August 31, 2020
Cohort 4 Graduation Ceremony
On June 30, 2020, the eight participants from GWSLP Cohort 4 graduated after the successful completion of all the program requirements. The graduation ceremony was held as a Zoom event. The ceremony provided an opportunity to bring the GWSLP community together and to celebrate the exceptional leadership and meaningful work accomplished by Cohort 4 over the past year. More than 35 people, including a large number of GWSLP Alumni and key stakeholders attended the online ceremony.
Over the past year, Cohort 4 participants had the opportunity to attend two week-long leadership development trainings (one in Ghana and one in New York City). With support from coaches and the NYU Wagner team, each participant designed and implemented an Action Learning Project to tackle critical needs in their communities or organizations. They also attended coaching groups and individual sessions with accomplished Ghanaian leaders who supported the development of their leadership goals and Action Learning Projects.
Nana Afadzinu, the WACSI Executive Director and GWSLP coach, moderated the graduation ceremony. Frankie Edozien, Director of NYU Accra welcomed everyone and congratulated the Cohort 4 graduates. He talked about the relevance of the program for NYU and the interest of the University in supporting the development of women in Ghana and around the world. Alicia Cebada, Mujeres for Africa Foundation Officer, highlighted the successful and impressive outcomes of the Cohort 4 Action Learning Projects. She stated that the Cohort 4 Action Learning Projects not only allowed participants to practice skills they have learned, but also contributed to supporting women’s and girls’ rights, leadership development and mentoring, opening opportunities for recent graduates in the agriculture sector, and supporting young girls to pursue higher education, among other outcomes. She also highlighted the powerful network that the program had created in Ghana, stating, “Don’t forget to reach out to the amazing GWSLP alumni network composed today of more than 50 women alumni, who are today powerful leaders in Ghana, tackling key issues and contributing to bring positive change in Ghana.”
During the event, each of the 8 graduates had the opportunity to present their Action Learning Project results and talked about their positive experience with the coaching component and the GWSLP program.
Dr. Rose Mensa Kutin, Director, ABANTU for Development and a GWSLP coach, congratulated the group and talked about the impact of the GWSLP in Ghana. Dr. Kutin stated that the GWSLP has developed a critical mass of Ghanaian women leaders in the past 6 years through 4 cohorts (50 women leaders in total), who are now making change in Ghana. She also stated that the GWSLP has provided rich opportunities to many other leaders in Ghana to contribute to shape the program, exchange knowledge and learn new approaches to coaching and leadership development which they are now applying in their organizations and other programs.
Bashiratu Kamal, Alum of GWSLP and Gender Equality Officer, GAWU of TUC-GH, spoke on behalf of the GWSLP alumni. She highlighted the gains she and others have obtained from the GWSLP, which helped them to shape their leadership and activism. “The GWSLP program helped us to build our leadership and supported us in developing critical professional skills. Personally, The GWSLP helped me to pursue a higher degree and reaffirm in me the fight for social justice.” Bashiratu pointed out that GWSLP fellows are now contributing to bringing transformational change in Ghana. She remarked that some GWSLP fellows have created new social enterprises or organizations; others have obtained funding to sustain their Action Projects further. In addition, several GWSLP alumni won other fellowships and were invited as speakers to the UN and other international conferences. Others as Bash, have written several articles and advanced successful campaigns to support women’s rights in Ghana. Recently, the GWSLP alumni created a COVID-19 fund to help vulnerable populations in Ghana during the pandemic.
At the end of the program, Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla, NYU Wagner GWSLP Director, congratulated the group for their accomplishments and highlighted the valuable work advanced by the coaches and the support received from other partners, which has been fundamental for the program’s success. She reminded the GWSLP Cohort 4 and alumni that, more than ever, the world needs women in leadership positions. “I invite you to step up into this challenging moment and future with courage, compassion with your mind and heart open and with the confidence that you are prepared to take over these challenging times.” She encouraged GWSLP leaders to be confident that they will know how to use their leadership skills to work with others, help their community, and come with strategies to navigate and tackle issues that are affecting women, girls, and other vulnerable populations in Ghana and beyond.
Nana Afadzinu closed the ceremony reminding Cohort 4 and GWSLP alumni that as leaders they are not alone at this critical moment. “The GWSLP has created a powerful network of women leaders, coaches, organizations, and practitioners that have worked with you and will continue supporting each other”.
The GWSLP and the NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service congratulates Cohort 4 and thanks the coaches, leadership Development providers in Ghana and New York City; Ghana Wins! Colleagues; NYU Wagner faculty, staff, and students; NYU Accra; and other leaders in Ghana and USA who have contributed to shaping this program and to ensure its success.
