Ford Foundation Announces Its First Global Fellows

This next generation of social justice leaders includes Ashoka Fellow Adriana Barbosa
Ford Fellows
Source: Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is launching its first Global Fellows Program that identifies and connects emerging leaders from across the globe who are advancing innovative ideas and solutions to combat inequality—and give them the support to work better, faster and deeper. Ashoka Fellow Adriana Barbosa is one of the 24 Ford Foundation Global Fellows who are combating inequality on a local level in order to create long-lasting results on a global scale.

These Fellows bring diverse backgrounds, fields, and approaches to tackling inequality across civil society, government, and the private sector as well as academia. Inequality is the defining challenge of our times, and the COVID-19 crisis threatens to deepen the ever-growing gap in wealth and opportunity around the world. 

Billions of people are excluded from full participation in the political, economic, and cultural systems that shape their lives. The pandemic has intensified the need for more social justice leaders who can help raise the voices of historically marginalized communities around the world.

Barbosa is building a social and economic architecture to remove invisible barriers against black people at the corporate level to foster afro entrepreneurship in Brazil. She accelerates, connects and promotes afro-entrepreneurs while working with large companies to include them in their value chain.

Each member of the inaugural cohort has demonstrated impressive impact and is at an inflection point in his or her career where additional resources, access to a collaborative global network, and tailored leadership support will help unleash their full potential. The collaborative work of Ford Foundation Global Fellows often emerges from their own lived experience with the challenges of inequality, and connects them with a robust network and the support they need to accelerate the impact of their work.

The cornerstone of the program will consist of multi-day convenings, held in different regions across the world, where fellows will learn from site visits, guest speakers and other experiences unique to the local setting. The fellows will also receive funding and resources to develop and pursue an Individual Learning Plan to advance their own leadership development.

The inaugural cohort of 24 fellows will be selected in early 2020, and will be drawn from four regions: Brazil, United States, East Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa. In following years, future cohorts will be selected from seven other regions where the Ford Foundation has a presence: Mexico and Central America; the Andean region; West Africa; Southern Africa; India, Sri Lanka and Nepal; Indonesia; and China.

The fellows will be connected to each other, and to others within the Ford Foundation network, to create a multiplier effect for their work, leading to wider impact within and across regions.They are well-poised to grow their leadership through the power of cross-regional learning.

Adriana Barbosa

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2018