Building partnerships

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mumbi Mwangi and Debra Leigh

Mumbi Mwangi, left, and Debra Leigh

In an exchange program designed to facilitate group partnerships between East African and African American women, two professors spent five weeks in Tanzania and Kenya launching the International Black Women’s Leadership Project.

Professor Debra Leigh, theatre, film studies and dance, and Assistant Professor Mumbi Mwangi, women’s studies, met with women in Kenya, Tanzania and on the island of Zanzibar, locations chosen because of the similarities that exist between the challenges women in East Africa and Black women in America face as they work to achieve leadership roles in their communities.

The research project is expected to lead to an International Black Women’s Leadership Institute that will provide opportunities for women to develop their leadership skills at local and international levels.

Leigh, who has taught at St. Cloud State since 1989, used her sabbatical in 2002-03 to start the Namaste Dance Company at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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