CIEE Frederick Douglass Global Fellows Wrap Up South Africa Leg of their Social Justice Leadership Program before Traveling to Ireland and Northern Ireland

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The 2023 cohort of Frederick Douglass Global Fellows have been in Cape Town, South Africa since July 11 for the second leg of their three-continent comparative study of social justice leadership that began in Washington D.C. and will continue in Dublin, Derry, and Belfast.

The twelve 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows are exceptional students of color from colleges and universities across the United States who are spending four weeks this summer exploring leadership strategies that have shaped pathways to peace, including the Emancipation Proclamation in America, the end of Apartheid in South Africa, and the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. By examining the legacies of Daniel O’Connell, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, John Lewis, John Hume, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and other giants of social change, the Fellows are learning how great leaders influenced one other and the leaders of today.

The Government of Ireland is cosponsoring the 2023 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows in honor of the meeting in Dublin in 1845 between 27-year-old abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the great Irish reformer Daniel O’Connell. O’Connell is credited with influencing Douglass’ worldview and expanding his life’s work to agitate against all forms of social injustice.

While in South Africa, the Frederick Douglass Global Fellows were led by Mpho Tutu van Furth, the youngest daughter of the late social and religious leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in an exploration of South African leaders and the geographical, social, and economic context in which they developed.

Among program highlights, the Fellows visited the United States Consulate in Cape Town for a roundtable meeting with senior leaders; enjoyed a walking tour of Langa Township hosted by Project Playground; took a guided tour of the Slave Lodge and Bo-Kaap, engaging in discussion of slavery and colonialism in the Western Cape; and visited Bishopscourt, the official residence of the Archbishop of Cape Town, where the Fellows considered the role of religion in transformational leadership.

During a visit to the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Fellows had the honor of meeting Leah Tutu, visited the Truth to Power exhibition, and had a conversation with the Interfaith Youth Leadership cohort. On a visit to Stellenbosch University, the Fellows met with Thuli Madonsela who helped draft South Africa’s constitution.

Before the Fellows leave South Africa, they will travel to Aquila Game Reserve for a time of reflection. Upon returning to Cape Town, they will take a guided tour of the District Six Museum that will inform a discussion of land expropriation, reparations, and current issues in land reclamation.

The next leg of the journey takes the Fellows to Ireland and Northern Ireland where Don Mullan, author of Eyewitness Bloody Sunday, and historian Dr. Christine Kinealy will lead them in examination of Irish leaders who drove social change.