The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. Senior Research and Policy Analyst Menna Demessie, Ph.D., was selected to participate in the GIVE1 Project as a Global Leader Fellow. Dr. Demessie, along with ten black women from across the U.S., traveled earlier this month to Benin to provide leadership development training to young women.
The GIVE1 Project is a global organization that engages young leaders in building strong and healthy communities through a network of civic engagement, hunger relief, health care, housing, legal services, employment training and educational programs.
“We, at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc., believe in the significant strides Benin and many other Sub-Saharan African countries continue to make in their efforts to promote gender equality and women empowerment as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer for CBCF. “Dr. Demessie’s work is a testament to our commitment to advancing the economic, public health and educational development of black communities around the world.”
“The GIVE1 Project gave us the opportunity to facilitate the Youth Women’s Empowerment Training as well as learn about critical problems confronting youth in Benin, such as poverty, unemployment and healthcare,” said Demessie. “As the African continent continues to work hard to fulfill the MDG goals, investing in our youth will be a critical component to combat issues of global warfare, inequality, poverty, hunger and disease.”
The trainings included discussions about self-esteem and entrepreneurship as well as political campaign exercises on sex education, reproductive healthcare and poverty. The group also met with government officials, entrepreneurs, journalists, and the U.S. Ambassador to Benin, Michael Raynor, to discuss bilateral foreign relations between the U.S. and Benin.
Dr. Demessie joined CBCF in 2011, where she serves as a senior research and policy analyst. She is responsible for leading the Foundation’s research and public policy development efforts on issues affecting the African-American and Diaspora communities. Dr. Demessie also serves as the National Youth Coordinator for the Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora, an advisory board member for the Diaspora African Women’s Network (DAWN) and adjunct professor at the University of California Washington Center.