Recently, a group of 25 young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa visited Indiana for a six-week civic leadership institute. The group, which consists of academics, civic leaders and professionals from many different disciplines, were chosen to be Mandela Washington Fellows. The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, founded in 2014, is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). This year, out of 64,000 applicants, 1,000 were picked to participate.
During their stay in the Hoosier state, two weeks were spent at IUPUI.
“I love that these young leaders are so engaged in our discussions and conversations about business. I learn as much from them as they do from me,” said Todd Roberson, senior lecturer of finance at the Kelley School. The Fellows had a two-day workshop at Kelley.
“We were discussing social value in business and ended up having a 45-minute discussion because the scholars had so many ideas about how social and commercial value work together. It’s inspiring to be able to share perspectives.”
The Fellows also visited Eli Lilly, where they engaged with African employees, toured an insulin manufacturing facility and learned about Lilly’s global health initiatives. Al White, an advisor with Lilly Corporate Responsibility and Community Relations and vice president of the Lilly Foundation, led a panel discussion between Lilly employees and the Fellows.
White noted that the visit is aligned with Lilly’s mission to increase their global impact and focus on civic engagement.