Announcing the CDAF 2021 Winners

December 8, 2021


Congratulations to the 2021 Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund (CDAF) winners! Over 100 ExchangeAlumni from 47 winning teams received funding this year for their CDAF project grants, which are sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

For this round of the competition, U.S. exchange program alumni from over 23 states and territories submitted proposals for public service projects that addressed the themes of media literacy education, protecting the environment, bolstering alumni network engagement, bolstering outreach to underserved communities, and building community through arts, sports, language, and technology. These projects address issues faced by communities in the United States and around the world, including Argentina, Burundi, Mexico, Pakistan, and South Africa.

“Congratulations to our exchange alumni who have received awards from the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund to lead public service projects in their communities,” said Matthew Lussenhop, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “These alumni will serve diverse communities in the United States and abroad through programs adapted to the realities of COVID-19. We are proud of these citizen diplomats.”

Since 2019, the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has invited U.S. citizen alumni of all U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs – including the Fulbright Program, the Gilman Scholarship, Peace Corps, CBYX, and YES Abroad – to apply for small grants of up to $10,000 as part of the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund 2021 funding opportunity. To date, $1,280,000 has been awarded to U.S. citizen exchange program alumni through CDAF grants – with $494,000 being pledged to support CDAF in 2021.

We look forward to sharing the progress of alumni from the winning teams as they implement these innovative projects in cities and towns across the United States, and virtually with international partners. 

The Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and implemented in partnership with the Partners of the Americas. 

Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund 2021 Winners

Agripreneurs Program will educate farmers while strengthening the long-term resilience of food systems and livelihoods. During the implementation of this project, farmers will receive hands-on training working with a team of knowledgeable volunteers, which will allow them to ask questions and receive feedback on their farming techniques. This approach will provide farmers with exposure, knowledge, and networking opportunities in order to prosper as agripreneurs and leverage the extended support system that the project will offer. Alumni Team: Ugoeze Achilike (Critical Language Scholarship Program) and Emmanuel Awohouedji (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program)

Alumni MentorRing will connect a global alumni community through online mentoring to support diversity, inclusion, and personal development. The project aims to have an online platform available to all State Department exchange programs and help to improve engagement across a broad range of alumni, creating a safe environment between mentors and mentees. Alumni MentorRing will benefit all participants of State Department programs before, during, and after their programs, regardless of their geographic location. Alumni Team: Dave Claflin (Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals) and Ben Claflin (Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange)

Beyond the Booth: Community through Music will offer a positive, after school music community for South Africa’s most vulnerable youth to express themselves, build resilience and remain engaged in school and their communities. It will be achieved in partnership with a range of organizations dedicated to education, music and improving the quality of life of young people and communities in need. The project will conclude with a summit for the youth to network, perform, and hear from a panel of music industry professionals. Alumni Team: Stephen Pintauro (Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program) and Pumza Tshebe (International Visitor Leadership Program)

Binational local knowledge of Sargassum events aims to work with one local community in Mexico (Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo) and one local community in the US (Hollywood, Florida) to compile and document local knowledge (LK) and local traditional knowledge (LTK) of native, indigenous, and other local community members affected by the massive arrivals of Sargassum (algae). Alumni Team: Elliott Hazen (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program) and Judith Rosellon Druker (Fulbright U.S. Student Program)

Butanuka Preschool Phase 4: Community Involvement will continue a previous phase funded by CDAF, and is aimed to build thriving communities, prospering families, and children who are healthy and well-nourished and ready to learn. The project plans to accomplish this goal in three ways: conducting health screenings and teaching families about health and nutrition, strengthening food security by establishing kitchen gardens for families and building a demonstration kitchen with a modern stove, and extending early learning concepts from the preschool classroom into children’s homes to support the whole family. Alumni Team: Constance Green (Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange) and Janvier Manirakiza (Mandela Washington (YALI) and Mandela Washington Fellowship)

