Leaders of the Free World is an international experience and leadership development program for young Black men.
Leaders of the Free World focuses on the personal and professional development of young Black men in order to cultivate a new generation of global leaders. Our Fellowship program is designed to help LFW Fellows become those future leaders, whether on campus or in their lives ahead. The program combines individual personal and professional development with cultural exchange and identity-based mentorship. Fellows gain a broader view of the world and themselves while receiving encouragement and guidance from their mentors and support and community from their cohort. The Fellowship program incorporates cultural education and immersion, soft skills-building, leadership-focused education, and community service with an overall focus on goal-setting and accountability. The model is designed to cultivate a sense of self-mastery, personal growth, and self efficacy.
The LFW Fellowship program consists of three tiers: a virtual Pre-departure program, a two-week international experiential learning trip, and 12-week virtual re-entry program where students reflect on their experiences at home and abroad and solidify their development as LFW Fellows. Throughout each step of the Fellowship program, participants engage in leadership development activities and assignments to help them get to the core of their experiences and how they can plan for success as students and as future leaders. Students are paired with an accountability partner and mentor and gain access to a network of leaders from various industries. They are coached through the LFW curriculum which is based on the transtheoretical model of change. This framework guides our students through a process of Consciousness Raising, Re-evaluation, Counter-Conditioning, and Self-Liberation.
The LFW Fellowship Model:
The LFW Fellowship Model:
- (Phase 1) Students participate in a four-month virtual Pre-departure program that includes group discussions, assignments, and lectures on leadership development and social awareness from industry-leading practitioners.
- (Phase 2) Students travel to Ghana for a two-week international experience exploring themes in leadership, intercultural activities, service-learning, and Ghanaian history. Programming includes small group dialogues and Ghanaian historical site visits.
- (Phase 3) Students complete a 12-week virtual re-entry program that includes personal goal-setting and building a success plan to help them integrate their experiences into their academic and professional goals. Upon completion of the program, participants become official LFW Fellows and program Alumni.
Ready to become a Leader of the Free Word? The LFW Fellowship program is open to Black men currently enrolled at an accredited US college or university who show leadership potential and meet certain other criteria. Full eligibility can be found on our application page:
Interested in having your students join the next LFW Fellowship Cohort? Learn more!
Video: LFW Program Overview
NKWA Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor for our organization. Their EIN# is 46-5558879. All donations are tax-exempt under their 501(c)(3) tax status. Checks for Leaders of the Free World should be made out to "NKWA Foundation" (with "Leaders of the Free World" or "LFW" in the memo line) and mailed to: Leaders of the Free World, 276 Bridge St. Springfield, MA 01103