The Leadership Center at Morehouse College
2009 Oprah Winfrey South Africa Leadership Project
For 16 days during May 2009, six Morehouse students traveled to South Africa as part of the Leadership Center’s Oprah Winfrey South Africa Leadership Project. The project allows students to study ethical leadership within the context of South Africa with special interest in the correlation of HIV/AIDS and poverty. The mission is academic, practical and diplomatic.
The students – Eric Vickers, Vann Newkirk, Adam McFarland, Jonathan Moore, Tremaine McGregor ’09 and Maurice Wilkins – were hosted by the U. S. Embassy and were introduced to the challenges of democratic governance by the U. S. Embassy Cultural Affairs and Office of International Health. The remainder of the trip involved cultural exposure in Johannesburg, Attridgeville, Evaton Township, Soweto, Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Wynberg.
The following journal entries recounts the lessons learned, the hopes and dreams that were inspired, and the challenges set before the students as they sought to become ethical leaders in a global community.
Day 1: Monday, May 18, 2009
Tremaine McGregor ’09 - Today was the day that I embarked on a journey that could potentially change my life by the time I return. After just graduating from Morehouse College yesterday, and officially completing my induction into the distinguished and illustrious club of Morehouse Men, I have begun what I can describe as my personal senior trip.
Day 2: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Adam McFarland - Before I begin my personal reflection on the short lived, but interesting events of today, let me make one statement: It was absolutely nothing like I expected.
Day 3: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Jonathan Moore - This is the first time that I have had the opportunity to wake up in South Africa, and it already feels like this is where I am suppose to be. Before today I had only heard, read and seen on television what I thought South Africa was like.
Day 4: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Adam McFarland - Now that I look back I realize that this was one of those moments -- one of those moments I will remember for the rest of my life. It was exactly why I came to South Africa.
Day 5: Friday, May 22, 2009
Tremaine McGregor ’09 - Today began on a very early and unique note. We had been asked by Mr. Vivian to select members from our group to represent Morehouse and the partnership between the Leadership Center and Oprah Winfrey at a local radio station.
Day 6: Saturday, May 23, 2009
Adam McFarland - We went down and ate one of the largest breakfasts I have ever had. So many of the foods here are similar, but so many more are very different…We then drove through Clayton’s parents’ home where his mother told me later where he grew up and went to primary though high school.
Day 7: Sunday, May 24, 2009
Eric Vickers - Sunday was wonderful! Our day did not begin until noon when we had to meet downstairs to leave for Clayton’s future in-laws’ house to dedicate his young son, Dalu.
Day 8: Monday, May 25, 2009
Eric Vickers - This day began at five in the morning as we hustled out of our hotel to catch our flight to Cape Town. Our entire group enjoyed Johannesburg and the experiences that we shared, however we were also looking forward to what was ahead.
Day 9: Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Tremaine McGregor ’09 - This may have been one of the most incredible days of my short life! The best parts did not occur until later in the day, but once they came, I was far from being disappointed.