Humphrey School News

Roy Wilkins Community Fellow Named 2017 Bush Fellow

April 26, 2017
Gene Burka Gelgelu headshot

Gene Burka Gelgelu, a past participant in the Roy Wilkins Community Fellows program, is one of 24 community leaders named as a 2017 Bush Fellow by the Bush Foundation last month.

Gelgelu serves as the executive director of African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS), a nonprofit organization that aims to build wealth within marginalized communities by offering financial literacy and micro-entrepreneurship training.

In 2015 Gelgelu participated in the Roy Wilkins Community Fellows program, an intensive one-week dive into policy analysis and evaluations training for individuals and organizations who serve communities of color in the Twin Cities. The program is offered every summer by the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

“The Roy Wilkins Fellowship helped me to build a network and increased my understanding of the policy process,” said Gelgelu, who plans to use the money awarded through the Bush Fellowship to continue his social equity work and earn a graduate degree.

“Through the fellowship program I will build my understanding of the impact of creative placemaking efforts using art and culture as an economic development strategy,” he said.

Gelgelu considers the Bush Fellowship as part of a larger journey and is grateful to those who invested in him along the way.

“The Roy Wilkins Fellowship is one of those institutions that impacted my life positively.”

Read more about Gelgelu’s plans for his Bush Fellowship.

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