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Spokes of the Wheel General Graphic

Why Are We Still Disorganized?

Spokes of the Wheel General GraphicThis piece originally appeared on the KUUMBAReport Online Web Site (http://kuumbareport.com) and was initially written as an email to two Elders who have often bemoaned the lack of unity that we as African people have demonstrated over these many generations since the Ma’afa (a Twi word meaning “great disaster”, used by Pan-Afrikan historians and activists to describe the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Arab Slave Trade, the Scramble for Africa and the suffering African people have endured as a result).  I meant it as a helpful response to their question (which was probably rhetorical anyway) about why our people continue to act in such a self-destructive manner, refusing to hear the words of our knowledgeable Elders and instead preferring the siren song of the corporate interests who wish to keep us subjugated as compliant consumers and labor lackeys to keep the wheels of their industry moving.  When my email was returned to me with the message “the recipient is only accepting mail from specific email addresses”, it became clear to me that, while the message was meant to be distributed broadly so that all could hear the wisdom of their words, they did not themselves wish to hear the words of the rest of us.  In other words, this was to be a one-way discussion.  And, apparently (and unfortunately), the only answer they wished to see or hear was the rest of us unifying under their leadership.

I’ve encountered a number of wise and well-meaning activists and organizers, such as these respected Elders, who have taken this view, that they are the ones with the answers and all others should simply follow their banner.  The organization I belong to, the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC), is a coalition-based organization that realizes that such an approach will often fail to attract allies who already have ideas and organizations of their own.  SRDC has attempted to form cooperative partnerships with other organizations whose response was simply “join under us and then we will work together.”  These partnerships failed to materialize because we could not subordinate our mission to someone else’s, but we were willing to work side-by-side with other organizations in areas of shared interest, an offer which has often been refused.  Our various organizations’ utter failure to work together in such a unified and cooperative manner (despite our avowed reverence for the principles of Kwanzaa, specifically Unity–Umoja–and Collective Work and Responsibility–Ujima) actually underlines the primary reason why the words of our enemies carry so much more weight than do our own with our own people. 

I’m not saying that the Elder’s complaint was without merit; quite the contrary.  He is absolutely right: our grassroots communities easily and readily swallow the brainwashing and propaganda that is fed to them by the powers that be.  Where I differ with the Elder is in his seeming surprise and bewilderment as to the reason why this is happening.  It is not because of some magic spell that has been cast over our people.  It is not because of some myth of intellectual or moral inferiority that right-wingers try to sell us.  It is not even so much because of Western “tricknology”, though it is a tool that is used to deliver the poisonous messages our enemies feed us.  It is because, as much as anything else, of our own inability, or refusal, as self-styled “leaders”, to actively model the unity and cooperation we want the masses to practice to lift our communities up. 

The messages with which our communities are bombarded–Look out for Number One, Individual Freedom, Personal Responsibility, I Gotta Get Mine–have profoundly influenced us, and not for the better.  While it took military coups d’état and the imposition of military dictatorships to turn communities in Latin American countries and even villages against each other, the unraveling of the fabric of our Village was accomplished more through a coup d’esprit–the conquest of our spirit through a combination of drugs, deprivation, fear and propaganda.  The major entertainment media (which often masquerade as news) and the corporate interests that control them were able to pull off this stunt in a way that was well-coordinated and affected our collective psyche across the board.  This is largely because of the fact that they are well organized in spite of belonging to different organizations and corporations.  While they all have their specific organizational interests (mainly profit), they all agree on the basic narrative to feed to our people, and thus their message is well crafted, organized and unified.  They often sit on each others’ Boards of Directors and, though they may be competitors in many ways, they have learned to support each other in a variety of projects.  Even going back in history, we see this level of cooperation.  At the Berlin Conference, supposedly-competing countries “cooperated” to divide Mother Africa up so that each of them was given control of specific, resource-rich sectors of our ancestral home, knowing that they would all benefit at our collective expense.  This spirit of cooperation would ultimately serve them well in the two World Wars, when first Otto Von Bismarck, then Adolf Hitler and the Axis Powers, decided to attempt to conquer all of Europe for themselves.  The countries of Europe, including the United States and Russia in World War II, not only cooperated militarily, they also worked together to develop and implement the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe.  Thus, our historical oppressors from the United States and Europe have been practicing “Ujima” (Collective Work and  Responsibility) and “Umoja” (Unity) for hundreds of years before we even mouthed the words. 

We as African people do no such thing.  With the exception of the occasional slave revolt, civil-rights march  or presidential election, we seem unable to truly come  together and cooperate on anything without our own self-interested aims derailing our efforts.  (The African Union is trying to provide an example of cooperation among member states, but that project, much like the Organization of African Unity which it replaced, is being challenged as well, from inside and from outside the organization.)  Our different organizations are still involved in the “me-first” game and no other strategy is acceptable.  To us, unity seems possible only through conquest and the absorption of other groups’ members.  If people do not join our organization and follow our specific organizational agenda, we assume that they do not wish to work with us and that they are against Pan-African Unity. 

This, our refusal to even work in cooperation with each other while our enemies have been doing so for generations, is the main reason why our message goes unheeded by the masses of our people.  We are so busy competing with, contradicting and fighting ourselves that our messages of liberation and uplift sound jumbled and self-contradictory; why should anyone listen to us talking about unity when we all fight amongst ourselves?  The corporations, while they do compete with each other for the biggest share of the profits, are at least selling us, by and large, the same thing, and have agreed to use their common media outlets
to send us the same basic message of what we should call ourselves and what dreams we should seek to attain.  Our ironically self-described Pan-Afrikan organizations, however, disagree on what we should call ourselves, what our relationship should be to Africa and what is best for us as a people, and they all seem to insist that they alone are the path to our psychological, economic and political freedom and that all others must join them and them alone.

