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Mandela Washington Fellowship Overview

A 6-week Academic and Leadership Institute


Each week of the Institute will be organized around morning sessions led by a specific team of Bridgewater State faculty presenting one of the five sub-themes listed above and engaging in a conversation with the Fellows on the application of the team leaders’ expertise and views to situations in the Fellows’ home country. Each session will be followed by a presentation by an expert practitioner in the specific sub-theme area. The emphasis of these sessions will be cooperative and comparative learning.

The team academic and practitioner session will be continued during a lunch and learn period when the morning discussions will be continued over an informal lunch. Most afternoons there will be various site visits that are compatible with the morning session and the specific sub-themes. On designated days there will also be sessions on leadership, preparation for the Summit in Washington, conversations with peer collaborators and community service visits. Each Friday there will be scheduled time for assessment purposes, skill building and interaction with team leaders and the academic director.


  1. Visit to Edward M. Kennedy United States Senate Institute – Replica of US Senate and simulation of legislative process in the United States and numerous displays of the history of the United States Senate.
  2. Visit to the Massachusetts State House and tour of the Senate and House of Representatives and conversations with key legislators on public policy issues.
  3. Visit to Old Colony Planning Agency to talk with officials on regional efforts to improve infrastructure and economic development.
  4. Visit to various cities in the region to talk with mayors and other public officials to explore ways that these leaders are managing their public sectors and developing strategies to move their cities forward.
  5. Visit to Boston Food Bank to gain an understanding of how this critical non-profit organization collects and distributes food to the neediest residents of the greater Boston area.
  6. Tour on campus the summer Bridge Program that brings disadvantaged middle and high school students to the BSU campus to take specialized courses and help them prepare for a university experience in their future years.
  7. Visit Gifts to Give, a non-profit that receives used clothing and distributes the items to those in need. Fellows will likely participate in sorting and distribution efforts at this non-profit.


  1. Visit to Plimoth Plantation, a living museum that recreates the life and modes of living of the early Pilgrims to Massachusetts and the new world.
  2. Visit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, a world renowned center for understanding the role that whaling played in the economy of Massachusetts and the impact that whaling had on the ethnic character of the region.
  3. Attendance at a New England Revolution game, which is the local professional football (soccer) team at Gillette Stadium, the largest sports venue in the region.
  4. Visit to the Museum of African History and attendance at Africa Day on city hall plaza in Boston. A day filled with a look at the connection of Boston to Africa.
  5. A visit to Boston’s famed Freedom Trail – a walk through the city to see the many historical sites associated with our war of independence.
  6. A boat ride to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts that has great social and cultural importance.


  1. A greater understanding of the American approach to public management and the possible applications to the situations in each of the Fellows’ home country.
  2. An opportunity to interact with expert practitioners, peer collaborators and site visit leaders to examine how these individuals manage bureaucracies, political institutions, non-profits and other policy agencies.
  3. Skill building, networking and cultural immersion opportunities that will provide the Fellows with new approaches to public management they can utilize in their home countries.


The Bridgewater State University Institute has been fortunate to receive generous support from a number of organizations such as the New Bedford Whaling Museum, Plimoth Plantation, the New England Revolution Soccer Team, Office of the Mayor of Boston, The African History Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, and other organizations currently being approached for their support.

The Bridgewater State University Institute is in the process of meeting with a range of donors from the banking industry, businesses associated with local Chambers of Commerce, alumni groups and generous alumni for contributions to ensure a successful and rewarding experience for the Fellows.

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