellows; and

• Site visits and opportunities for Fellows to become familiar with the rich tradition of community service in Lincoln and give back to the local and immigrant populations by working with organizations such as AmeriCorps Nebraska, El Centro de las Americas and the Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach.

For additional information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship Leadership Institute at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, contact Global Affairs at

The Mandela Washington Fellowship is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by IREX. For more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit and join the conversation at #YALI2022.

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