Comic books and storytelling in Bogotá will work to address and amplify the realities of gender-based violence in Colombia and enhance female empowerment. With the support of a well-known foundation, the team will work with teenagers to interview and tell their stories in comic-book format. These stories will be shared with a wide audience to normalize talking about social issues, while also empowering survivors and women. Alumni Team: Ram Devineni (International Writing Program, American Arts Incubator, Fulbright Specialist) and Natalia Ponce de Leon (Eisenhower Fellowship)

Common Chords: A Global Bluegrass Collaboration is a recording project that aims to strengthen the relationship between the United States and Cambodia, Uganda, Pakistan, Germany, Mexico, Czech Republic, Russia, Belgium, Kyrgyzstan, and Mexico. The music will range from contemporary popular songs to modernized classics to unite and impact all ages. All international artists on Common Chords will also be invited to sing and perform on an original Henhouse Prowlers song titled 'Away Away' that shares the values of making global connections. Alumni Team: Jon Goldfine (American Music Abroad and Arts Envoy) and Jake Howard (American Music Abroad and Arts Envoy)

Cookies for Compost will address climate justice and remediate the inaccessibility of sustainable practices through a composting program for low-income families in Evanston, Illinois, USA. Although low-income residents are often the most affected by climate change, they are frequently unable to take action due to financial barriers. The team will create a free and accessible composting program to increase the amount of composted food and engage more families in composting through the incentivizing program. Alumni Team: Maia Roothaan (Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience) and Vivian Zhu (Between the Lines: Peace and the Writing Experience)

Corruption and Mental Health in Rural Guinea will attempt to demonstrate the impact of corruption and mental health and a proposed intervention. Specifically, the project includes four parts: 1) assessment of mental health status of a sample of community members; 2) Preparation of a community education program, and mental health resilience training; 3) Presentation of the education program to the community; and 4) feedback and assessment of participants and preparation of a community report for the Guinean and US governments. Alumni Team: Paul Sachs (Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange) and Ibrahima Kalil Gueye (Mandela Washington Fellowship)

Dare to Envision will be an inspiring social media campaign involving 100+ youth sharing their stories of how they are making an impact for climate and sustainable development, but have not yet had the platform to share.  The team will collect stories from across the world to share on a digital platform to inspire other youth to make change. Alumni Team: Pooja Tilvawala (Critical Language Scholarship Program)

El Centro Community Center will create binational music programs with Naco, AZ; Bisbee, AZ, USA; and Naco, Sonora, Mexico, allowing people on both sides of the border to work together for regional performances. By focusing on binational music classes, the participants of this program will be challenged to learn about each other on a deeper level by working together towards a common goal. This project is needed to support regional youth in both places and celebrate interdependency across the border. Alumni Team: Lori Keyne (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program) and Beth Henson (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program)

Endless Summer Jam 2022 is a two-day program that will take place in Honolulu, Hawaii with an international Hip Hop dance competition one day, and dance workshops given by local and visiting artists another day. This project will reach the dance communities of Hawaii and allow them to engage with the vast network of artists around the world who share their same passion. Finally, this project will promote mentorships and reach underserved communities of Hawaii that lack spaces for cultural exchange, art education, self-expression, and creativity. Alumni Team: Lino Delgado (Next Level) and Alexander Diaz (Next Level)

Entrepreneurs Educators Program will have a direct impact on 200 women-headed households that have had a disruption in their economic activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be done by highlighting how women can shift to virtual platforms as a way of increased resilience for their businesses. This project will be filling a gap by meeting the needs of these women by giving them the tools that they need, as well as practical knowledge, information and resources that can help them to shift their ways of engaging while protecting themselves and their families while still being able to provide for them. Alumni Team: Tiffany Young (Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange) and Inota Cheta (Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders)

FulbrightConnect will build new networks between US and Taiwanese elementary school communities. This project will connect 12 US schools with 12 Taiwanese schools to serve as year-long partner institutions and help them facilitate ongoing classroom exchanges. Students will deepen their cultural perspectives and get to engage with their global peers by corresponding through mail, blog posts, videos and other virtual tools, as well as collaborating on projects together. Alumni Team: Caitlyn Carpio (Critical Language Scholarship Program and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program) and Michelle Ko (Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program)

