Dr. Mary Gitau, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Clarke University, was awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) to work with Professor Herman Kiriama at Kisii University on a project entitled Actualizing Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Social Work Curriculum Co-Development and Graduate Student Training and Mentoring at Kisii University in Kenya.
This fellowship will allow Gitau to continue the work she began in Kisii, resulting from a 2018 Carnegie fellowship. The primary goal of the fellowship is to facilitate the actualization of the Center for Peace and Conflict. Gitau helped lay the foundation and vision for this center during her 2018 trip to Kenya. During this current fellowship, she will help create manuals and templates for short-term workshops for students, faculty, staff, and community leaders. These will help to learn concrete strategies that will enable them to be more aware of peace and conflict within their communities and equip them with knowledge and skills to create stronger, healthier communities.
Kisii University is located in a cosmopolitan city surrounded by several communities facing threats against their peace, and the communities are fighting against the invasion of their territory. Establishment of the Center for Peace, Social Justice, Equality, and Security will help address the infighting among communities and bring different stakeholders together for peaceful dialogue.
“My participation in this CADF project will present an opportunity for me to incorporate many of the ideas and knowledge into my teaching, consequently, impacting Clarke students’ intellectual growth while broadening their world view,” said Gitau. “It will also strengthen Clarke’s global connections, strengthen institutional linkages, and engage in innovative activities that would address higher education transformation. In addition, it will further Clarke’s commitment to social justice, social responsibility, and global awareness.”
CADFP, now in its seventh year, is designed to increase Africa’s brain circulation, build capacity at the host institutions, and develop long-term, mutually-beneficial collaborations between universities in Africa and universities in the United States and Canada. It is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in collaboration with United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) in Nairobi, Kenya, which coordinates the activities of the Advisory Council. A total of 527 African Diaspora Fellowships have been awarded for scholars to travel to Africa since the program’s inception in 2013.