Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Leadership Institute Challenges Students to Think Globally

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Leadership Institute Challenges Students to Think Globally

Article excerpt


For Charles Reynolds, attending the Goldman Sachs Global Leadership Institute last month was a humbling experience, one that opened his eyes to a more culturally diverse world.

"There are many interesting people around the world that are trying to make a difference," says Reynolds, a junior finance major at Howard University in Washington. "It's a humbling experience to meet with different leaders around the world. You start to realize that there are problems that you don't see in the United States ... there are things that we take for granted."

Since its inception in July 2001, the Goldman Sachs Global Leadership Institute, sponsored by the Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Institute of International Education, has helped many students like Reynolds begin to think more in-depth about international affairs.

Based in New York, the institute brings students from different countries together for one week to build relationships and discuss major global issues. The program also includes workshops on the challenges of leadership and leadership simulation.

Faculty from Morehouse College, a historically Black institution in Atlanta, led a series of interactive workshops on leadership simulation throughout the program last month. The workshops provided students with different frameworks for leadership and focused on the ethics of leadership. Student groups were presented with different ethical issues and asked to confer with group members and present a solution.

A focus on terrorism was included in the workshop line-up this year in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. In the workshop, "Challenged to Leadership in the 21st Century -- The Hurdles Presented by Terrorism," three cultural perspectives were given on the issue of terrorism as a global issue.

Dr. John Esposito, founding director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, shared his beliefs on why Americans don't understand terrorism and explained that we are the only country in the world that, before Sept. 11, hadn't experienced terrorism; Dr. Mahnaz Ispahani, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, discussed how women can create a stable and ethical framework within their families, communities and ultimately the nation to combat terrorism; and Dr. Gwendolyn Mikell, director of the African Studies Program in the School of Foreign Service and professor of anthropology at Georgetown University, offered her perspective on how Africa is dealing with terrorism in the face of political divisiveness.

The exposure the students receive from the workshops and other students is what makes the leadership institute a beneficial experience, says Garry Jenkins, chief operating officer of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. …

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