GIRLS STEM CAMP WITH MMSU WOMEN IN SCIENCE will provide an educational environment and community that inspires innovation and a place where girls can exercise their creativity and grow during a 5-day immersive program. This project will engage participants in hands-on activities, the STEM workplaces they see, and the successful Women Science Faculty they meet and interact with at Mariano Marcos State University. With resources provided to spark their imagination, they will be guided to explore innovative science-based solutions to everyday problems.  Alumni Team: Fiorello Abenes (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program) and Jan Rich (Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program)

Huellas para el Amor: Community & Youth Leadership will create lasting change in the lives of underserved communities in Acahualinca, Managua and Totumblita, Matagalpa, Nicaragua. This project will do so through regular individual virtual therapy sessions, educational support and materials, direct support with food insecurity, workshops and trainings, a model of youth leadership, and a final reflective digital storytelling workshop. Ultimately, youth from high school to college age will gain valuable leadership skills and confidence by coordinating food distribution in their communities. Alumni Team: Mika Kie Weissbuch (Fulbright U.S. Student Program) and Rosalyn Leban (Critical Language Scholar, Fulbright U.S. Student Program)

Influencing Leaders to Promote Education for Girls aims to influence religious and community leaders in Jijiga, Somali Regional State, Ethiopia to make commitments towards increasing the enrollment of girls in school in the Somali Regional State. The objective is to see at least 50% of designated stakeholders in Jijiga make commitments to encourage girls’ education in the coming year and a subsequent increase of 15% of girls enrolled in school from 2021 numbers. Alumni Team: Brian MacHarg (US Speakers Program and Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange) and Juweria Mohamed Ibrahim (Mandela Washington Fellowship)

International HBCU Xchange will address the significant gap between Black students from the U.S. and international exchange. This project will identify 2-3 Historically Black Colleges and Universities to increase student knowledge and participation in four international exchange programs: Boren, CLS, Fulbright, Gilman. They will conduct targeted outreach and recruitment through presentations, events, mentoring, and application support for HBCU students. Alumni Team: Ashleigh Brown-Grier (Fulbright U.S. Student Program) and Shondrea McCargo (Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program)

Juba Digital Storytelling for Peace and Unity will support local filmmakers and secondary school students in South Sudan in sharpening their skills to produce high-quality films. They will work with the emerging filmmakers on editing schools, using computers and software provided by Juba Film Festival's "Moving Forward." This project aims to empower South Sudan’s talented youth with skills to help their communities, by encouraging them to share common problems to help bring people together, heal, and find solutions. Alumni Team: Gail Prensky (Arts Envoy, Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange) and Sean MacLaughlin (Arts Envoy, Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange)

Kānaka Maoli empowerment through Media Arts aims to face over-development, displacement, tourism, and ecosystem degradation on the Hawaiian Islands through a series of community workshops, training in digital art skills, and collaborative multimedia art projects that aim to empower Kānaka Maoli artists and creators in Oahu. This project will not only build digital media literacy education and focus on Kānaka Maoli values which inherently center on preservation of the environment but will also center on underserved communities of native Hawaiians by building community through the arts. Alumni Team: Tiare Schiller (American Arts Incubator Program) and Xiaowei Wang (American Arts Incubator Program)

KARAKANA: The Birth of STEM Role Model Avatars will address the United Nations SDG goal 5 of “achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.” In this project, girls from several rural towns in Kenya will create their own avatars in digital and virtual workshop spaces helping 1) them interact with science and technology in a fun, creative environment 2) visualize themselves in STEM careers. Ultimately, this project will empower girls to interact with basic technology creation tools in a fun interactive way. Alumni Team: Elizabeth Gamarra (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program) and Akinyi Awora (Mandela Washington Fellowship)

Keiki Catalyst Program will further inter-ethnic understanding and youth civic engagement in Hawai’i. This project, using established curriculum from partners, will engage 10 high school students in workshops that will help them cultivate understanding for people different from themselves; foster knowledge of human rights; increase their capacity to think critically about human rights issues; develop their leadership skills; and inspire them to continue their civic engagement. Alumni Team: Brendan Schultz (Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Abroad) and Maxwell Myers (Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Abroad)

