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Dalai Lama Fellowship Awarded to Spelman College Social Justice Fellow


ATLANTA (July 5, 2012) -- Spelman College Social Justice Fellow Thekia Cheeseborough, C’2013, was recently named a Dalai Lama Fellow for the 2012-2013 academic year.  The first Spelman student to participate in this program, Cheeseborough, a psychology major, will receive a $10,000 fellowship to fund a “compassion in action" project to address the eradication of poverty.

“The Dalai Lama Fellowship means change to me” said Cheeseborough. “I am constantly engaged in discussions about how I am going to change the world in the future. As a Dalai Lama Fellow, I am no longer being asked to map out my plan for future change; instead, I am privileged to make that change today.”

Cheeseborough, whose social justice internship was with the Southern Education Foundation, successfully completed a proposal to work with teenage mothers and their children to gain access to educational resources. Through her project, she will hold a series of 11 personal and academic workshops and skill-building training sessions designed to increase education and employment options.  Contemplative reflection and meditation practices will also be introduced to participants.

“I wanted to seize the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of teenage girls in my surrounding community by encouraging educational attainment,” said Cheeseborough. “Education is the key that unlocks doors of endless possibilities. As an education advocate, I aim to help those in underserved communities gain access to the necessary resources to expand their opportunities.”

Dalai Lama Fellows is a unique global program that seeks out and encourages a new generation of emerging leaders to address some of the most persistent global challenges of the day. Personally authorized by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, the program envisions and works towards a world that tends to the good of the whole as well as of the individual.

“The Dalai Lama Fellows program and Spelman College share in common the goal of cultivating the next generation of global leaders committed to addressing important social issues,” said Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president, Spelman College. “We are delighted to be part of the program and thrilled that Spelman will be represented by Thekia Cheeseborough as a Dalai Lama fellow this year.”

The Spelman College Social Justice Fellows Program is a leadership development program in social policy advocacy designed to create opportunities for 10 rising juniors to explore how social policy responds to the critical needs – education, economic and personal security, and health and wellness – of the aged and the youth.

“The primary goal of the program is to create an infrastructure to actualize the charge to Spelman women to make a choice to change the world,” said Dr. Cynthia Neal Spence, C’78, an associate professor of sociology who heads the program.“Thekia's demonstrated intellectual energy and passion for social justice guided her as she formulated a winning proposal.  We are immensely proud of her and grateful that Spelman College was invited to participate in this fellowship program."


Media Contact(s): Spelman College
Terrilyn Simmons

404-270-5822
tsimmons8@spelman.edu

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About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a highly selective, liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, Ga., the college’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Outstanding alumnae include Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer; JPMorgan Chase Foundation President Kimberly Davis; former acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley; Harvard College Dean Evelyn Hammonds; author Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson. For more information, visit www.spelman.edu.

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