Few buildings in Madison are filled with more geographic diversity than Ingraham Hall, where the 2018 class of Mandela Washington Fellows gathers for regular meetings.

UW-Madison’s Mandela Fellows hail from sixteen countries across the African continent. They arrived to campus in June for a six week public management institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Young African Leaders Initiative. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is highly competitive, selecting only seven hundred Fellows from over thirty-seven thousand applicants. The 25 Mandela Fellows hosted at UW-Madison are some of Africa’s most promising young leaders.

So far, this year’s Fellows have visited Sassy Cow Creamery and the Columbus City Hall, volunteered at community organizations like the Goodman Center and the Bubbler and dialogued with Wisconsin leaders including LaTonya Johnson, Amy Loudenbeck and Russ Feingold. Following their six weeks in Madison, Fellows will gather in Washington, D.C. for a summit with nearly seven hundred other Fellows from institutes across the U.S.

The African Studies Program caught up with a few of these outstanding young leaders to reflect on their experiences in Madison thus far.

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