Over 250 Young African Leaders visit Dorchester County and the Eastern Shore for Lunch and Conversations

On July 21, 2022 Dorchester County Economic Development (DCED) was invited by Adrian Holmes, executive director of the Alpha Genesis Development Corporation to participate in a lunch discussion with over 250 young African leaders of the Washington Mandela Fellows Alumni organization.  The group visited the Harriet Tubman Museum in Cambridge and held community conversations on racism and the Black experience in the United States during their luncheon.  The luncheon was held outdoors in the open space of the Art Bar 2.0 and the Tubman Museum in front of the world renowned Harriett Tubman “Take My Hand” mural.  The event was spearheaded by Tonija Hope, director of Howard University’s Ralph Bunche International Affairs Center.

DCED’s business development manager A.C. Alrey stated, “during my conversations with the alumni participants at the table in which I was assigned, a major question arose around the structures of our government entities, i.e. federal, state, county, and municipal entities.”  A comparison was made to the various forms of government in their individual countries, such as South Sudan.  In addition, the conversation centered on how governments are involved in business assistance and economic development, in particular to Black business development and the sustainability.

Overall, with the exception of the extremely high temperatures outdoors, the event held outside of the Art Bar 2.0 had a great turnout with hundreds of international visitors downtown.  The lunch was prepared by chef Jermaine Anderson of North Star Village Hospitality, LLC.

The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that empowers young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking.  Each year, the Fellowship provides up to 700 outstanding young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa with the opportunity to hone their skills at a U.S. higher education institution with support for professional development after they return home. Institutes focus on leadership and skills development in one of three tracks: Business, Civic Engagement, or Public Management.  Fellowship Alumni continue to build the skills and connections developed during the program through access to ongoing professional development, networking, and collaboration opportunities with support from the U.S. Department of State and affiliated partners.

Learn more about opportunities for Alumni, by clicking here.