Four seniors awarded Labouisse Prize for international civic engagement projects

March 2, 2021

By Pooja Makhijani, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies

Princeton University seniors Chisom Ilogu, Sarah Kamanzi, Leopoldo Solis and Lydia Spencer have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize to pursue international civic engagement projects for one year following graduation.

Ilogu, a history concentrator from Belle Mead, New Jersey, will develop a digital and in-person exhibit in Nigeria and Senegal about the major pan-African festival FESTAC ’77. Kamanzi, a French and Italian concentrator from Kigali, Rwanda, will interview African international students in Rwanda, like herself, who come from low income-backgrounds but have acquired socioeconomic and passport privileges. Solis, a history concentrator from Tucson, Arizona, will spend his year in the Huastecan region of Mexico, teaching English and basic computational skills in the Nahua communities of Chicontepec. Spencer, a Spanish and Portuguese concentrator from Moreland Hills, Ohio, will work to scale up initiatives to combat gender violence in Latin America in Brasilia, Brazil.

The Labouisse Prize, which awards $30,000 to each recipient, enables graduating seniors to engage in a project that exemplifies the life and work of Henry Richardson Labouisse, a 1926 Princeton alumnus who was a diplomat, international public servant, and champion for the causes of international justice and international development. The prize was established in 1984 by Labouisse’s daughter Anne Peretz and family. It is administered by the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).

Due to ongoing uncertainty about global travel, these projects might be modified accordingly.

“The current COVID-19 pandemic, with its tragic death toll, spreading disease and poverty, and exposing deep domestic and global inequalities, racism and injustices, also serves to remind us that no nation can go it alone and that we need to continue our efforts to work together to make this a better world,” said Emmanuel Kreike, professor of history and chair of the Labouisse selection committee. “Despite COVID-19, this year’s and last year’s Labouisse fellows continue to follow in the footsteps of alumni like Henry Labouisse even though their service to less privileged communities abroad under the current circumstances often takes place in an online format.”