King's student brings her award-winning work to campus during the pandemic
December 16, 2022
Developing Communities Everywhere (DCE), a grassroots organization founded by Bridget Ofosu-Andam, 4th year Social Justice & Peace Studies major, was recognized at the Black Excellence Gala and Awards. Ofosu-Andam won in the Black Student Business category, nominated by the Western Black Students Association. “It excites me to know that our work is not going unnoticed,” says Ofosu. The second annual awards event was organized by the Where We Are Now (W.E.A.N.) Community Centre, a holistic hub that aims to enhance the lives of London's BIPOC community on December 10, 2022.
Among those in attendance at the event and celebrating the achievement of a King’s student was Jennifer Slay ’99, Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID). “It has been such an honor to meet, learn and work with Bridget over the course of the last year. What a delight it was to see her recognized by her peers and the larger London Black Community for the work she does. Congratulations Bridget! Your dedication and resilience is admirable. King's is fortunate to have you,” says Slay.
DCE is a global not-for-profit organization that was founded by Ofosu-Andam in 2016. It focuses on assisting underdeveloped communities on a global scale. During the pandemic, Ofosu-Andam took a further leadership role and started the DCE at King’s chapter. It became a ratified club under the King's University College Students’ Council on March 3, 2022.
Ofosu-Andam describes DCE at King’s as “a space for students to feel comfortable and immerse themselves in roundtable discussions and activities. DCE at King's is committed to foster social programs to make our community a better place. Our goal is to benefit the community by our continuous efforts in actively collaborating with partners locally and globally in order to bring about social change.”
Ofosu-Andam and Sharmaine Paladan, also a King’s student, are both executives of the global DCE organization. Ofosu-Andam is the founder and President while Paladan is the Secretary. During the pandemic, they inspired other students to become involved and contribute to the success of the DCE at King’s club. The following are executives of DCE at King’s.
- Club Presidents: Sharmaine Paladan and Shandelle Maxwell
- Vice President – Events: Soham Soham
- Vice President – Finance: Sandy Duncan
- Director of Communications: Jill Caryn
- Research Analyst: Amna Seyam
- DCE representative: Lauren Mary Elizabeth Da Silva
The DCE Club has held events that have highlighted the diversity of the King’s campus and brought students together to discuss important issues. Despite busy schedules as students, the DCE at King’s club hosted a Youth Voices Talent Showcase, held in the Joanne and Peter Kenny Theatre in October 2022. The next month, they collaborated with the Social Justice and Peace Studies (SJPS) Club at King’s to hold a hot chocolate and coffee social, which included discussions on gender-based violence. There are also plans for a seminar to explore the conceptualization of international development and globalization and its effects on the Global South (i.e., less developed countries in Africa and Latin America and developing countries in Asia and the Middle East).
Demonstrating leadership and encouraging others to be part of their movement, the student executives of DCE at King’s are networking with community partners in order to secure funding to establish more programming. An upcoming Instagram Live session, The Beam Chat, will discuss basic mental health. The Immigrant Relief Outreach Program (IROP) will provide resources and support to students, immigrants and their families in London. Any member of the King’s community who wishes to support DCE at King’s with financial assistance can email Ofosu-Andam.
Congratulations to Ofosu-Andam on winning this award and for all the impactful work DCE has accomplished so far. To stay up to date on DCE at King’s news and events, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.