Simmons College spends its summer training future women leaders of Africa
During the summer, 20 young, accomplished women from five African countries traveled to Simmons College to participate in the "Changing the Face of Leadership program," a special initiative hosted by Simmons and funded by the Study of the U.S. Branch at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, a program designed to help young leaders develop a better understanding of the United States and improve their leadership skills.
The women were taught by faculty from the Simmons School of Management, the Department of Political Science and International Relations, the Department of History, and the Simmons School of Social Work. They studied the women's rights and civil rights movements in the United States, heard from speakers such as, Former Ambassador to Senegal and Nigeria Walter Carrington, and learned leadership skills that will enable each student to create change in her home community and country.
After four weeks at Simmons College, the students and faculty traveled to Atlanta and Washington D.C. to meet with civil rights activists including, Ambassador Andrew Young and Operation Hope founder John Hope Bryant. In D.C., the women participated in an all-day conference held by SUSI and heard from Former U.S. Congresswoman for California Jane Harman and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues Melanne Verveer. The women formed teams with other students from their countries and presented solutions to problems they faced in their home communities.
Program participant Sharon Nkunda from Mozambique reflected on her experience:
"[Simmons] trained us to go back home and begin the battle of leadership. It's not going to be easy, but with the training we got here at Simmons, we're going to make it through."
Watch the video above to meet the students and learn more about their experiences at Simmons!