The CBCF’s First International Program Helps Students Explore China

Contact: Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez,

19 undergraduates become student delegates through CBCF program

WASHINGTON—Nineteen college students returned from a trip to China last week, as part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) Emerging Leaders: US-China Study Abroad Program. The group, called Marcia L. Fudge Inaugural Cohort, visited Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai and studied Chinese history, Mandarin, business and politics for two weeks.

“This cohort exemplifies the CBCF’s mission to expand the reach and opportunities for African Americans globally,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of CBCF. “Our hope is that this initiative will increase African-American interest in building relationships, careers and study opportunities between the two countries.”

The trip to China began on August 2 and ended on August 18. When the students returned to the U.S., many of them said they grew as individuals, gained a new worldly perspective and learned the value of heritage—not only from the people of China, but also an appreciation for their own. For many in the cohort, it was their first time traveling on a plane and abroad. They toured the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City in Beijing and participated in lectures about China’s economy, education system, history and US-China relations.

Sophomore Nialah Wilson, a mechanical engineering major at Howard University, said the trip was inspirational. “I want to go back and gain a [deeper] sense of what China is about and, maybe, start a business there.” Wilson says she wants to make a universal impact using robotics applied in the biomedical field.

The China-U.S. Exchange Foundation (CUSEF) organized and administered the program in collaboration with CBCF.

The inaugural cohort comprise mostly freshman and sophomores chosen from 19 colleges and universities in Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member districts. Selected students had a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and nearly all majored in natural sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, international trade, business, or energy development.

To learn more about the CBCF and its programs, visit

Marcia L. Fudge Inaugural Cohort Student Participants

1. Aaron Edmond, Morgan State University
2. Aaron Walker, St. John’s University
3. Bradford Corley, Benedict College
4. Candace Young, Drexel University
5. Chelsea Burnley, Drexel University
6. Chelsea Maria Ducille, Duke University
7. Daniel Meredith, The Ohio State University
8. Eiryn Lawrence, Medgar Evers College
9. Evan Harris, Case Western Reserve University
10. Howard Rhodes, South Carolina State University
11. Israel Hill, Case Western Reserve University
12. Kamari Wright, The Ohio State University
13. Keion Howard, Morgan State University
14. Keriah Lima, Benedict College
15. Nialah Wilson, Howard University
16. Nina Nesbitt, Howard University
17. Quelantae Nunn, North Carolina Central University
18. Rachel Kazungu, Alabama State University
19. Stacy-Ann James, Medgar Evers College


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