Duquesne University President Charles J. Dougherty was presented with the Nelson Mandela Leadership and Diversity Award by the Afrika Yetu organization at their annual Black Diamond Ball on Oct. 17. “Afrika Yetu and Duquesne share similar missions. Afrika Yetu is a support group for African immigrants. Duquesne was founded in 1878 to bring higher education to the children of immigrants,” said Dougherty. “It is a great honor to receive such a meaningful award, particularly when our 2010-15 Strategic Plan calls for developing new University links to Africa.”
The Mandela award recognizes area individuals who have been instrumental in aiding African students and immigrants in Pittsburgh.
“President Dougherty and Duquesne go above and beyond to accommodate students. The University is truly a multicultural one that is very welcoming to the African and African-American communities,” said Elie Kihonia, president of Afrika Yetu. “In addition, the presence of the Spiritan Congregation—Duquesne’s founders—is positively affecting the spread of Christianity in Africa. We thank Dr. Dougherty and Duquesne for all their efforts.”
Afrika Yetu describes its vision as being “a cultural hub, building bridges between African immigrants and the American community (that) works to unite people through education, the arts and social networks.”
Dougherty was honored with two other awardees, Robert O. Agbede, president and chief executive officer of Chester Engineers, Inc., and Dr. Shirley Olayinka Aganga-Williams, executive director of Ajapo Refugee Resettlement Organization.