Courtesy of Howard University

Howard University, which has been working the past five years on increasing its engagement with the country of Colombia, has officially launched HU/COL Avanza, a comprehensive strategy to collectively engage with the country of Colombia as an institution.

The initiative aims to provide opportunities for Howard students and faculty to have compelling international experiences, strengthen their Spanish language skills, and build relationships with other members of the African diaspora, the university said a statement.

“Additionally, there will be initiatives to support entrepreneurship, innovation, education, health care, justice, equity, diversity and inclusion for people of African descent in Colombia through intensive engagement and educational exchange opportunities led by Howard University,” the school said.

“In 2018, I traveled to Colombia to gain a better understanding of the education and community landscape, and I was impressed by the students and peoples I met with during my visit,” Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick said in the statement. “Our goal is to continue to develop the partnership with Colombia to provide opportunities for our and their faculty, staff and students to increase their academic and research careers. The HU/COL Avanza initiative will seek to create those opportunities in an interdisciplinary way.”

The U.S. Department of Education and the Colombian Ministry of Education also signed an MOU in 2019 to commit to strengthening relationships between HBCUs and Colombian institutions.

“In the coming weeks we will announce other initiatives with partners in Colombia as part of HU/COL Avanza that will strengthen entrepreneurship, microenterprise support and development, global competency skills, increase equity, and access to education and support global learning in Colombia and at Howard University,” said Tonija Hope, director of the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center. “Additionally, we will pursue future opportunities in the areas of community health care, environmental sustainability and innovation.”

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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