Duquesne University to Strengthen African Ties With Mandela Exchange Grant

Duquesne University's director of international programs will travel to Zambia, Africa, next month to help establish a disability advocacy program.

Dr. Joseph DeCrosta recently received a $5,000 Mandela Reciprocal Exchange grant through the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Reciprocal exchange grants allow those who have worked with Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders participants to help continue the fellows' work in their respective home countries. 

The grant will allow DeCrosta, who is co-director of the Mandela fellows at Duquesne, to travel to Lusaka, Zambia, from Friday, June 22, through Monday, July 9, to assist past Mandela fellow Nsofwa Sampa in forming a disability advocacy organization called A Positive Movement.

The process will include developing a focused, strategic plan for Sampa's organization and galvanizing more community involvement for the group. The pair will hold a two-day leadership and advocacy workshop for other disability activists at the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka before traveling to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, to meet with Annete Bongiwe Moyo, also a past Mandela fellow and a health care advocate, to discuss collaboration efforts.

"I'm honored to have been selected as a Mandela Reciprocal Exchange Grant awardee to represent the University and the United States, and to continue Duquesne's involvement in the YALI program," said DeCrosta. "I hope that such work will continue to advance our University mission and strategic plan in terms of global community engagement and, more specifically, to serve our colleagues in Africa."

The Mandela Fellowships serve as the flagship program of the YALI, which was launched by President Barack Obama in 2010 to support and prepare the next generation of African leaders by empowering young people through academic coursework, leadership training and networking.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University's academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim. 

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