¡Las Playas Son Del Pueblo! seeks to address recent cries from native Puerto Ricans due to over tourism and fears of privatization of Puerto Rican beaches by foreign investors. This project will address the lack of formal media attention on underserved Puerto Rican communities' views on the protection of the environment given the increase in tourists, expats, and migrants. This project seeks to capture the movement, uplift Puerto Rican voices, and create a collaborative democratic space for expanding the movement through the use of media and citizen journalism. Alumni Team: Sophia Celeste Vos (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, Fulbright Binational Business Program) and Hana Fatima Manadath (Critical Language Scholarship Program) 

Let's Learn Together will bring together youth from the United States and Pakistan and encourage them to participate in international exchange. This project aims to ensure these communities are aware of and participate in these opportunities. Through language lessons, American-Pakistani interaction, and an exchange alumni speaker series, their aim is to connect these communities and provide an opportunity for reciprocal learning and mutual understanding. Alumni Team: Sahar Naqvi (Fulbright U.S. Student Program) and Pandora White (Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, Fulbright U.S. Student Program)

Malenourished will be in the form of a multi-part virtual summit to increase outreach to Black male students and inform them of study abroad opportunities and advantages. The summit will include panel discussions that highlight the numerous benefits and professional gains of study abroad for Black men and will highlight how study abroad cultivates a Diasporic framework for Black American men, sharing the personal narratives of Black men who studied abroad within Diaspora countries and communities. Alumni Team: Stephanie Tilley (Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program) and Ashleigh Brown-Grier (Fulbright U.S. Student Program)

MOOC: Digital Transformations in Education aims to design and host a virtual MOOC for English language teachers around the world focused on the digital transformation of education, including the United States; Brazil; Uzbekistan; Philippines; Indonesia; Panama; Mauritius; Uganda; Mexico; Poland; Armenia. The MOOC will be a six-week course composed of six thematic modules: 1) teaching digital and media literacy; 2) understanding our digital footprint; 3) data-driven language teaching; 4) the role of machine learning and AI in language teaching; 5) nurturing social emotional wellness in a digital learning ecosystem; 6) instructional design and design thinking for the digital classroom. Alumni Team: Louise Goodman (Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program) and Armen Kassabian (English Language Fellow Program, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program) 

More Than Words: Including the Excluded strives to evaluate our individual school districts’ curriculum for cultural responsiveness that will, in turn, guide us to purchase materials in support of our marginalized students. Upon completion of this project, students in 4 schools will share their own stories by creating “Book Talk” videos or Identity Posters emphasizing identity growth, development, and connections to literature. Alumni Team: Sandra Makielski (Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms) and Rufo de Leon (International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP))

Moving Through, workshops with Project Move will be bringing in 7 movement, music, and clothing design workshops from South America, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the United States to approximately 50 children of all ethnicities and all physical abilities through various workshops for five months. As the local community center's dance space shut down during and beyond the pandemic, this project will enable the whole community of South Shore Long Island, NY to heal from the COVID impacts and isolation by sharing the joy of movement and culture from multiple continents, culminating in a final dance performance. Alumni Team: Virginia O. (Peace Corps) and Kristin O. (Peace Corps)

New American Digital Literacy Project intends to collaborate with existing Chinatown community organizations in order to reach New Americans in need of digital skills in order to find employment. The project provides training in specialized, highly marketable skills and promotes digital literacy and access for a historically disadvantaged demographic that lacks regular computer access. Ultimately, participants will develop the confidence, independence, and employable skills imperative to succeeding in the workplace and assimilating into the local community. Alumni Team: Mary Liu (Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, Schwarzman Scholarship) and Chloe Bates (Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program)

Professional Development in Online STEM Education aims to improve online STEM education and foster education resilience in Senegal. The objectives of this project are to make teachers aware and familiar with tools and practices for effective online STEM education, provide teachers with opportunities to experiment with diverse online STEM activities, and provide teachers with more knowledge on STEM careers to better motivate and inform their students. Alumni Team: Christelle Scharff (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program) and Babacar Diop (Youth Leadership Program, YALI Regional Leadership Center)

