Sankofa Circle Fellowship

Sankofa Circle Fellowship

Mission Statement

The Sankofa Circle Fellowship serves to connect, affirm, fortify, and uplift junior and senior Augsburg student leaders, through the inspiration of West African-based pillars of success, as they complete their undergraduate degrees and transition into their postundergraduate journeys, where they will continue to interrupt and dismantle anti-Black racism, racism, white supremacy, and other forms of oppression.

Sankofa Meaning

Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan people of West Africa, that represent concepts or aphorisms. The Sankofa is an Adinkra and is depicted by a mythical bird flying forward with its head turned backward. (Sometimes the bird has an egg in its mouth that represents the ‘gems’ or knowledge of the past upon which wisdom is based.) “Sankofa” translated from the Twi language to English means “to return and get it”. Sankofa embodies the idea of looking back at our past to learn from it and move forward. It encourages us to remember our ancestors and their struggles and triumphs, and to use that knowledge to build a better future. Sankofa reminds us that our history is a part of who we are, and that we cannot move forward without acknowledging and understanding it.

Sankofa Circle Fellowship Staff

Joanne K. Reeck

Vice President for Equity
and Inclusion, ADA/504
Compliance Officer

Janet Jennings

Pan-Afrikan Student Services Program Manager

Chris Dixon

Athletic Diversity
and Inclusion Director, Track and
Field Head Coach

Gerald Shepherd Jr.

SCF Program Coordinator

Learn More About SCF HERE!

Fellowship Goals

  1. To help fellows grow a professional network while nearing graduation.
    Fellows will be provided with opportunities to build and connect with formal and informal professional networks that will enhance their ability to accomplish their post-undergraduate goals.
  2. To connect fellows with professional Black mentors.
    Fellows will be matched with a mentor and benefit from a mentor-mentee relationship that includes a focus on the role racial identity plays in professional settings through a lens of critical consciousness.
  3. To strengthen fellows’ leadership understanding and skills based on Afrocentric principles.
    Fellows will be provided with the opportunity to depart from narrow, Western European-based understandings of leadership and instead center on four Adinkra situated as the fellowship’s pillars of success.
  4. To create supportive and motivating cohorts for fellows.
    Fellows will be provided with intentional program time to build dynamic relationships within their cohorts during their junior and senior undergraduate years.

Pillars of Success

Adinkrahene icon

ADINKRAHENE —“Chief of Adinkra Symbols”

Symbol of greatness, charisma, and leadership
This symbol signifies the importance of playing a leadership role and inspiring others.;

Aya icon

AYA — “Fern”

Symbol of endurance and resourcefulness
This symbol characterizes one who has endured many adversities and outlasted much difficulty.

Nkonsonkonson icon

NKONSONKONSON — “Chain or Link”

Symbol of unity and responsibility
This symbol is a reminder to contribute to the community and that in unity lies strength.

Odo Nyera Fie Kwan icon

ODO NYERA FIE KWAN —”Love never loses its way home”

Symbol of hope
This symbol represents the significance of love, devotion, hope, and faithfulness

Fellow Requirements

    • Currently enrolled at Augsburg University as an undergraduate day student
    • Rising junior or senior student*
    • Making satisfactory academic progress toward graduation
    • Adhere to the university’s standards of conduct
    • Strong understanding of Black history in the United States
    • Strong understanding of Black-lived experiences in the United States
    • Strong understanding of past and current racial and social injustice in the United States
    • Experience leading, organizing, and/or participating in programs, events, or projects that serve to create or advance a racially just and equitable society

*Student status is designated by credits earned.

Fellowship Benefits

  1. $5,000 scholarship* (distributed as $2,500 for fall semester and $2,500 for spring semester)
  2. $500 textbook gift (distributed as $250 for fall semester and $250 for spring semester)
  3. Participation in a national conference focused on advancing racial and social justice and/or Black leadership
  4. Opportunity for two-year fellowship participation

*The combination of any Augsburg University gift aid, along with the federal Pell Grant and Federal
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and the Minnesota State grant, cannot exceed the cost of
Augsburg University tuition and direct fees. This means there is a possibility that a scholarship winner may not receive the full scholarship amount.



                             APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY ON FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2024!

For more information about the Sankofa Circle Fellowship, contact the Equity and Inclusion Initiatives Department at or 612-330-1126.