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WISC will give two key members of the Kokrobitey Institute, Renee Neblett and Elise McMahon, the opportunity to begin to document the course that supported the growth of the Institute from it’s inception in 1992 as a short-term study destination in West Africa to a global center for sustainable development.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 30, 1947, Renee Neblett has lived in Ghana for the past 22 years, where she is the founding director of the Kokrobitey Institute. Kokrobitey, a private research and development facility, began its work in 1992, with the goal of making the study of Africa accessible to American students. To that end, Kokrobitey offers short-term and long-term residential programs that explores the linkages of Art and Design, Environmental Studies, History and Culture. A Fellows Program and Teacher Training workshops take place throughout the year alongside internships.

Ms. Neblett was a 1985 Researcher at the Project Zero Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a visiting scholar at Radcliffe College in 1984. She holds an M. Ed. from Goddard College, and a BA and an MFA from Kuenst Akademie, Duesseldorf.

About the Kokrobitey Institute

Kokrobitey Institute is building a holistic approach to development work. An approach which acknowledges that such work cannot be divided into categories that separate the basic needs of people – education, health, and general welfare – from models focused solely on economic development.

The institute believes that progress occurs at the intersection between tradition & modernity. This maxim is reflected in every aspect of Kokrobitey’s work from its educational materials, organic gardens, international design programs and youth training models to its growing recycled textile and glass social entrepreneurship projects. Even its campus and design facilities were built with compressed locally produced earth bricks. The Institute is an example that real literacy is not confined to simply reading and writing words, but must be as well the ability to, ‘Read the World’, to understand the resources nature affords us to live and thrive in a Globally sustainable environment.

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