The Ford Foundation has today announced its 2021 Ford Global Fellows, the foundation’s flagship global fellowship program, with a $50 million investment supporting emerging leaders around the world.
The announcement doubles the number of fellows slated for its second year and with representation from West Africa. This in an effort to provide more leaders the critical support they need in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 48 new fellows will join the inaugural cohort launched in 2020 and include one Fellow from Togo and Sierra Leone, and two from Nigeria. Together, the three cohorts will comprise 72 (of what will eventually be 240 Fellows over ten years) promising global leaders.
“We are scaling the Ford Global Fellows faster because this crisis requires bolder commitments to creating a more just and equitable future,” says Adria Goodson, director of the Ford Global Fellowship. “People who are most proximate to injustice are stepping up and surfacing solutions to local challenges driven by global structures of inequality.”
Compounded by vaccine inequity, job precarity, climate change, rising authoritarianism, and racial and gender inequity, COVID-19 has laid bare the crisis of inequality with a renewed urgency to combat it. Ford Foundation has responded by scaling up the Ford Global Fellowship to support leaders from communities who face injustice head-on, and help them cultivate their ideas and energy in solving long-standing inequalities exposed or exacerbated by the pandemic.
The fellowships will provide these emerging leaders with the tools, networks, and solidarity they need to work better, smarter, and more sustainably in the long haul.
“Inequality and injustice defy borders. The Ford Global Fellows are bringing their local experiences to learn from each other’s work and design and reimagine solutions to global systems of inequality. We are excited to welcome Adebukola (Bukky) Shonibare and Ekaete Umoh from Nigeria, Farida Nabourema from Togo and Joseph Kaifala from Sierra Leone,” announced Dabesaki Mac-Ikemenjima, Ford Foundation program officer, West Africa.