The fact is that our different organizations are not going to join each other.  You may have no interest in “joining” my organization, the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus or SRDC (not that I’m insisting that you do) because you want to continue to build your organization, and I don’t have the time or energy to join other organizations because I’m quite busy with more than enough unpaid work helping to build SRDC. 

However, this need not be a major problem or an impediment to our organizing efforts.  While we in SRDC are still focused on building our organization and establishing a means to bring the voice of the Grassroots Communities of the African Diaspora to the World Stage (be that through the African Union, World Social Forum or other vehicles), we also recognize that, while our different organizations are not ready to join each other, they can, and must, find a way to work together cooperatively for the education, mobilization and general uplift of African people, as the corporations of our adversaries do in their effort to strengthen their control over us.  
          
I have been reaching out, on behalf of SRDC, to other organizations that have shown an interest in working cooperatively.  I’ve concentrated my efforts in the area near where I live, and as a result I’ve gotten a few interested responses from some of the Continental African organizations in the Washington DC area, even though many of them would tell you that their perspective on who the African Diaspora is (that the Diaspora is primarily Continental Africans who emigrated from the Mother Continent to the West) are often quite different from that of SRDC and of African Descendants in general (that the Diaspora includes all people of African descent who live outside the African Continent).  Still, if there is a way for Continental Africans and African Descendants to engage in constructive planning so that we can eventually develop a narrative of Diaspora Unity instead of the individualistic disunity and thoughtless consumerism that our adversaries teach us, I hope to be a part of that planning process.  I don’t expect these organizations to join SRDC, but my hope is that they will agree to work alongside us to reach out to, organize and galvanize the African Diaspora so that the aims of all our organizations can be attained.  

If this sounds like an acceptable arrangement, I am prepared to hear from you so that we can make plans to move all of our people forward.  Just leave a comment here, or send an email to cliff@kuubareport.com.

Peace and Power,
Bro. Cliff

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Dr Barryl Biekman 1

Dr. Barryl Biekman Speaks at the Launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent

Dr Barryl Biekman 1On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the United Nations held a special event at UN Headquarters in New York City to officially launch the International Decade for People of African Descent.  The ten-year observance, from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2024, has been billed by the UN as an opportunity to concentrate on issues of racism and racial discrimination faced by people of Afrikan descent around the world under the theme of “People of African Descent: Recognition, Justice and Development”.  Dr. Barryl Biekman, a Surinamese-born Afrikan Diaspora organizer living in The Netherlands, is the chairperson of the African Union-African Diaspora Sixth Region (AUADS), an Afrikan Diaspora Civil Society organization that is working to organize Afrikan Diasporans in Europe.  She was chosen by the President of the UN General Assembly, His Excellency Sam Kutesa, to give an introductory speech on behalf of Afrikan Diaspora Civil Society.  This is the text of her speech.

Statement by
Dr. Barryl A. Biekman, 
Civil Society Speaker
Launching the International Decade for People of African Descent
United Nations
New York
December 10, 2014

Mr. President, Excellencies, Honoured Guests, Representatives of the African Families and Civil Society,

I bring you greetings from the members of Tiye International, The African European Women’s Movement “Sophiedela”, the Platform of the Dutch Slavery Past, the Global Coalition for the International Decade for People of African Descent and the world wide Civil Society grassroots African families on this historical moment of the launching of the International Decade for People of African descent.International Decade for People of African Descent Logo

[The Global Coalition for the International Decade for People of African Descent is established to provide global peoples activism and support for the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent as proclaimed by the United Nations for the period 2015-2024 based on the principles of Recognition, Justice and Development.]

Mr. President,

We support the International Decade for People of African descent and it’s Mandate to follow the recommendations pertaining to the DDPA [Durban Declaration and Plan of Action – Editor] from the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance (WCAR), as well as the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

It must be reminded here that the decision to have the International Decade did not come as a gift from heaven. It came only because of a long struggle by Pan Africanist supported by those civil society organizations who were committed to the implementation of the DDPA and finally because of the hard working involvement of the Working Group of Experts on People of African descent, not to forget the support of the African Group and the great majority of member states of the United Nations. A special thanks therefore goes to the African countries for their role in defending the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action and to the African Union to declare African Diaspora worldwide family as their 6th region.

The launching of the Decade today is a great victory for the cause of justice with the strong reaffirmation of and call for the full and effective implementation of the DDPA. We hope that the implementation of the Decade should put a final end to the opposition against, undermining of and false promotion regarding the Durban follow-up process which we have regularly witnessed since the successful World Conference Against Racism in 2001.

At the center of the demands during the World Conference Against Racism, by African people and in diaspora under the leadership of the 12th December Reparation Movement and many other Pan African Reparation Coalitions, was the declaration of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery, colonialism and apartheid asDr Barryl Biekman 2 crimes against humanity. In fact it was the longest and most depraved crime against humanity ever.. which lasted for more than three centuries as had been declared by the United Nations including the republic Suriname by its Permanent Delegation, ambassador Udenhout in 2001. The trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery, colonialism and apartheid destroyed the development of Africa and enriched Europe and the European colonists in the Americas. It established the system of racism & racial discrimination, to be specific Afrophobia, that effects and has its impact what the African people and in diaspora experience until today.

