Nigerian IVLP Alumna Reconnects with American Counterparts

August 1, 2017

Eleven years after her International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) experience, Chigozie “Gozie” Udemezue, a Nigerian social justice lawyer, will return to the United States to reconnect with her American counterparts and showcase her contributions to Nigeria. Gozie was selected out of thousands of IVLP alumni to become a “Gold Star” alumna and return to the United States for a second IVLP experience.

Her 2006 “Grassroots Activism” IVLP took her to Ebenezer Baptist Church and the Leadership Center at Morehouse College, which inspired Gozie to found a Martin Luther King, Jr. Club for schools in the city of Enugu, Nigeria to spread MLK Jr.’s message of nonviolent leadership. She also established the Healing Hearts Widows Support Foundation that supports more than 5,000 widows throughout Nigeria by providing medical assistance, food, loans, education, and legal services.

In 2016, she was recognized on the floor of the U.S. Congress by Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell for her “remarkable efforts on behalf of widows and children in Africa and around the world.”

During her return trip to the United States, Gozie will speak about her experiences on a panel at the Diplomacy Begins Here summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She will then head to Chicago to meet with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, Grassroots Collaborative and Teens Against Drunk Driving. Gozie will end her trip in Atlanta, where she will return to Ebenezer Baptist Church and Morehouse College to talk about how the message of Martin Luther King Jr. continues to inspire her work back home in Nigeria.

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