Promoting Nature in an Argentinean Nursery School aims to improve the outdoor facilities at “El Jardín de la Montaña,” a nursery school in the Villa Sarmiento neighborhood on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The project will support improvements including the creation of 1- an outdoor vegetable garden with a composting and rainwater irrigation system, 2- an interactive educational area to promote environmental awareness, and 3- a safe recreational area to promote community-building and creativity. Alumni Team: Riley Wagner (Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange, Youth Ambassadors) and Martina Belén Rotondo (Youth Ambassadors)

REAL Richmond History - Monumental Conversations will develop a community-driven Augmented Reality experience to contextualize and shine a spotlight on the plethora of positive contributions of Richmond's Black community -- especially in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood. By working alongside students, residents, community leaders, and institutional partners, the team aims to leverage a Human-Centered Design Thinking methodology to enhance the voices of the most vulnerable communities who too often go unheard. Alumni Team: Grady Hart (Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange) and Julia Beabout (Critical Language Scholarship Program)

Reality Check prototype: Better dialogue via film is a reimagining of film in the (virtual) classroom to help facilitate conversation about social issues. The goal of this prototyping stage is to create the minimum viable product for an experience that is intuitive, fun, and serves the needs of educational communities. The team will be taking feedback from students and teachers in both high schools and colleges during this vital moment in developing a new tool for educators. Alumni Team: Jonathan Goodman Levitt (Fulbright U.S. Student Program) and Josephine Dorado (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, Fulbright U.S. Student Program)

Rise and Thrive Global Healing Communities will connect the United States, Indonesia, and the Dominican Republic to develop common language, culture, and framework for cultivating global healing communities. To create lasting transformation and support well-being, the project will help organizations and communities develop a common language and virtual community framework to help them cultivate healing communities within their own organizations. Alumni Team: Vanessa Davis (YSEALI Professional Fellows Program and YLAI) and Mauliya Risalaturrohmah (YSEALI Professional Fellows Program) 

STEM-C Research Skills for Success will motivate economically disadvantaged pre-college and undergraduates to select careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science (STEM-C) in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Russia. The programming will use project-based learning to introduce participants to early research experiences in STEM-C fields and will make them competitive in their college careers. Alumni Team: Juan Arratia (Fulbright International Education Administrators Program) and Leonid Zotov (Fulbright Visiting Scholar)

Supporting Educational Inclusion in China and the U.S. will share policies that promote inclusion, advocate for the acceptance of students with disabilities, demonstrate curriculum adaptation, and discuss how to support the professional learning of educators regarding teaching students with disabilities. Beneficiaries include pre-service teachers from Chongqing University, school leaders from mainland China (Sichuan Province) and Hong Kong, and teachers currently working in mainland China or Hong Kong schools. Alumni Team: Steven Smith (Committee on U.S.-China Relations Professional Fellows Program) and Suqiong Xu (Committee on U.S.-China Relations Professional Fellows Program)

TEAMBeats Chile will train a cohort of local musicians and youth development providers in Therapeutic Beat Making, to provide a sustainable opportunity for youth to engage in a culturally responsive education, therapeutic and social intervention for youth of all ages, as well as opportunities for economic development and diversification of career pathways in music, education, and digital media. Alumni Team: Elliot Gann (Next Level) and David Guardado (Next Level)

The Global AfroXchange Conference aims to support education abroad organizations created by Black former exchange participants that provide international education experiences for Black students. The project will serve as the first conference to address the barriers that these organizations face in providing study abroad experiences for their students by creating a space to network and develop skills in areas critical to the growth and success of their programming. Alumni Team: Shomari Maynard (Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program) and Lamar Shambley (Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program)

The Global On-ramp to Media Literacy plans to promote solid, credible understandings of media literacy, support those committed to advancing media literacy, and provide tools and resources for a promotional campaign that emphasizes a consistent, replicable, measurable and scalable approach to media literacy. The project will provide online training to a network of media literacy practitioners to understand the benefits, content and workings of a social media campaign through a new, free overview course on media literacy developed by CML. Alumni Team: Tessa Jolls (Fulbright Specialist Program) and Monika Hanley (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program)

