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Vance Center Focuses on South Africa and Independent Journalism

November 2017

Executive Director Alexander Papachristou traveled to Johannesburg to meet a range of Vance Center partners and attend several events.

He met with five alumni of the African Legal Fellows program to discuss strengthening the South African alumni network and continuing its mentoring and other activities: Tholinhlanhla Gcabashe (2008-9); Nontuthuzelu Made (2005-6); Thabang Masingi (2010-11); Mathai, Masizakhe(2002-3); and Diyashen Pillay (2014-15).  The group agreed to survey all 45 alumni on their current and past professional positions and to gather information on how the alumni so far have collaborated on mentoring and other activities.

The Vance Center has worked regularly on pro bono projects for South African clients with ProBono.org, South Africa’s pro bono clearinghouse, and Papachristou met with its national director Erica Emdon, as well as Fatima Laher, the pro bono director of Bowmans.  The Vance Center has teamed up with that firm in pro bono projects in Kenya and Uganda, as well as South Africa.

Papachristou also attended board meetings of two Vance Center clients: the Media Development Investment Fund; and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.  These meetings coincided with the 10th Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which gathered approximately 1,200 journalists from 130 countries over 5 days of plenary and panel presentations on issues of ethics, technology, methods, and legal risk.  Papachristou moderated the panel “Bulletproofing Your Story”.  The Vance Center’s Good Governance Program provides pro bono representation to many nonprofit journalism organizations, including the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.