Starting in 2001, Channel Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Scholarship (WLS) supported non-doctoral graduate education for women activists, grassroots leaders, and organizers from the Global South and/or from indigenous groups. Until its closure in 2009, the program supported 4o women leaders from around the world who used the awards to study public health, human rights, and sustainable development among other topics.

Some of these recipients have gone on towards further study while others have achieved great heights in their careers. We’d like to highlight some of the achievements of four of our WLS alumnae: Jamie Arsenault, Lana Tatour, Adalet Budak, and Karambu L. Ringera. The wide range of their achievements offer a small sense of the ripples of the WLS program.

headshot of Jamie ArsenaultJamie Arsenault is of Native American (Mi’Kmaq) descent. With the support of the WLS, she completed a Master’s in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management at the School for International Training (SIT) in Vermont. Following her degree, Arsenault went on to work as a Research Analyst for the Native Nations Institute (NNI), part of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy located at the University of Arizona. After working at NNI, Arsenault became a National Advisory Board Member of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATALM) and Repatriation Committee Member for the University of Massachusetts—Amherst Anthropology Department.

Currently, Arsenault serves in several roles related to repatriation and research. She is a Repatriation Review Committee Member at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. She is also the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO), Repatriation Representative, and Archives Manager for the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. She serves as a member of the Minnesota Historical Society Indian Advisory Committee, the Repatriation Working Group with the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA), and the Community Intellectual Property Advisory Board for the Penobscot Nation. She sits on both the Advisory Committee and the Collections Committee of the Peabody Institute of Archaeology. Lastly, she serves as a MuseDI Partner on decolonization practice for the Abbe Museum

Following her time at SIT, Arsenault attended the University of California, Los Angeles – School of Law where she received a Certificate in Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange. Most notably, in 2022, Arsenault was awarded the Bush Fellowship, a two-year program that supports selected leaders with a grant of $100,000. 

headshot of Adalet Budak

Adalet Budak is of Turkish descent. With the support of WLS, she attended the Agris Mundus Master’s Program in Agricultural Development /Sustainable Development in Agriculture at The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (KVL) in Denmark. Following this degree, Budak went on to work for the Southeastern Anatolia Regional Development Program in Turkey. She now serves as the General Coordinator of the department. In this capacity, Budak has worked with UN Women focusing on several initiatives including supporting strengthening refugee support. In 2020, UN Women highlighted Budak’s work and career in a news post where they noted that, “her dedicated work over the past 17 years has touched 1.4 million women‘s lives and helped over 10,000 girls receive scholarships and continue their education.” Additionally, in 2016, Budak served as a panel member for an International Labour Organization side event at the World Humanitarian Summit held in Istanbul.

headshot of Lana Tatour

Lana Tatour is of Palestinian descent. Through WLS, Tatour completed a Master’s in Non-Governmental Organizations and Development at the London School of Economics in the United Kingdom. Following her degree, Tatour went on to earn her PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick in the U.K. She was awarded runner-up in the Leigh Douglas Memorial Prize for best PhD dissertation on a Middle Eastern topic in the Social Science or Humanities by the British Society for Middle Eastern Societies. Tatour has also served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University and was a visiting fellow at the Palestinian-American Research Center at the Australian Human Rights Center at the University of New South Wales Sydney (UNSW Sydney). Today, she serves as a Lecturer in Development at the School of Social Sciences at UNSW Sydney.

Tatour is on the board of the Australian Journal of Human Rights and is working on her manuscript Ambient Resistance: Palestinians in Israel and the Liberal Politics of Settler Colonialism and Human Rights. Additionally, in 2021, Tatour appeared on Rethinking Palestine, a podcast from Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network, where she discussed “limitations and possibilities of using the apartheid analysis in the context of Palestine.” Most recently, Tatour’s work can be seen in various articles written for Al JazeeraThe Guardian, and Middle East Eye among others.

headshot of Karambu Ringera

Karambu L. Ringera is of Kenyan descent. Through WLS, she completed a Masters in Theological Studies in Peace & Justice from Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. In 2007, Ringera went on to complete a PhD in Human Communication from the University of Denver. Ringera is the founder and president of International Peace Initiatives, “an NGO that aims to create models of sustainable development and peace in Kenya”. In 2017, Ringera was one of three recipients of the McCain Institute Catalyst Grant. Ringera used this grant to create the New Generation Leadership Program,  a “leadership training program that encourages Kenyan citizens to stay committed to their values by living them every day and teaches them leadership skills that empower them to revamp their communities.”

Ringera is also the founder of the Amani Children’s Homes and the Tiriji Eco Centre. She also serves as a co-founder of the Practical Permaculture Institute and as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. In addition to the McCain award, Ringera also won the 2022 Global Women Peace Ambassador Award and the 2021 ACA Peace Ambassador Award. Additionally, she won the 2019 Mark Wilhelm Award for Courage of Convictions and the 2019 Global Impact Award.

Some of the achievements of other notable WLS recipients are highlighted below.

Marie Agathe Jean Baptiste, of Haitian descent, received a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A. Over the past decade, Baptiste worked with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. She has worked as the Public Health/Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, Fund Portfolio Manager, and the Public Health and Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist.

Sophak Kanika Nguon, of Cambodian descent, received a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Washington in Seattle, U.S.A. Today, she remains a lecturer at Royal University of Phnom Penh, Department of Social Work, the first program of its kind in the country.

Hanan Elmasu, of Palestinian descent, completed a LLM in Public International Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Today, Elmasu serves as the Director of Fellowships and Awards at the Mozilla Foundation.

Cayathri Divakalala, of Sri Lankan descent, completed a Master’s in Women, Gender and Development at the Institute for Social Studies in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Currently, she serves a co-founder of Adhikaar Aotearoa, an organization whose mission is an “Aotearoa where LGBTQIA+ people of colour, particularly South Asians, can be themselves, free of fear and stigma, and explore their potential while challenging discrimination against them.”

Sarah Maima Garap, from Papa New Guinea, received a Master’s in Participation, Power and Social Change at the University of Sussex. Currently, she serves as a Community Development Worker with Esso Highlands Ltd. and continues to serve as Executive Director and Mentor for Meri I Kirap Sapotim.

Julieta Elisa Paredes Carvajal, of Bolivian descent and a member of the Aymara indigenous people, completed a Master’s in Multiple Leaderships of Indigenous Women and of the Working Class from the Universidad La Cordillera, Bolivia. Currently, she is completing a doctorate degree at the University of São Paulo with her thesis focused on the importance of the historical memory of indigenous women.

Prior to 2005, the scholarship also supported men. Some notable alumni include the following:

Kini Samsoon-Kini, of Sudanese and Egyptian origin, completed his LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex. For more than a decade, Samsoon has worked mainly for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Through UNHCR, Samsoon has worked in Syria, Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Angola, and Burundi. He has most recently served as the Resettlement & Complementary Pathways Expert.

Miguel A. Paredones, of Mexican descent, completed an MPA in Economic Policy Management from the School of International & Public Affairs at Columbia University. Following his degree, Paredones went on to found Clifftop Capital Management, “an independent advisory firm specialized on Latin America.” Currently, Paredones serves as an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Acting Chief Executive Officer at Greenova Investments.