Toledo Excel to host author June 9, partner with Ghana schools throughout year

June 8, 2017 | Events, UToday
By Madison Vasko

Yvonne Pointer, renowned youth advocate, author and philanthropist, will visit the University to speak with the students of Toledo Excel’s Global Diversity Institute Friday, June 9.

In 1984, Pointer’s daughter, Gloria, was the victim on an unsolved murder. This tragedy started Pointer’s passion for improving the safety of communities around the world through programs that provide alternatives to violence and increase self-confidence. She also has established three schools in Ghana, West Africa, in her daughter’s name.


Two prominent leaders from Ghana, Chief Nana Kodwo Eduakwa V and Chief Nana KraKwamina II, will join her and speak to students about the areas they govern and how students can get involved.

Pointer will deliver her talk Friday, June 9, at 11 a.m. in Memorial Field House Room 2200.

“I had heard bits and pieces of Pointer’s story over the years, but had the opportunity about a month ago to actually hear her speak and tell her full story in person at my church in Toledo. The timing was perfect because our staff was developing our curriculum for Global Diversity,” said David Young, director of Toledo Excel. “I had been giving a great deal of thought to our students studying countries on the continent of Africa as we had done in the past, so when I heard Pointer’s amazing connection to Ghana, I saw the potential for a wonderful partnership.”

The Global Diversity Institute is a program for fourth-year students that allow them to study the global community.

“Students gain insight into the effects of history, geography and politics on the human rights of individuals. They study specific countries and their cultures, and when possible connect with those countries through cultural exchange and service,” Young explained. “They gain a better understanding of how small a place the world is and the importance of a global marketplace and economy. The cultural and academic enrichment gained enables students to better understand how their career aspirations might connect with international opportunities.”

Through a partnership with the three schools in Ghana, Toledo Excel students will have the opportunity to study and connect with their peers in the country throughout the year.

For 28 years, UT’s Toledo Excel has provided college preparation and scholarships to underrepresented students, including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native Americans. Through services such as summer institutes, academic retreat weekends, campus visits and guidance through the admission process, students increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness and civic involvement.

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