Cynthia B. Dillard

Mary Frances Early Professor in Teacher Education<br /> University of Georgia College of Education

President & Founder

Cynthia B. Dillard

Cynthia B. Dillard, Ph.D. is the President and Founder of GIVE.BUILD.SHARE. Dr. Dillard’s passion for this foundation arises from nearly three decades of development work in Ghana, West Africa and her vocation as a teacher, professor, and artist. She believes deeply that access to education should be a human right and available to all children regardless of the geographic location, nation state or conditions of their birth. Dr. Dillard was led to the small village of Mpeasem (mem-pee-asem) in the Central Region of Ghana in 1999 and learned that there was no school facility for the over 100 children who lived there. With her own funds (and later with donations from friends and family), Dr. Dillard built a community center that housed the community’s first preschool and which opened its doors in January, 2001. But as children in Mpeasem and neighboring communities experienced the extraordinary educational opportunities provided by the school, they soon outgrew the community center. Along with her husband and generous donors, Dr. Dillard began building and administering a new educational complex that now serves over 120 children from early childhood through primary (elementary) school, with plans for a junior high school by 2021. In addition to being an award-winning author, endowed professor at the University of Georgia and celebrated for her research and service throughout the US, Dr. Dillard was enstooled as the Nkosua Ohemaa (Queen Mother of Development) of Mpeasem and given the treasured name Nana Mansa II in 2001. For Dillard, “The work of GIVE.BUILD.SHARE is to continue the legacy of collective work and giving back to our communities both locally anda cross the globe. To me, access to education is maybe the most important part of that legacy.”

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