Mr. President,

Really, we have reasons to be glad with the establishment of the Decade. But we have reasons to be disappointed too. Because despite of the adoption of the Programme of Activities by the General Assembly last month, powerful State actors, including those who boycotted the 2009 Durban Review Conference and the 2011 commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the DDPA, continue their efforts to render the DDPA impotent. We deplore the nine votes cast against and 42 abstentions cast, but salute the 121 votes in favor of the resolution on actions against racism and comprehensive implementation of the DDPA, which the third committee of the General Assembly approved on November 26th. At the same time we are bewildered that abstaining countries succeeded to delete a paragraph from the G77 draft resolution, which had the support of the majority of countries and which stated: “Commends the constructive role played by non-governmental organizations in participating in the Durban follow-up mechanisms and the Human Rights Council, which has greatly contributed to the development of the Programme of Activities and the preparation for the International Decade.”

Mr. President, Truth has the inherent power to produce the promised effects.

The full and irrevocable recognition by all countries that the trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery, colonialism and apartheid was a crime against humanity is necessary for the credibility of the Decade. Without that we have reason to doubt the sincerity of states to restore the rights of people of African descent during the Decade. It is why I on behalf of the African descent worldwide families challenge all national state parliaments and governments to officially recognize and declare the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity as some countries have already done. We call on all the countries who organized, participated in and profited from the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the hard slave labour by the kidnapped African ancestors to present their sincere apologies as the first step and I challenge all governments and parliaments concerned, to act on this urgent matter.

“I on behalf of the African descent worldwide families challenge all national state parliaments and governments to officially recognize and declare the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity as some countries have already done.”

We strongly welcome the efforts by Caribbean governments & states to place the issue of Reparations on the International Agenda. For the African descendants families the adopted theme of the Decade, “Recognition, Justice, Development”, is Dr Barryl Biekman 4for us synonymous with the Repairing of the damage, which must become the overall concept of the Decade. Reparations is not limited to material repair, but something more fundamental relating to restoring every aspect of the rights of people of African descent.

Mr. President,

We therefore invite all Member States, as proposed by the Global Coalition for the International Decade for People of African Descent, to recognize and honour the Decade as the “Reparation Decade”.

We believe that the right of People of African descent to learn about their rights as enshrined in the DDPA and other Human Rights instruments must be assured during the Decade. The Decade must become a framework to address the concentration of misery and disadvantages which people of African descent face everywhere they live: poverty, racial discrimination and lack of access to human rights & their institutions, high rates of unemployment and imprisonment, vulnerability to violence and lack of access to justice, lack of access to good education, healthcare, housing, multiple forms of discrimination, and political and economic marginalization and stigmatization.

As educators and scholars across the racial divide agree that (a) the primary purpose of education is to uplift and enhance the lives of all individuals (b) it must be the right type of education that engenders positive identity, self-esteem, self-confidence including love, respect and appreciation for one’s history and culture. We therefore call for adapting both formal and informal education for students of African descent and others so that that it no longer marginalizes and relegates Africa and Africans to periphery of anything important, but for most that our next African generations can say: “I’m not afraid, because of the color of my skin, to be an African … I’m proud to be an African.”

Mr. President,

We have seen the situation faced by people of African descent around the world grow more and more precarious, and we seek urgent and concrete results from the International Decade. African Diaspora Civil Society grassroots organizations cannot afford to leave any members of the African Diaspora and African Civil Society around the world behind. Every forum, every workshop, every review and assessment, every planning session and every on-the-ground implementation project must closely involve representatives from Civil Society and the grassroots communities. And we cannot stress enough the importance of always including women, girls and young male adults, the future generation, on an equal basis. To leave them behind would be as to leave our hearts and souls, our very selves, behind as well.

“Every forum, every workshop, every review and assessment, every planning session and every on-the-ground implementation project must closely involve representatives from Civil Society and the grassroots communities.”

When an African American man is strangled to death by the police on the streets of New York we the people of African descent feel the same that we cannot breathe. We add our voices in solidarity with all those demonstrating to demand justice for the victims of racially based police brutality. This situation makes it clear that institutionalized racism is still alive and that the campaigns against all forms of multiple racism & racial profiling as well the symbolic & psychological violence

Protests of "Black Pete" in the Netherlands

Protests of “Black Pete” in the Netherlands

situation in different countries must be intensified. Whether the ‘Black Pete figure’ in the yearly Dutch Santa Claus culture historical tradition is just a problem in the Netherlands because of the revival of stereotype of African (black) people or interlinked to similar historical cultural tradition, stereotypical language like some people continue to call us ’nigger’ & racist situations in other parts of Europe and the rest of the world.

Mr. President

On behalf of the world wide African diaspora families I invite all of you to join hands with us for the implementation of the Programme of Activities in the spirit of “Recognition, Justice and Development.” Because this Decade requires the committed support and involvement of all: international, regional, national, sectors of society, stakeholders and people of good will in the world.

I invite you all to make this “Reparation Decade” a great success.