April 8, 2019
Cohort 4 Training and Alumni Reception
On February 28th, 2019 The Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program selected 8 exceptional women to be part of Cohort 4. The new Fellows represent civil society organizations in Ghana that support human and gender rights, property rights, political participation, anti-corruption efforts, education and leadership for women, among other issues.
The Cohort 4 participants attended a week-long leadership institute in Ghana from April 8-13, 2019. The institute was held in Accra and Akosombo and was facilitated by leadership development experts from NYU Wagner, the University of Ghana, leadership development practitioners and civil society women-leaders from Ghana. The training institute included sessions such as Understanding Leadership in the Ghanaian Context; Gender and Leadership; Management and Leadership; Conflict Resolution; Communications and Public Speaking; Monitoring and Evaluation, Tackling Corruption at the local level and developing a theory of Change (ToC) model. The training institute was an opportunity for participants to network and build a community of practice to lead transformational change.
Cohort 4 participants also had the opportunity to meet the GWSLP alumni during a reception which was held on the first day of the training in Accra. Dr. Rose Kutin, director of ABANTU and GWSLP coach welcomed the group and Amparo Hofmann Pinilla, director of GWSLP opened the event. In addition to the reception, The GWSLP held a panel discussion with five alumni facilitated by Dr. Akosua Darkwah the head of the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy, at the University of Ghana. Panel participants shared their experiences as GWSLP fellows and discussed how their participation in the program continues to influence their networks, work, and leadership.
The feedback and evaluations collected from participants demonstrated that the training was very successful. The participants are now working with their coaches to develop their Action Learning Plans and advance their leadership goals.
December 1, 2017
Cohort 3 Graduation and Alumni Forum
On December 1, 2017, the third GWSLP cohort (2016-2017) graduated from our program. During the ceremony, Akosua Anyidoho, Director of NYU Accra and Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla, Director of the GWSLP, opened the event by welcoming participants and special guests. Alicia Cebada, Officer of Mujeres Por Africa Foundation, highlighted the accomplishments of the cohort and invited graduates to continue working on their leadership and making impact in their organizations and communities. Each participant had the opportunity to present the outcomes of their Action Learning Projects and reflect on lessons learned. Special guests included GWSLP coaches, GWSLP faculty, GWSLP graduates from cohort 1 and 2, representatives of participant’s organizations and other key stakeholders. The event offered an opportunity to celebrate and learn about the meaningful accomplishments of this cohort and the program.
Following the graduation ceremony, the GWSLP program organized an Alumni forum attended by alumni from the two previous cohorts, cohort 3 graduates, GWSLP coaches and GWSLP program staff. The event included a panel conversation titled, “Unleashing the Power of Networks: Uniting as Women to Lead Transformative Social Change in Ghana.” The panel was moderated by Alicia Cebada, Mujeres for Africa. Panelist for this conversation included Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, The Ark Foundation; Hamida Harrison, Women’s Manifesto Coalition; Nana Oye Lithur, Former Minister of Gender and Jacqui Oyimer, West African Network of Young Female Leaders (ROAJELF). The panelist shared valuable information based on their experience as women leaders and their participation in coalitions and networks in Ghana. A lively discussion was held with the audience around the importance of networks and collaboration to sustain women leadership. In addition, at the end of the afternoon the GWSLP alumni had the opportunity to discuss opportunities and strategies for future engagement and to strengthen the GWSLP Network.
Second Leadership Development Institute in NYC
Cohort three participants visited New York City for the second GWSLP leadership institute, from May 27 to June 4, 2017. This institute was designed to complement learning from the October 2016 Leadership Institute Training in Ghana, the implementation of participant Action Learning Projects (ALPs), and the coaching component. The institute provided excellent opportunities to learn from NYU faculty, leadership development practitioners, and from the work of exemplary NYC organizations and leaders. The institute included sessions on Rethinking Power in the Global Context; How to Communicate with Confidence; Personality, Preferences and Work Styles; Time Management and A New Approach to Social Enterprise Creation, among others. Site visits to the following organizations were also an important component to participant learning: The Opportunity Network; Harlem Growth and the Clinton Foundation. At the Clinton Foundation, three GWSLP participants had the opportunity to present their ALPs and share about their experience as GWSLP participants.
Cohort 3: First Leadership Development Institute in Ghana
Participants of the third GWSLP cohort attended a week- long leadership institute in Ghana from October 18-23, 2016. The institute was held in Accra and Akosombo. This institute, is a core component of the program, intended to encourage peer-to-peer learning, reflection, critical thinking, and the application of key concepts in the planning and implementation of participant’s Action Learning Projects (ALP). The GWSLP Director and other members of the NYU team facilitated the institute in in collaboration with local faculty and leadership providers. Workshops focused on critical topics in leadership, gender and program management. Participants learned key elements of Theory of Change (ToC) and had the opportunity to develop a first draft of their Action Learning Project’s TOC.
