Baltimore – Western High School Principal Michelle White announced the formation of a new partnership between Western High School, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and the Sister School Global Initiative (SSGI) Lagos, Nigeria. Principal White and HRH Princess Dr. Moradeun Ogunlana developed the partnership to expand their young women’s understanding of diverse world cultures and preparation for future global leadership roles.
“This is a distinctive opportunity for Western girls who are setting their sights on leadership roles, not just in Baltimore but in the world,” said Principal White. The official signing ceremony takes place on Wednesday, September 15, to celebrate a shining new path for students’ personal, academic, and professional growth.
Princess Ogunlana is the founder and CEO of the Sister School Global Initiative through the African Women’s Health Project International as part of its seven adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030. Its commitment is to pair highperforming secondary schools in Africa with outstanding sister schools in other parts of the world. She is excited to begin with Western High School, with its illustrious alumnae and legacy as America’s oldest all-girls public school.
The signing ceremony begins a robust cultural exchange between students of the schools including collaborative virtual projects and a structured timed program to eventually include visiting and living in each other’s country.
Dr. Brenda Morant (WHS alumna), Founder/CEO of the Atlanta-based International Women’s Think Tank (IWTT) and Board Member of the Western High School Foundation, Inc. (WHSF), brought IWTT’s principles of global understanding and international contacts to her work on the WHSF Board. Having connected Principal White and Princess Ogunlana for a series of conversations towards partnership, Dr. Morant will continue to serve as the liaison and facilitator for upcoming joint projects.
The first project is to have each student body create videos reflecting the learning environment and spirit of sisterhood in their American and Nigerian schools. The videos will include visual arts, music, and dance to convey vividly each school’s culture. At the same time, the schools will begin to pair individual students with a “sister” abroad, providing guidelines and coaching on how to break the ice and build authentic relationships with people from different backgrounds.
According to the Princess, “We believe individual relationships, sharing crosscultural experiences and perspectives, are the key to personal maturity and women’s professional ascension…and as importantly, to a more harmonious world.” As evidence of the power of individual relationships, her longstanding friendship with Brenda Morant and new friendship with Principal White are the basis of the implementation and ongoing success of the new Sister Schools programs.