I thank you Mr. President

 

 

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Nova Scotia Town Hall

Nova Scotia Town Hall

“Remember the Ant”: Town Hall Meeting Makes History

North Preston, Nova Scotia, Canada
In recognition of the United Nations declaring 2011, the “International Year for People of African Descent”, on August 22, 2011 at the North Preston Recreation and Community Centre, the African Nova Scotian Community made history by being the first in Canada to elect a council of Elders and unanimously voted to form a Nova Scotia Chapter of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC).  “By being the first to form a Chapter of the SRDC in Canada and by extension, our province is the sole representative voice thus far to accept the African Union’s invitation to participate.”  Remarks Allen, the Nova Scotia SRDC Facilitator.  This particular town hall is the result of a series of “Remember the Ant” Town Halls that took place earlier. The first was held in Africville, during the annual Africville Reunion and festival, which each year honours the historic Black Community that was destroyed and displaced the residents through so-called “urban renewal” in the 1960’s.
The second Town Hall: “Remember the Ant” , was held during the annual Sydney Days of Action, Wednesday, August 3rd, at the Menelik Hall.  SRDC is a direct response to the African Union (AU) invitation to partipate collectively in the affairs of the AU.  The AU is an organization that links together 55 of 56 countries on the African continent and is intended to create a common voice for African people in international affairs. Until recently, representation in the African Union was limited to African people living on the continent. The estimated 350 million Africa-descended people living in the worldwide Diaspora were excluded. But the African Union now wants to reach further. In addition to the five regions of the continent, the Union aims to create a “sixth region”: the worldwide Diaspora. 
For Horne (the International Facilitator for SRDC) the creation of the sixth region is an acknowledgement of the affinities and commonalities that have endured among African people, wherever they happen to live in the present. “You aren’t an African because you were born in Africa,” he tells the town hall audience. “You’re African because Africa was born in you.” The sixth region initiative, is offering the Diaspora an official role in the African Union and promises to create a venue large and inclusive enough for African people to come together and plot a better, collective future.  At this point, the sixth region is only an invitation. It remains to be accepted, Horne explains, “And that means, organizing ourselves to present ourselves and represent ourselves.” Canada is one of many countries with a significant African Diaspora, and the sixth region initiative calls for African Canadians to decide if they want to be included.
Allen hopes that the African Nova Scotian community will play a leading role amid the Canadian-based Diaspora. Recognizing Nova Scotia as the one of the first homes of African People in the country now called Canada, and the African  residents of the province as the “elders” of the overall African Canadian population.

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What is SRDC? Who is SRDC?

What is SRDC? Who is SRDC?

Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus wishes to thank all participants, speakers, organizations, naysayers and passersby for attending and eagerly taking part in the Jan. 30, 2010 Town Hall/Forum recently at White Rock Baptist Church, Harlem NY.

The following is the full text delivered by Sis. Iman Uqdah Hameen as the Welcoming Statement.

“ Many of you ask- What is SRDC? Who is SRDC? SRDC, SIXTH REGION DIASPORA CAUCUS (Coalition) is a Pan African organization consisting of members from six (6) states in the United States and that list is growing. We are a four (4) tiered organization. We have a national Secretariat and a Community Council of Elders in each of the six states. We have members and chapters  in Europe, Canada, and Central America.  We hold forums, Town Halls and  Elections for Representatives and an Annual Conference. We are people who are seriously committed to a UNITED States of Africa and a liberated Africa that we will have an INTEGRAL , DECISION-MAKING part in.  We honor our Ancestors and our Elders.

You have seen many of us in the community. We are supporters, members and sponsors of many veteran organizations, your organizations. You may have seen us at Rev. Sharpton’s NATL Action Network, African Nationalist Pioneer Movement, NAACP, Nation of Islam, All African People’s Revolutionary Party, or The Black Panther Party – Old and NEW, and even the National Black Theatre, BAM, Jazzmobile, Liberty Lounge and Brooklyn’s International Arts Festival and at lectures at UAM, First World, CEMOTAP, Dec. 12, African Poetry Theatre, or other places, not only in NY but across the country. We are Muslim, Christian, Akan, Fulani, Ewe, Ibo, Spiritualists, etc. We are Elders, Mothers, Fathers, Queen Mothers and Chiefs, professionals, students, social workers, professors, artists, architects, advisors, scientists, scholars, entrepreneurs, educators, consultants and laborers. We have protested with you, marched, attended lectures, forums, conferences, festivals, bus rides, parades, cruises and made trips to the Motherland. We have also been jailed! We’ve reached in our pockets, drained our bank accounts, retirement accounts and savings and donated to all of these causes without asking for receipts or a paycheck or your resumes.

We’ve added our voices to discussions and outrage, feeling the same barbs, jabs, stabs, gunshots, vicious attacks and deaths. We have cried the same tears as you, crying for Biafra, Malcolm X and Martin, Darfur, Sudan, the Congo, Elinor Bumpers, Rodney King, Thomas Sankara, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his son Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, Michael Jackson, Michael Griffith, James Hill, Nicholas “Ashanti” Bartlett, Elder Adunni Tabasi, Dr. Clarke, the Panthers, Mumia, Rwanda, South Africa, Angola, Grenada, New Orleans, Katrina and now Ayiti (Haiti).

And we cry for our, Mother Africa and all Mothers, and we cry and grieve deeply for our children, yours and mine. We cry with you because we are a part of the community. We are you.

Through it all we have rolled up our sleeves, through it all we have worked in our communities for years, many for our entire lifetimes, some in the forefront, some behind the scenes but the bottom line is we have worked.

So today we come again, seriously committed and ready to work along with you. And again, you see our faces among you.  We love you and we welcome you.  Roll up your sleeves!”

Sister Iman Uqdah Hameen is Co-Facilitator, SRDC New York Chapter.

