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Mandela Fellowship Forum Stresses Youth, Independence



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For a third year, The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, a flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), has successfully immersed a group of African scholars into six weeks of interdisciplinary academic coursework, cultural and civic engagement and service learning.

In honor of the completion of the program, fellows and guests gathered at the Howard University School of Social Work to host a forum titled “Africa, My Perspective,” with a purpose of demystifying stereotypes and providing solutions to promote African progress.

“Children of Africa, you have been privileged beyond measure,” said Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, African Union ambassador to the United States. “You owe it to go back home and share with those who have not been as fortunate as you have been. And remind them that in any use that you are going to be faced with as an African, refuse to be used to play other people’s dirty work. You’re smart enough. Take your time and understand the issues. Africa can no longer continue to be other people’s playground. We need African solutions to African problems.”

The opening remarks set the tone for a thought-provoking panel discussion focused on building Africa through entrepreneurship and technology while navigating through existing policy paradox.

“Africa is faced with quite a number of challenges, but it all starts with a realization that we, Africans, can do something for ourselves,” said fellow Angela Ameso of Uganda. “We do not always have to sit back and wait for the Western world to give us donor help, to give us support.”

The importance of self-reliance echoed throughout the panel discussion. Many of the fellows agreed that in order for Africa to progress, its people must seek “African solutions to African problems.”

Read more @ The Washington Informer



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Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee named the next chancellor of DC Public Schools



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Letter from the Mayor

Dear Washingtonians,

This afternoon, I announced Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee as the next chancellor of DC Public Schools (DCPS). Dr. Ferebee is a strong educator and leader with a wide breadth of experience as a teacher, an administrator, and a superintendent.

In his work with students, educators, and families, Dr. Ferebee has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to improving student outcomes. He understands the complexities of leading a large urban school district in a growing city. He knows there’s no-one-size-fits-all solution to meeting the needs of our young people. And he has experience building partnerships that ensure more students have a path toward success.

Dr. Ferebee, who is the son of educators and began his career in education as an elementary school teacher, has been leading Indianapolis Public Schools since 2013. In his time there, he has been successful in rethinking how to prepare high school students for college and careers and working to ensure the programs and apprenticeships the system offers are in line with the state’s current and future workforce needs. He also recognized the importance of early learning and significantly increased the number of students in early education programs.

I want to thank Dr. Amanda Alexander for her service and dedication to the entire DCPS community. In February, Dr. Alexander stepped up to lead our schools without any hesitation. She ensured that we were able to finish out last school year strong, continue our improvements regarding data integrity, and begin the current school year better prepared to tackle long-standing challenges.

I also want to thank the Our Schools DC Leadership Committee for their work engaging the community at forums and focus groups across the city, providing me feedback, and meeting with the finalists.

We have an incredibly talented workforce at DCPS. In schools across all eight wards, our classrooms are filled with rigor and joy. The progress our educators have made and continue to make is reflected in the passion our students have for learning.

As we welcome Dr. Ferebee to the team, I am optimistic about the future of DCPS and our community. One of the major benefits of a system of mayoral control with council oversight is that we are better positioned to use every resource available to support our students. By working across agencies, we can set high expectations in the classroom while also ensuring that when our students and families need support outside of the classroom, we are acting quickly as a District to provide it.

In the coming weeks, we will share more information about opportunities to meet and get to know Dr. Ferebee.

Let’s keep working together to lead DCPS into the next phase of excellence.


Muriel Bowser

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Now accepting new students into our Positioned for Greatness Youth Program (P4GYP)



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Middle school and high school can be the toughest seasons for our children. This program meets your child right where he or she is to help them navigate successfully during this time.

We address issues they face daily in our life skills discussions while helping them plan for the future. Activities and trips will broaden their horizons and introduce them to the many possibilities that exist for life after high school.

This is a learning environment where leadership and community service are the foundation.

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Anacostia News

#RethinkSchool: Bringing Hopes and Dreams to Those Most in Need



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Like moths to a light, people from all over the country gravitate to Washington, D.C. – longing to make a difference, witness history and understand the complexities of the political process. I am like many young transplants that moved to D.C. for work and began to understand the social justice issues that threaten those who are native to our nation’s capital.

However I, unlike many other young transplants, had to quickly navigate the complexities of the education system. From my own experience, I know the difference a quality education and support system can make on students growing up in poverty.

So, when I moved to D.C. as the sole caregiver for my teenage sister, I knew exactly what she needed to be able to thrive. She needed a quality education, healthy community and individuals who could serve as mentors. As I researched areas to live and send my sister to school, I discovered Anacostia is home to some of D.C.’s poorest and most violent neighborhoods. From food insecurity to lack of affordable housing, the residents in this community are confronted with daily obstacles.

When I got word that a new charter school, Digital Pioneers Academy (DPA), was opening in Anacostia, I was curious. I wondered if the founder received the same information about the area that I had. I wanted to know her hopes for the school and dreams for the poverty stricken community. Most of all, how they were going to Rethink School.

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