• Lead. Serve. Create.

    Welcome to the Fellows' Blog

    Every other week from February through June meet us back here to find a new post by our 2018-2019 cohort of Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows.

  • Our Fellows

    Meki Shewangizaw

  • Our Fellows

    Rebekah Tsadik

  • Our Fellows

    Feven Abiy

  • Our Fellows

    Edom Wessenyeleh

  • Our Fellows

    Samrawit Tamyalew


By Saba Alemnew


Ever since I arrived to Ethiopia, I have noticed that public spaces are predominantly occupied  by men. Whether it is the streets I walk on, the taxis I take, or the cafes I go to, I’ve noticed that men tend to outnumber women. I have also noticed that women are often expected to behave passively.  So I was quite surprised when I heard about an active feminist group here in Addis Ababa called Setaweet.

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Meron2By Meron Begashaw

As a member of an active immigrant Ethiopian community in Los Angeles, I have had the opportunity to experience the pleasures of our culture, traditions, and, with much fervor, our holidays on the grandest of scales. As an Orthodox Christian, I can, for example, attest to the elaborate, deeply spiritual, and somewhat comparable-to-Ethiopia experience that is the Timket holiday in Los Angeles. This annual celebration of Epiphany is arguably one of the largest – in both the number of partakers and the scope of festivities – in the Diaspora. In my imagination, nothing can compare to celebrating holidays in the land that originated the ornate practices we replicate in the Diaspora. This is one of the reasons why I was so excited to celebrate Meskel, the holiday whose devotees commemorate the finding of the Christian True Cross, for the first time ever in Ethiopia.

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Alem Kib New

By Eden Mekonen


unnamedAt the start of our pre-departure training in Los Angeles, we learned about the “Four H’s of Acculturation” – these being Honeymoon, Hostility, Humor, and Home. As someone who’s admittedly oscillated between humor and hostility, I sometimes feel as though a fifth “H” should be included for “Humbled.” Addis Ababa, and Ethiopia in general, has truly been a humbling experience for a compass-dependent and GPS reliant person, such as myself. I like to think of Google Maps as the reliable friend who you can always count on to help you out when you literally don’t know which way to turn; the friend you could always depend on to guide you whenever you take a misstep. However, as GPS isn’t widely used or accessible in Addis Ababa, navigating around the city has proven very challenging for me.

While this isn’t my first stay in Ethiopia, in previous visits I’ve often relied on directionally-savvy family members for geographic guidance. However, having come back to Addis this time around as an Ethiopian Diaspora Fellow,

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The Woman I Strive To Be

By Kidist Tesfaye

The amount of women in the nontraditional workforce and entrepreneurship roles in Ethiopia continue to inspire me to work harder and chase my dreams. Being an Ethiopian woman and growing up in the States my whole life has taught me a lot of valuable lessons. I grew up trying to juggle the challenges of fitting into the cultural and traditional “norm”, per se, as an Ethiopian woman,

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