Dillard University Campus Visit 2022 : Inspiring Changemakers
Starting 19th April 2022, a cohort of Melton Fellows embarked on a journey to Dillard University, New Orleans. Fellows from Chile, Ghana, India, Germany, and the USA congregated to showcase social impact projects, participate in events centered around global citizenship, engage in discussions, and build camaraderie through activities like campus tours!
Convening in a physical environment after a long spell of virtual meetings owing to the pandemic, the Fellows embraced the opportunity to exchange ideas and stories, and introduce themselves through icebreakers. During the visit, they contributed to enriching the Dillard University (DU) campus through workshops, cultural presentations, and more! The delegation also claimed the opportunity to present the Melton Foundation at a research fair, deliberate in an open session on Global Citizenship, visit classes, host a breakfast for civil society organizations, work on a community project and dive into the rich local culture!
Amongst the myriad experiences, a visit to the Whitney Plantation provided deep insight to the Fellows about the historical context of the practice of slavery and the hardships it imposed upon the people traded as slaves to work in the plantation. Another tour to the French Quarter Festival served as an intercultural experience where jazz music fused with the local culture to create a wholesome picture of the cultural and social landscape of New Orleans.
Sangeetha Sundaram, a participating Fellow from India, says :
“The research fair at DU was very informative and also gave us the opportunity to present our work as fellows. The presentations were personally my favorite. I got to learn about projects of fellows across countries and the plethora of problem-solving strategies each one of us applies to tackle social issues. This day also included cultural performances where I got an opportunity to showcase Indian music.”
The highlight of the visit to the Dillard University campus was the public showcase of the social impact projects undertaken by the Fellows, each targeting a different SDG(s), examples in the action of the collaborative power of global citizenship. The themes of the projects are as below :
- Green the Red: Sangeetha Sundaram and Paula Vásquez
- Understanding Mental Health Through Film: Anirudh Bathija
- Yellow, Black, and Green Bright Modern Native American information: Abigail Yayra Asafo
- All about the mind: Shravani Vangur
- Composting Workshop: José Tomás Ordoñez
- Quality Education for the Underprivileged: Sangeetha Sundaram
The Fellows also engaged in interactions with experts and practitioners in the field of Global Citizenship, including Senior Melton Fellows and global leaders. Melton Fellow from Ghana, Abigail Asafo quotes :
“Dillard has a stunning campus, and it is the nicest campus I have seen so far. I built a strong bond with the other fellows from Chile and India. These are the coolest people I have met, and I hope to travel with them again in the future. The Melton foundation staff was also amazing. They were willing to help and give a helping hand to any of the fellows.”
As the Fellows bid goodbye and wrapped up their journey to return to their home campuses, they carried with them key takeaways, productive insights, stronger friendships and innovative ideas that continue to evolve them into global citizens on a mission to create a sustainable future!
Take a look at some glimpses from the Dillard University Campus Visit here!