Mathew Davis

Mathew is a born educator, an exceptional communicator and a tireless activist. Growing up in the impoverished inner city, Mathew developed early an awareness of injustice and oppression. He turned his sights on working with neighborhood organizations to build a sense of community pride and educate others about leadership and change. He has supported and led efforts around urban gardening, crime and blight, and public school conditions. An artist and a writer, in high school Mathew discovered the power of spoken word and began organizing his peers through poetry slams. Mathew has won awards for his poetry and has established himself as a youth leader in the movement for democratic education.


A Global Perspective

Thinking about issues and problems on such a sweeping scale, with so many layers and complexities, planning for my own future now seems easier than ever before.

01 February, 2011

My post for the ONE Campaign

“Global Citizen Year fellow learns that poor farmers need support” – originally posted on the ONE Campaigns blog here: LINK Every year, Global Citizen Year chooses a group of young Americans to spend nine months working as apprentices in rural communities all over the world….

03 August, 2010

Petit par Petit, or Lessons from Pate Diop

I work on a on a small-scale farm in Gorom 2. The owner of the farm is named Pate Diop. He was a policemen for 32 years and began cultivating his father’s farm in. Pate has a huge family. Polygamy exists in Senegal, so Pate…

08 March, 2010

Becoming Ibou Sall

I have many names here in Senegal. Pap Bamba in Dakar, Tala Ngom in Bambilor, but in my village they call me Machu Leye, or my host mama calls me Ibou Sall. I live in the village of Gorom 2, which is apart of the…

08 March, 2010

Root of the Sound

I recently went to a naming ceremony for my next door neighbor’s newborn. The ceremony in Wolof is called Ngente. There was an extreme amount of rice an even more people. I had never seen so many plastic chairs in my life. All the men…

19 December, 2009

Le President

My brother Aliou Leye is my mentor in Sangalkam. I feel lucky to have him looking out for me in the village. He works for the rural village of Sangalkam youth association.  In 2002 he started an organization called the Foyer des Jeunes. He started…

19 December, 2009


Tabaski is most important holiday in the Muslim community. The reason for celebrating Tabaski comes from the Koran when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as a test of his faith. Abraham took Ishmael to the top of Mount Kaba and was blindfolded….

13 December, 2009

The Giche

The Giche. The words African and American have never carried so much weight as they did while I was on Goree Island. When I was in Dakar, I went to Goree alone because I knew that it would be a special experience for me and…

13 December, 2009

Last week in the city

Due to complications with my rural home stay I was able to stay in Dakar for another week. It was fine and I was willing to wait for my for home stay because I loved Dakar. Right after I got the news from Rachel I planned my week out. First thing I…

11 December, 2009

je parle le francais

I am struggling in French class. I didn’t think it would be as bad as it is but, now that I think about it, I’m the only fellow who doesn’t speak another language. The only training I had was a couple semesters of Spanish where…

30 October, 2009

Desole, I thought you were Senegalese!

As everyone I have ever come into contact with knows I like to talk. I love to have discourse about things of substance. I know there are different forms of communication but it pains me to not be able to speak French or Wolof. I…

05 October, 2009

Dangerous Men Defy the Laws of Society

A question that is asked often of me is how and why am I so different. People ask me this as though I am supposed to  fit my entire life experience into a cute little nutshell.  So that they can then compare me to their…

12 August, 2009

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Mathew Davis