The Virginia Friends of Mali (VFOM), a Richmond organization, generously invited a small group from MLWGS to help celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Mali’s National Independence on Wednesday, September 22. Held at the Department of Africana Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, the event also focused on the arrival of Ambassador Mamadou Traoré and his wife. The VFOM also celebrated the creation of a sister city partnership between Richmond and Segou, Mali, a city of comparable size.
Present at the event were student Marie Kuzemchak of the Global Citizens Network (GCN); GCN advisor, Dr. Janet Spencer; World Literature students DaJon Johnson and Merci Best and their mothers; MLWGS graduates Meredith Spencer and Sudan Abdur-Rahman; and World Literature teacher, Ms. Michele Surat. All enjoyed Malian music and delicious cuisine while conversing with citizens of several African nations.
Thanks to VFOM officers Allan Levenberg, Dana Wiggins, Ana Edwards, and VFOM founder Robin Poulton, MLWGS will have an opportunity to host a delegation from Mali on the morning of October 8. The Mayor of Segou, the Malian President of the Sister City and Partnership Commission, and other Segou City Council members will join the VFOM in sharing their nation’s history and culture with the Governor’s School community. In addition, Malian musicians will also be performing the weekend of October 8–10 at the Richmond Folk Festival.