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Summer Youth Education-Seattle, WA

Summer Youth Education-Seattle, WA

SRDC – Washington State & Nu Black Arts West Theatre

SUMMER YOUTH EDUCATION PROGRAM

Class Schedule

Orientation: Monday June 27, 2011, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m

Fridays:

(Life Sciences)
July 15th, 22nd, 29th August 5th and 12th
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Saturday Classes:
(Economics, History, Literary Arts, Math)

July 9th , 16th , 23rd , 30th August 6th , and 13th
9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Location
:
Hiawatha Arts Space (Community room)
843 Hiawatha Place,  South
Seattle WA 98144

_______________________________________________

ECONOMICS: Mr. T-West, Instructor

Objective:

Economic Awareness – Collective Self Interest

To provide a basic understanding of how the economic system locally and internationally works.  To learn how to bring economic benefit to themselves and others.  To learn and follow what is called the first law of nature, self preservation while building good relationship with others.  To bring all of this into the context of true Pan Africanism.

High Level Outline

·         Agricultural and the first law of nature

·         Mathematics and its importance

·         Strategic Resources

·         Importance of strategic skills

Some of the above will include special guests.

__________________________________________________

LIFE SCIENCES: Mrs. Deborah Vanderhorst, Instructor

This 5 week course will be a hands on introduction through experimentation to Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.
Students will receive basic knowledge of Electricity,Molecular Structures, Photosynthesis,Toxins/common diseases, Our planet and the Universe we live in. All supplies will be provided by instructor. Requirements: Regular and Punctual attendance.

_____________________________________________________

HISTORY: Nana Kibibi Moni
é, Instructor

This six week history course is created to enhance the learning experience of World History for 5th – 8th grade students.  By coupling drama and history you’ll enjoy the hands on methods of re-enactments of ancient and modern day history.

•  Washington State History
•  United States History
•  World History
•  Important historical dates and times
•  Impact on significant periods of our history
•  What’s in store for us historically (without change)?
•  How will knowing our pass prepare us for the future?

Nana Kibibi Monie, is a native of Seattle and the Executive Director of Nu Black Arts West Theatre, the oldest African American Theater Company in the Pacific Northwest.  Ms Monié is the first African American to be President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (A.F.T.R.A.) Seattle local. She is an accomplished writer, actor, singer and director.  A graduate of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington with a BA in Communications, holds a Masters from the Seattle University in the Executive Director Masters Program and holds a diploma in cinematography from The New York Film Academy.  She’s written several one-act plays and her dynamic range of acting and singing has made her one of the most powerful talents to emerge from the West Coast.  Ms. Monié has been blessed with a captivating talent in storytelling and is legendary for capturing her audiences with grace and style.  Kibibi is the only woman that has had the privilege and honor of directing the double Pulitzer prize winner August Wilson in a reading of his play “The Homecoming” performed at Seattle’s A Contemporary Theatre as a fund raiser for Nu Black Arts West Theatre in 1997.  She is also the only woman to be given permission by Mr. Wilson to portray “Hambone, a lead character in his award winning play”Two Trains Running’.  Kibibi is a Nana for the Cape Coast people in Ghana West Africa and has for several years been in partnership with The National Theatre of Ghana and the Twedaase Primary School in Tema, Ghana.    She’s developed a Cultural Heritage Program for the children of Ghana along with children here in the US.
___________________________________________________

LITERARY ARTS: Jamal Farr, Instructor

Objective: Poetry, music, thought, and emotions are the heartbeat of life. In this course there will be a safe and open space to build on these and other ideas. It will be 6 weeks of learning different styles of writing, poetry and discussing creativity ideas to present your thoughts. Using stories, fictional and non-fictional, of African history as the base to which this course will happen!!

Jamal “JACE” Farr is a veteran of the Northwest hip hop scene. He has established himself as an artist, half of the Legendary tandem, The Silent Lambs Project.  Now, has joined forces with Felicia Loud and Silent Lambs Project to create the soulful, conscious, inspiring and talented collective, Black Stax As an organizer, is the founder and voice of the Northwest hip hop festival, Dope Emporium. As well as an activist, works with youth in the inner city establishing programs and empowering them to use art as a creative expression.

____________________________________________________

MATH: Curriculum & Instructor To Be Announced

Additional information about the Math course TBA

_______________________________________________

Contact information:

• Nana Kibibi Monié, Executive and Artistic Director of the Nu Black Arts West Theatre
SRDC-WA Youth Leadership & Young Adults Committee
206-329-3328

•Mr Jamal “Jace” Farr, Producer and MC of Black Stax Music
Chairman of SRDC-WA Youth Leadership & Young Adults Committee
206-229-5825

•Ms. Linda Battles, SRDC Elder, SRDC-WA: Education Committee
206-323-0184

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SRDC Chapter in Jamaica

SRDC Chapter in Jamaica

SRDC Chapter formed in Jamaica, WI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Six Region Diaspora Caucus
Ocho Rios, St Mary, Jamaica

Mr. Burchell James, Facilitator
srdcjamaica@gmail.com

The SRDC now has a chapter in Jamaica WI

As a part of the initial organizing team for the Jamaica SRDC Diaspora and International Trade Conference, and on behalf of the newly appointed SRDC Jamaica facilitator, Mr Burchell James, it gives me great pleasure to announce the formation of the SRDC International Jamaica Chapter.

The Six Region Diaspora Caucus, SRDC, a Pan African organization that is in the process of galvanizing people of African descent in the Diaspora, with the goal of having a representative group at the Africa Union, saw it fitting to have an event in Jamaica to bring awareness and to provide an opportunity for the island nation to participate in this historic process. Jamaica has affected the world with its Pan African efforts for decades, and  with the recent  United Nations General Assembly vote to approve 2011 as the International Year for the People of African Descent (including the African Diaspora), the timing was excellent to stage such an event.

