The Sankofa Leadership Development Program
The Sankofa Leadership Development Program provides young people with opportunities that are often not presented to youth in their communities. The program focuses on exposing young people to the vast range of opportunities that are out there but often seem unattainable.
In 2019, we took 10 young men to South Africa. Five of them have been in the juvenile justice system and five are academic scholars. None of them had left the state of California or would otherwise have had the resources to travel to South Africa. As a part of their preparation, they met each month to have conversations around their commonalities and differences, how society sees them and how they see themselves.
They were required to journal, interview city officials and leaders, and upon returning, mentor the next round of participants. Topics each month included but weren't limited to civic engagement, social entrepreneurship, public speaking accountability and personal responsibility.
The young men all between 16-24 years old, were mentored and have traveled as a group with mentors to have conversations with other young men in South Africa of the same age who shared their experiences and challenges. When they returned home, they shared their experience with other young men in their local high schools and middle schools. We hope to start back with our tours in 2021 if the pandemic subsides.