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Roots Africa Named UMD Representative for Universitas21 RISE Showcase

By Maryland Today Staff

The University of Maryland has selected Roots Africa as its representative for the 2019 Universitas21 (U21) RISE Showcase and Awards.

RISE (Real Impact on Society & Environment) is an international showcase of student achievement in sustainability and social innovation, designed to accelerate the scale and impact of student-led projects by connecting them with a network of experts in academia and industry that can pledge support.

Roots Africa, an organization founded at UMD in 2017 to teach and implement creative, sustainable agricultural solutions, created a video to pitch its project to potential international collaborators through the RISE Showcase.

U21 awards will be announced in December, making projects eligible for further funding and guidance.

UMD is one of 27 members of the U21 network, which brings together research-intensive universities from six continents to exchange knowledge and perspectives. RISE invited each U21 member institution to submit one project focused on global challenges to participate in the international showcase. The Do Good Institute (DGI) and the Office of International Affairs hosted a campuswide contest to select UMD’s representative, offering additional prizes.

As the UMD contest winner—in addition to serving as UMD’s RISE representative—Roots Africa earned a DGI Accelerator Fellowship and $1,250 in funding from DGI and the Office of International Affairs. UMD awarded a second-place prize of $1,000 to Public Health Without Borders; third place and $750 went to Peer to Peer.

The announcement fell during International Education Week, an annual celebration of international education and exchange sponsored by the U.S. departments of State and Education. For information on UMD’s IEW events, visit and follow on social media with #IEW2019 and #GlobalUMD.

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