The Conference which was held April 27th in Kingston, and April 29th in Ocho Rios – focused on introducing the SRDC to Jamaica; reminding the Jamaican community of the invitation from the Africa Union to the African Diaspora to participate in the AU; and to discuss and orchestrate international trade between the Diaspora and African countries.

The conference had informative presentations by – Dr. Ruth Love, SRDC International Facilitator; Mr. Al Washington, of the Africa-USA International Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Mrs. Folashade Farr, along with Sis. Deborah Wright, and Sis. Kibibi Monie, all three of the individuals representing the SRDC Team; with guest speakers – Herpw Bikbaye Inejnema from The Earth Center; Steven Golding, President of the UNIA-ACL Jamaica Chapter;  Mr. Ferdinand Nwonye of the Nigeria High Commission to Jamaica; and greetings from the Hon. RO Walters, Custos Rotolorum of St Ann.  – which led to the attendees been anxious and ready to create their own chapter.

The nominations were taken, and the community voted for their Community Council of Elders (CCOE) – forming the SRDC International Jamaica Chapter.

The SRDC Jamaica CCOE:

Mr. Rudolph Williams
Ms. Enid Courtney

Mr. Eustace Bloomfield
Mr. Norris Williams
Ms. Angela Aaron

Now begins the task of continuing the community outreach with informational meetings, participating in community events that are in line with the SRDC mandate, increasing our membership and eventually electing our Observer and two Representatives.

Jamaica, the birth place of the Hon. Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley, to mention a few of our Pan African leaders of the past – has now joined this coalition of Diasporan activists, working directly to further the dream of our ancestors. We are looking forward to participating at all levels to contribute to the goal of making African Unity a reality.  For additional information please visit www.srdcinternational.org

Abena Grace James, SRDC Facilitator

To view photos from the Jamaica events visit the gallery.

Posted in New Chapter in Jamaica, SRDC News0 Comments

All African/African Liberation Day in Seattle

All African/African Liberation Day in Seattle

ALL AFRICAN/AFRICAN LIBERATION DAY
IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

SRDC Washington State in collaboration with the Pacific
Northwest Diaspora Community, celebrated African Liberation Day
on Saturday, May 28, 2011.

All African/African Liberation Day Celebration Report
by Kamau Ron Taplin
Representative, Washington State Chapter
June, 2011

In Seattle, Washington, on a picturesque Saturday morning (May 28th), people of African descent began gathering at a local pre-K/elementary/middle school to participate in what was billed as the All African/African Liberation Day celebration. This event was hosted by the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus of Washington State (SRDC-WA) and the Pacific Northwest African Diaspora Community.

The event commemorated the successful movement for independence from European colonial rule which occurred on the African continent during the 1950’s and 60’s. Wikipedia provides us with this brief summary of the colonial period: “During the Scramble for Africa in the late nineteenth century, European powers divided Africa and its resources into political partitions at the Berlin Conference of 1884-85. By 1905, African soil was almost completely controlled by European governments, with the only exceptions being Liberia (which had been settled by African-American former slaves) and Ethiopia (which had successfully resisted colonization by Italy). Britain and France had the largest holdings, but Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium, and Portugal also had colonies. As a result of colonialism and imperialism, Africa suffered long term effects, such as the loss of important natural resources like gold and rubber, economic devastation, cultural confusion, geopolitical division, and political subjugation. Europeans often justified this using the concept of the White Man’s Burden, an obligation to “civilize” the peoples of Africa.”

The All African/African Liberation Day event was indeed a celebration and recognition of the many giants of the African soil who led the way out of darkness imposed by the European. Forever to be remembered are such names as Kenyatta (Kenya), Nkrumah (Gold Coast, now Ghana); Senghor (Senegal); and Houphouët-Boigny (Côte d’Ivoire), Patrice Lumumba (Zaire/Congo), Winnie and Nelson Mandela (Azania/South Africa) and the many lesser known African leaders who risked liberty and sometimes ultimately their lives to live as free, self-determining human beings in the age of European imperialism. In 2011 we now know that the freedom sought was never freely given. It was hard won on the blood of millions of African men, women and children. We also now know that freedom and independence carry an enormous responsibility to vision the future while living in present day reality, to lead where the path is seldom clear and to govern by African principles which have stood the test of time for thousands of years.

The schedule of events that day brought together the African Diaspora Community as one family to celebrate freedom in Africa by way of the Arts, Science & Technology, Literature, History, Crafts and Tradition. The program opened with Drum Talk by local drummers, M’Shenga A Babu (Ancestral Messengers), which was then followed by the Pouring of Libation. This was followed by a ‘Parade of the Flags of Africa’ by community youth representing the Six Regions  of the African Union (North, South, East, West, Central and The Diaspora).  Back and forth through the day, we heard from Griot Elders and “New Jack” Wordsmiths representing the Hip-Hop and Spoken Word communities. The theme for the day was “Self-Reliance.” There were presentations on economic self-sufficiency and health and wellness. The highlight for the day was a special guest presentation by Yao

Khepra Felix Wilson, SRDC Facilitator for the State of New York. Brother Khepra presented an original conception entitled “Crisis Preparedness of the African Diaspora is 21st Century Pan Africanism.” In his presentation, Brother Khepra introduced the P.A.S.S. System (Prepare Autonomous Sustainable Solutions). He challenged all African people to Prepare for the collective survival of OUR people, by creating an Autonomous infrastructure that will remain Sustainable indefinitely, and ensure that future generations are empowered so that they can develop appropriate Solutions of both predictable and unpredictable crises. As a witness, I can only assure you that the Brother created serious buzz in the room. Over a week later, and people are still talking about the presentation and event.