ThinkTogether represents a collaborative movement driving progress on youth-centric educational and mental health initiatives. This project aims to move the needle on in-school restorative justice, increasing youth civic engagement and entrepreneurship. "ThinkTogether" seeks to build an innovative and collaborative partnership with two leading youth agency and entrepreneurship programs in the United States: DualSchool and SELF. Alumni Team: Whitney Wideman (Mandela Washington Fellowship: Reciprocal Exchange) and Catherine Lindroth (Mandela Washington Fellowship: Reciprocal Exchange)

Variants of Catching Breath will be a series of in-person author events, lectures, and workshops based in Poland, giving voice to and celebrating a diverse array of acclaimed, award-winning, and––in various respects––overlooked American poets. The series will increase access, equity, and empowerment for writers and translators of color as well as representatives of the LGBTQ+ community by putting the accomplishments and points of view of the authors front and center on the international stage. Alumni Team: Mark Tardi (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program) and Kacper Bartczak (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program) 

Vecinos Ayudando a Vecinos will bolster outreach to underserved and economically challenged Latino and Hispanic families and children on the Main Line suburbs outside of Philadelphia, PA, connecting them with life-saving resources that exist in the local safety net. They will do this through creation of outreach materials in Spanish, monthly community outreach events, ongoing virtual support, and service linkage to virtual tutoring, resource assistance, and food assistance. Alumni Team: Molly Porth Cabrera (Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program) and Heather McDanel (Sport for Community)

Vocational Skills Training for Peace seeks to equip at least 100 young unemployed women in the Nkoranza North district of Ghana with sustainable and self-employable vocational skills training with emphasis on women with disability and mental health conditions to serve as peace agents in the community while running their social businesses. Throughout this training, arts and culture will act as tools for peace building and conflict resolution for sustainable community development. Alumni Team: Adam Zahn (Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange) and Joel Afi Duah (Mandela Washington Fellowship) 

Vwa Pa m (My Voice) is an empowering and holistic event-series that centers the voices of young women and girls in conversations that are hushed in their communities. These live events will be designed to increase the abilities of young Haitian women to engage in honest and intergenerational conversations, while challenging complex issues that make it increasingly difficult to reach their full potential and equitably participate in society. Alumni Team: Jessica Dolcy (Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship) and Christina Julmé (Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program)

We Represent: Increasing Diversity in Exchanges will address the challenge of institutional racism by directly targeting minority students, low-income students, and community college students and providing them with the encouragement to pursue exchange programs. At its heart, this project is to connect potential applicants with exchange alumni through a virtual conference. Alumni Team: Pandora White (Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program, Fulbright) and Sean Funcheon (Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program)

Well Versed: Media Literacy Through Songwriting will aim to fill the critical gap in artist resources in Nigeria by providing media literacy training through songwriting and the technology to ensure the music of an underserved community can compete on a global stage. Basic music production kits will be distributed and will be instrumental in lowering the barrier of entry for Nigerian artists, while cultivating stronger ties between this Nigerian youth community and the US. Alumni Team: Richard Steighner (American Music Abroad, Arts Envoy, YES Academy) and Alfredo Austin III (American Music Abroad, Arts Envoy, YES Academy)

Whose Stories Will We Hear: Stories from Kenya aims to challenge the perpetuated notions that see the African continent through monolithic lenses by publishing first-person video stories of Kenyan emerging leaders, in particular women working in diverse fields and distributing them to a global audience to disrupt stereotypes and shift deficit narratives. At the heart of this project lies its intention to share first-person stories as a tool of self-expression to build community through mutual understanding, use storytelling as an educational tool and promote Pan-African collaborations. WSWWH regards these stories as a moment in time for the African narrative, a moment that can cultivate connections and cooperation. Alumni Team: Kathi Seiden-Thomas (Peace Corps) and Mpho Seipubi (YALI/Mandela Washington Fellowship)