The Kwame Nkrumah Distinguished Alumni Award

The Kwame Nkrumah Distinguished Alumni Award

Established in 2019, this award recognizes an illustrious graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE) or the former University of Pennsylvania School of Education who has made distinct and transformative contributions to the field of education in the nation or the world. The award honors Kwame Nkrumah, GED’43, G’44, the first president of independent Ghana. Nkrumah fought for Ghana’s independence and was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity. As President, Nkrumah set up a strong system of basic education, initiating compulsory primary education in 1962. In 2000, he was voted African Man of the Millennium by listeners of the BBC World Service who described him as a "hero of independence," and an "international symbol of freedom as the leader of the first black African country to shake off the chains of colonial rule."

The recipient of this award will have made a demonstrative and uncommon impact in education through research, policy, and/or service. Their contribution will have had a global impact on improving circumstances for historically oppressed or marginalized communities. The recipient will reflect the values and aspirations of Penn GSE and its commitment to equity and opportunity and serve as a role model for Penn GSE students and alumni.

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  • 2021, Desmond Diggs, GED’16