The success of this 1st Annual Event is credited to the State Facilitator for Washington, FolashadeFarr, the State Representatives, Aline Diakite and Kamau Ron Taplin, the Council of Elders led by Cal Spates, other SRDC-WA team members (Jamal, Sonya, Kibibi, Linda, Afua, Vicki, T West) and numerous Community volunteers working within the committee structure of SRDC. A special “Thanks” is due to Anita Mwamba for her efforts in securing a fabulous site for this event. Last, but certainly not least, we give “Thanks” to Keisha Scarlett, the Principal of the Southshore School, which was the site of the event.

As principal Keisha Scarlett has great vision for the children she serves and we cannot say thank you enough for her embrace of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus. She announced at the Event’s closing that she would like to become a community partner with SRDC!

_____________________________________________________

Message from the SRDC Washington State Facilitator

Greetings:

On behalf of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) of Washington State, we extend greetings and gratitude for your participation in this “All African/African Liberation Day Celebration”.  Our purpose is to highlight the many contributions people of African descent have made to the Pacific Northwest and the world. This year’s theme of “Self-Reliance” showcases the determination, ingenuity and perseverance with which the African Descendant Community has successfully demonstrated its ability to overcome tremendous obstacles and challenges time and time again.

Historically, again and again, physical domination was traded for psychological and economic dependence; and it is against this very dependence that the need for the African Diaspora to come together in the spirit of cooperation and community highlights this celebration. The United Nations’ resolution that marks year 2011 as the “International Year for People of African Descent” has helped focus attention on the many social and institutionalized systems of injustices and disparities to which African Descendants around the globe have been subjected. Today, we bear witness to the need for the world to address these problems and make an honest effort to involve Africa and its people toward a more just world society.

The African Union (AU) has invited descendants of Africa living throughout the Diaspora to organize among themselves as individual states, regions or countries as Diaspora delegates for future involvement in the work of the African Union. Complementing the African Union’s existing five regions (North, South, East, West, and Central) of the continent, the Diaspora represents Region Six.  The collective intellectual and economic capital of the Sixth Region strengthens the AU voice on critical global issues affecting the continent. The SRDC represents one of the many voices today, a sort of echo from the past, exhorting the African Diaspora to “Do for Self” and “Be the Change You Wish to See in the African World.”  Join us in creating this preferred future.

Corinne Folashade Farr, State of Washington SRDC Facilitator

Cal Spates – State of Washington, SRDC Community Council of Elders, Chair
Aline Diakite – SRDC State of Washington Representative
Kamau Ron Taplin – SRDC State of Washington Representative



Posted in All African/ALD2 Comments

Town Hall UPDATES

Town Hall UPDATES

Town Hall Meeting Updates…

Town Hall Meeting UPDATED LIST

Updated as of March 30, 2011 – Year 2010 marked the beginning of the ‘Decade of the African Diaspora.’ The Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) has committed itself for Year 2011 to accelerating its grassroots organizing efforts. The methodology of hosting town halls and caucus-elections  has been quite successful.

During the course of this year we will host in the United States town halls in Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia,  and Washington D.C.

Outside of the United States,  SRDC has upcoming town halls scheduled for:

Africa: Nigeria, Guinea Conakry, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania
Caribbean: Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad
Canada: Nova Scotia, Quebec, British Columbia

~Submitted by Folashade, SRDC-WA


_______________________________________________________________________________________

The Tennessee Chapter of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus held a Town Hall Meeting and the chapter was implemented on November 13, 2010 under the leadership of Ms. Gloria B. Conley, newly elected Facilitator for the State of Tennessee. Dr. David Horne, Dr. Ruth Love and Mrs. Folashade Farr were the guest speakers and also assisted Ms. Gloria Conley with this event.

There were 22+ attendees of the Tennessee Community Town Hall meeting. The community attendees ranged from a retired grandmother to a community activist pastor. There were three elected Community Council of Elders, Mrs. Willa Doss, Evangelist Phyllis Smith and Mr. William Young. In the midst of the election the community counselors of elder’s election decided to nominate a Youth Community Council of Elders. According to Dr. Horne and Dr. Love and Mrs. Farr stated, “that this was the first of such a creation/nomination of a Youth Community Council of Elders ever during the election process”.

Tennessee Community Council of Elders is excited about the New Year of 2011, following the mission of the SRDC. Implementing new ideas and goals are definitely apart of bringing forth the ideas, task and programs to help make Tennessee a successful chapter.

~Report by Ms. Gloria B. Conley, Tennessee Chapter Facilitator

Posted in Town Hall Updates1 Comment

Economic Roundtable

Economic Roundtable

ECONOMIC ROUNDTABLE ACTION PLAN

Report by Kamau Ron Taplin
Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC)
State of Washington Representative

On a drizzly Saturday morning on March 26, 2011 on the campus of Seattle University, members of the Greater Seattle area began trickling in to an event billed as an Economic Roundtable Action Plan. This was a first time event in the Greater Northwest with a focus on International Trade with Africa. The goal of the event was to increase awareness among the participants of recent Federal legislation which has opened the American economy to several thousand products from the African continent which can now be imported “duty free.”  The conference further enlightened participants on the importance of organizing to do business on the continent and the many opportunities which may emanate from such endeavors.  Some notable voices gave impressive presentations and answered numerous questions.

