This coalition was formed to encourage young people to:
- Think globally and act locally,
- Engage in meaningful dialogue, and
- Participate in interactive workshops on Leadership/Entrepreneurship, Health/Wellness, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math).
In July of 2017, the Coalition had a broad reach on radio and impacted over 2,000 students and citizens throughout the South African region that included 10 days of learning and service that culminated into two major community events in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. The 2018 Coalition included some new organizations from Houston, Nashville, Los Angeles that merged into the works of the core teams from Washington DC, Los Angeles and South Africa. This new edition included approximately 85 students from several elementary, middle and high schools, Tennessee State University (TSU), Vaal University of Technology, the University of Johannesburg, Positive Image & Associates (owner is a Fulbright Specialist), four nonprofits—From the Heart International Education Foundation, South Union Community Development Corporation, Swaliga Foundation, Village Health Foundation, and a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Johannesburg—Word Liver Foundation.
The 2018 exchange occurred in mid-July for an explosive week of STEAM engagement. On day one, almost 600 South African students and others welcomed our group at the Eldomaine High School for information sharing about the details of the week. We did STEM-related projects together and that Wednesday built the 100 Solar Lamps to be given away in Kliptown. We visited the Boys & Girls Club and did more STEM projects, as well as, played soccer and basketball. We also toured the University of Johannesburg and later in the week Vaal University of Technology. The Solar Lamp ceremony was very emotional, as we blessed 100 homes with light and toured the Kliptown township and the church where Nelson Mandela signed the Freedom Charter against apartheid. That night we celebrated in the Soweto Theatre with our “STEAMtheBlock” in South Africa concert that was an awesome sharing of cultures.
In 2015, the Swaliga Foundation, under the leadership of Lemond Brown, created the Global Education Exchange Coalition (GEEC) with co-founders Denise Davidson, Ashley Sauls, and Tumi Phasha.