Aug 23, 2017

A Recap of the 2017 Leadership Institute

by Balungile Belz

GlobeMed, a nonprofit empowering college students to lead in global health equity, hosted its annual Leadership Institute on August 10 – 12 on Northwestern’s campus. The three-day, immersive conference prepared over 120 students for a year of leadership within their GlobeMed chapters at universities around the United States, tackling social justice issues with grassroots organizations in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

In previous years, Leadership Institute welcomed distinguished speakers such Donna Barry, Advocacy and Policy Director at Partners for Health, and Edward Cardoza, Co-Founder of Still Harbor. However, this year was unique.

Through careful planning around the program, GlobeMed introduced more opportunities for chapter leaders to interact with one another and attend staff- and student-led workshops and think tanks. These sessions focused on leading high-caliber student organizations, building diverse student teams, advancing partnership for health equity, and cultivating conversations for informed leadership.

MacKenzie McCloud shares a laugh with GlobeMed at Georgia State University co-founder Caleb Whitefield


Besides championing the next leaders of global health equity, LI provided a space for like-minded individuals to network and form cross-chapter relationships grounded in values of social justice and health equity.

“This is my very first time attending LI. I am super excited to meet everyone here, and hear from other chapter members about their work, their partners, and plans for the new year. I am also excited to get ideas about we can do to build our GlobeMed [chapter] next year!” said Nivedha Meyyappan, ghU Coordinator at GlobeMed at Indiana University.

Nivedha Meyyappan attended the LI as a delegate AND staff member, having spent the summer completing a communications internship at GlobeMed HQ.

For more memorable moments, check out our Facebook album and view social media engagement via our Storify! Thank you to our supporters at the Global Health Fellows Program II, the Medical School for International Health and Lyft for help making this year’s LI a success!


Post-It notes from this year’s delegates:

WHY do we engage in partnership?

To better our global society, and address health inequities in an intersectional way, knowing that local expertise trumps technocratic paternalism.

To reach a common goal and discover leaders worldwide.

Understanding our power dynamics, and shifting power.

“Draw what ‘partnership’ means to you.”

How we do we integrate partnership into all aspects of our chapters?

Instilling the importance of partnership in all chapter members.

Creating a Brave Space for people to collaborate and encourage idea-sharing.

Constant communication and collaboration. Advocacy during fundraisers. Education through ghU.

Information about the language and the culture of grassroots partners.

Inter-chapter partnerships!

GlobeMed Global Headquarters staff with former ED Maya Cohen and GlobeMed co-founder Victor Roy.

My hope for ghUs this year:

Create a space where people feel comfortable speaking up, especially about heated current events.

Effectively engage my chapter in compassionate reflection discussion and learning to give a better understanding of self and community.

To leave our members stimulated and inspired to bring change.

To achieve health equity in our lifetime!

Every member of GlobeMed will take away something from every ghU session.

Make ghUs interactive, fun, and inspiring!


3 things I’ve learned:

You don’t need big, complicated questions to engage discussion. Collaboration is key. Your own opinion isn’t always right.

People don’t like chocolate as much as I originally thought. Our group is overall more realistic than optimistic. I can make an impact even though I am young.

We can disagree but still collaborate on issues. We are not alone in our efforts. My efforts matter.


What role does GROW play in our partnership model?

Build relationship with partner – helps them understand our capacity and helps us understand their challenges.

Interns serves as a liaison between the chapter and the partner.

Friendship 🙂

The 2017 Leadership Institute delegates show of the ‘GlobeMed sign’!

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