April 13, 2009—From April 15-19, Albuquerque, New Mexico, will host a leadership seminar for a remarkable group of 34 Fulbright women graduate students from 20 different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The women are drawn from the more than 2,800 visiting students studying this year in universities across the United States as participants in the prestigious Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and were selected for their leadership potential and outstanding accomplishments in their fields.
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the Institute of International Education (IIE), together with a local committee of community leaders in Albuquerque, are organizing the inaugural Fulbright Connects: Africa to Albuquerque enrichment seminar. The seminar will highlight the unique history of the Southwestern United States and will feature local speakers from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations, and academia. All Fulbright participants will stay in the homes of local families in the Albuquerque area.
The Albuquerque Fulbright Enrichment Seminar is one of 10 held throughout the United States in 2009 presented by the Institute of International Education. These seminars are an integral part of the overall Fulbright experience. They are designed to support the Fulbright Program's objective of promoting mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of over 155 Fulbright partner countries. The seminars focus on critical issues facing U.S. society that also resonate in other countries. They provide exposure to the diversity of viewpoints in the United States, promote dialogue among the seminar participants, and allow students to explore particular aspects of life in the U.S. as well as share experiences with Fulbright colleagues.
Reporters are invited to meet these outstanding Fulbright Foreign Students during the keynote address on Thursday, April 16 at the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque (3701 Carlisle, at Candelaria) at 8:00 p.m. One-on-one interviews with current Fulbright Foreign Students can also be arranged upon request.
Media representatives are also invited to cover the opening remarks given by the Seminar's keynote speaker, Maanda Ngoitiko Sinyati, founder and coordinator of the Pastoral Women's Council, an NGO working for the rights of Maasai women in the Ngorongoro district of Tanzania to own cattle in their own right and have a voice in local decision-making. She is also the advocacy officer of the Ujamaa-Community Resource Trust, a Maasai NGO working for the rights of pastoralists over their natural resources. As the manager of the Emanyatta Secondary School, she seeks to ensure the attendance of Maasai girls. She sits in government at her District level. Maanda was educated in Tanzania, Kenya and Ireland and currently is engaged in advanced degree work in Kenya.
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Government and has provided approximately 294,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential—with the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.