May 2, 2016
GRADUATING THE SECOND COHORT & WELCOMING THE THIRD COHORT OF LEADING WOMEN IN SOCIAL CHANGE
On May 2, 2016, the Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program (GWSLP) held a graduation ceremony for the 2015-2016 cohort. The event acknowledged 15 exceptional graduates—Ghanaian women leaders who, over the past year, have dedicated themselves to advancing their leadership through training and have worked with Ghanaian coaches to develop Action Learning Projects (ALPs) that tackle critical needs in their communities or organizations.
Speakers at the ceremony included Akosua Anidydoho, Director of New York University in Ghana; Alicia Cebada, Program Coordinator for the Mujeres for Africa Foundation, which, along with Banco Santander, collaborate on the program; and Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla, Director of GWSLP at NYU Wagner. Each participant also presented her ALP results and plans to sustain the projects in the future.
Housed at NYU Wagner and launched in 2013, the GWSLP is a one-year, cohort-based leadership development program for women in mid-level positions in Ghanaian civil society organizations. Through the program’s leadership development, individualized coaching, and networking opportunities, participants develop the skills and support needed to lead transformational change in their communities and society at large.
The unique program reflects NYU Wagner’s belief that, as Hofmann-Pinilla explained, "leadership is not a heroic act, but is a collective endeavor which results from the capacity to build direction and commitment working with others towards a common goal."
One of this year’s graduates, Bashiratu Kumal, spoke on behalf of her cohort, highlighting the program’s impact on women's leadership. "The GWSLP has helped us elevate our leadership. Because of GWSLP, we are now bold, proactive, and confident. We are ready to continue working together towards building a better Ghana with decisions made by men and women."
The ceremony also welcomed the third GWSLP cohort—12 Ghanaian women who represent civil organizations advancing human rights, youth leadership development, children rights, accountability and transparency, and women’s and girls’ rights, among other critical issues facing Ghana. In the coming year, the new participants will attend a week-long leadership development training and a one-week leadership institute in NYC. They will also implement Action Learning Projects throughout the year through the support of coaches and accomplished Ghanaian women leaders.
July 25 - August 1, 2015
Second Cohort: Leadership Training institute in New York City
The "Leadership Training Institute in New York" was organized for the second cohort of the Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program from July 25 through August 1, 2015. This training institute was attended by 14 second cohort participants. The training institute provided a comprehensive program with workshop sessions in the morning and site visits in the afternoon, to social change organizations such as The Opportunity Network, Global Kids and Harlem Grown. Visits also included the United Nations, Ellis Island Museum, the High Line and other NYC points of educational interest.
The leadership sessions provided relevant skills to participants to build their leadership and continue tackling the most pressing social issues in their organizations and communities. The institute provided an excellent opportunity for the GWSLP participants to continue strenghtening networks, and coordinating and sharing resources. It created a space for participants to learn from NYU faculty, leadership development practitioners, and from the work advanced by exemplary social change organizations, while enjoying the richness and diversity of New York City. As the participants continue implementing their Action-Learning Projects, they will continue to take full advantage of the opportunity the program offers.
March 16 - March 21, 2015
Second Cohort: Leadership Training institute in Ghana
The Ghanaian Women’s Social Leadership Program conducted the first "Leadership Institute in Ghana" for the second cohort, from March 16 through 21, 2015. This training was facilitated by leadership development experts from NYU Wagner and the University of Ghana, and leadership development practitioners and civil society women-leaders from Ghana.
The training institute included sessions such as: Understanding Leadership in the Ghanaian Context; Gender and Leadership; Management and Leadership; Conflict Resolution; Communications and Public Speaking; Monitoring and Evaluation; and, Tackling Corruption at the local level. The training institute was an opportunity for participants to network and build a community of practice to lead transformational change.
In the months ahead, participants will be working with their respective coaches, advancing their action learning plans and their personal leadership goals.
January 17, 2015
First Cohort : 2015 Graduation ceremony
The "2015 Graduation ceremony" acknowledged the accomplishments of 15 exceptional Ghanaian women leaders who were part of the first cohort of the program. These women developed their leadership skills through coaching and training, and developed meaningful Action-Learning projects, that tackled critical organizational and community needs in Ghana. This event was also an opportunity to welcome the second cohort of 15 Ghanaian women who will benefit from the coaching, networking and leadership development training opportunities offered by the Ghanaian Women's Social Leadership Program.
Click here to explore the Action-Learning plans advanced by the First Cohort participants.