BUSH INSTITUTE’S HUMAN FREEDOM INITIATIVE WELCOMES FIRST CLASS OF YOUNG LEADERS FROM BURMA
Last Friday, the George W. Bush Institute at the Bush Center welcomed 18 emerging leaders from Burma as the inaugural Liberty and Leadership Forum class.
The Liberty and Leadership Forum is a new educational program, within the Bush Institute’s Human Freedom portfolio, designed to help prepare democracy advocates from transitional societies to be leaders under new conditions of freedom. It equips young men and women with the knowledge and skills they need to lead in countries where transitions to democracy are occurring. The program uses a curriculum focused on the principles of liberal democracy and economic freedom, lessons from other democratic transitions, and practical leadership skills.
While on a path toward democracy, Burma’s destination is not yet guaranteed. One key to success is ensuring that today’s young democracy advocates in Burma are prepared to be tomorrow’s political and civil society leaders. The inaugural class of young leaders includes men and women active in education, health, politics, human rights, journalism, and other fields. Many spent formative years as political prisoners in Burma.
The Liberty and Leadership program begins with a three-week summer seminar in the United States, including coursework at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas, and a four-day experience tour of Washington, D.C. Through a combination of an intensive year-long curriculum, hands-on skill development, and practical application, the men and women of the 2014 Liberty and Leadership class will be equipped to help support democratic change in their home country.
Hannah Abney is the Director of Communications at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
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