Mellon-Global Citizenship Program



In January 2008, the first group of forty-five faculty and administrators convened in Salzburg, Austria, for what would become a remarkably rich and in many respects unique long-term program. At this point, however, there was no indication that this meeting would mark the starting point of an extensive journey. It was meant to be the first step of a two-year project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, on “Making Colleges and Universities Sites of Global Citizenship” involving fifteen HBCU and ACA colleges and universities which had applied and were selected for the Mellon Fellow Community Initiative.

Based on the positive feedback of the experience with the first group of fifteen institutions, a second ‘cohort’ of eleven ACA and HBCU institutions and then a third cohort of ten more institutions joined thanks to the Mellon Foundation’s ongoing support. Activities expanded to include a student seminar on global citizenship and shorter workshops on specific topics related to global citizenship education held on the campuses of partner institutions in the US. Within six years, the MFCI grew into a strong network of nearly 250 faculty, administrators, and students at thirty-six institutions engaged in global citizenship education activities at and across institutions. Although this may not have been part of the original plan, everyone involved quickly recognized the unique of this quickly growing and dedicated network of college and university faculty, administrators, and students. As a result of a deep commitment to a common cause and roughly equal doses of intentional design and serendipity, the MFCI, with its modest beginnings, transformed individuals and left lasting legacies at the institutions involved.

Since its inception in January 2008, the Mellon Fellow Community Initiative has:


  • Partnered with thirty-six HBCU and ACA colleges and universities
  • Started building critical mass among faculty and administrators to launch and sustain an institution-wide change process to ‘globalize the campus’
  • Helped initiate the reorientation of mission/ vision statements, strategic plans and student learning outcomes to include global perspectives
  • Facilitated the introduction of new global education courses, programs, co-curricular activities, etc.
  • Given partner institutions the impetus to formulate their own, institution-specific response to the global literacy requisites of their students
  • Promoted cooperation between ACA and HBCU colleges and universities to jointly advance global citizenship education


Even with the significant progress made among these universities in integrating global citizenship education into their teaching and learning environments, opportunities to further develop, strengthen, and sustain this work remain.

The Mellon Global Citizenship Program (M-GCP) was created by Salzburg Global Seminar with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build on the work of the MFCI by supporting the institutions’ efforts to strengthen and expand their global citizenship education activities through collaborative project development and implementation. By doing so, the M-GCP will demonstrate the unique added-value of HBCU-ACA collaboration for global citizenship education and make a strong case for a  robust, self-organized and lasting framework for ACA-HBCU collaboration in the form of an independent consortium that can coordinate, promote, and develop joint projects between ACA and HBCU institutions.