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Wednesday, June 15, 2011
International Humanitarians Visit 92Y

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Photo of the 2011 Ford Fellows

An advocate for ten million Indian rickshaw operators. A concert producer who brings music into the lives of Venezuela’s impoverished youth. And three young Vietnamese entrepreneurs who have devised a plan to create environmentally-friendly fuel.

And they’re all together in one place – 92nd Street Y!

On June 2, we welcomed the arrival of twenty three humanitarian leaders and community activists from eight countries who are here to participate in the eleventh annual Ford Motor Company International Fellowship of the 92nd Street Y. Since 2000, the program (underwritten by the Ford Motor Company) has welcomed 233 Fellows from 58 countries. For a world map of alumni, visit here (zoom in to see Fellows’ home countries).

This year’s Fellows come from Brazil, India, Indonesia, Israel, Romania, Vietnam – and the aforementioned Venezuela, which sent us Norma Gabriela Núñez Loaiza. Norma is a youth orchestra concert producer from the world famous El Sistema, which produced conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Learn more about El Sistema in this 60 Minutes segment.

Each day, the Fellows take graduate-level nonprofit management courses at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and meet with leaders from various New York businesses and nonprofits, including: The Open Society Foundations; the Doe Fund; the Robin Hood Foundation; Ford Motor Company; and Baker & McKenzie. They also visit New York’s diverse neighborhoods and meet local community leaders. And later this week they’ll make a trip to Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.

“We encourage the Ford Fellows to be bold in creating collaborative partnerships that serve communities better than any single organization could alone,” says Alison Gardy, director of International Relations at 92nd Street Y. “And we emphasize that community work is not about the self-preservation of the community leader or organization – but about the well-being of the community itself.”

Learn more about the Ford Fellows at 92Y.org/Ford.

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