SRDC is a Pan-African organization with a chapter’s in various locations nationally and internationally.  The Seattle Chapter which hosted the national SRDC Conference in 2009, also hosted this event.  SRDC’s  International Facilitator, Dr. David Horne (Los Angeles) was present at the Roundtable event and gave the opening address which focused on the history of the SRDC, its current work and the vision for its future.

Also in attendance was Mr. Al Washington (Los Angeles), Executive Director of the Africa-USA International Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  Mr. Washington spoke on the need for Diasporan Africans to organize for engagement with the continent around business and economics first.  In October of 2010 in Los Angeles, Al Washington organized the “First Annual Pan African Global Trade Conference: Unifying Africa and the African Diaspora Through International Trade and Commerce.”

Another key presenter was Mr. Peter Gishuru, President & CEO of the African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest.  Mr. Gishuru provided insight into the Federal legislation which brought into being the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).  Additionally, he provided background to the origin of the African Chamber of Commerce in the Pacific Northwest.

The Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus of Washington State (SRDC) co-sponsored this event with the Global African Studies Program (GASP) of Seattle University.  The Director of the program, Dr. Femi Taiwo opened the event with greetings on behalf of Seattle University and the Global African Studies Program.  Feedback from numerous participants was very positive and future Economic Roundtables are now in planning at the international level for Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Posted in Economic Roundtable0 Comments

Elder Adunni Oshupa Tabasi

Elder Adunni Oshupa Tabasi

REMEMBERING:

Our Beloved Elder Adunni Oshupa Tabasi NuNu Afua Frie-Frie II


Elder Adunni was the Ghana-Nkwanta Projects’ driving force, motor, engine and all those that were close to her and worked with her know that Elder was always about US – Afrikan people doing the work that we need to do to create our future. A future in establishing self-sufficient communities. She knew deeply the predicament that our people are in and the depth of our psychological enslavement.  Her efforts were full of energy, action and force. She believed deeply that we must go home to Mother Afrika or at least be a part of Afrika’s development and be a Pan-Afrikan people in building and not just in what she would call “hot air talking”.

 

Communicating with her was all about planning, vision and consistent work to reach goals and objectives.  All of those that were fortunate to talk with her on a regular basis also know how deeply her commitment to her people is/was. She knew very well that most of us are asleep. Elder was never asleep at the wheel. I know it must have been difficult for her guiding us in our sluggishness. She had the energy of a lioness and was always ready and always planning. She taught many of us, how to just love the work that needed to be done – and to stay focused, stay focused.

 

Elder was very adamant in purpose and the freeing of our minds was her life goal and purpose. She knew quite well that we must see ourselves as Afrikans therefore we become connected to who we are and where we are from, and that we should not settle for being Blacks, Afrikan Americans, etc.  She believed that when we use these terms we are in fact disconnecting ourselves from our history.  Why settle for the daily degradations and disconnect ourselves from the fact that we were and are an enslaved people. She did not like for us to use the term ‘slaves’ that was seen as blasphemy to her and totally incorrect and destructive towards a view of self. We were ENSLAVED and still Enslaved and held Captive.  She did not just say ‘Free the Land’ she knew that we must repatriate and free ourselves from this place of bondage.

 

Our Elder was also a creative genius in African attire and the lost art of clothing using draping techniques. She saw clothing ourselves as a liberating tool that we must use. Recently, I attended a couple of her workshops for the Afrikan Burial Ground’s Kwanza and she discussed the history of fashion, showing and teaching the women where the roots of fashion come from – from us Afrikans. Sophisticated dressing in draping and gowns came from us. She took two pieces of fabric and showed how two pieces of cloth could be arranged and rearranged into eight different ways to make a dress, tops, pants and skirts. It was a creative an awaking moment for us – releasing our creative potential and our history in creative dress. She said “this is what you do” when you do not have a sewing machine. Also, that it is enfranchising in being able to create your own clothes.

 

Elder was long on philosophy and understanding, but it all had a point, a direction directing us to take up the challenge for our liberation. She would instill in us that we are not to be tied to being Americans. She detested the restraints that this society places on us. The challenge is that we must extend our identity and to not settle for being this thing this product of America enslavement. We were not made in America and that we must dismiss this limited view of ourselves. These mental traps of enslavement, these disconnects to our reality. She use to say “Stop trying to make a better Jail”. Some times it was live having conscious Mama who had her switch out on you, always pointing out our confusion and our lack of trusts and our enslavement. Her goal was for us to pick up the mantel, the switch, whatever you got and make the moves to live your commitments daily. She brought us together, made us close, and would say “we got to be as so close that water cannot get through in our vision, efforts and beliefs. She preached that we have to understand our psychological enslave here and on the continent, and how it retards our ability to act and do what we got to do.

 

She was always giving us leads to probe, to dig, to dig to dig and then you know. It is about the education that we give ourselves a life of scholarship, action and involvement in which Elder Adunni practiced fully in Afrikan art, fashion, cuisine, history and her crowning joy of activism in regards to the Land Issue and developing the Land Gift in Ghana.  She would say pick up the mantel of knowledge – we cannot have a movement of thought if we think it can only come from getting Ph.D. and credentials from this system that oppresses us. Another one of her favorite sayings was “we are out of our minds”.  She knew that certain thought processes that we have got to change in order for us to be fully productive in our activities of activating change and shaping our lives. She would say learn to think, read, continue to find the truth, depth, your greatness, and build Afrika in the spirit of  Pan Afrikanism.

 

Many of us are so fortunate to have had a mother in struggle. It was a privilege to walk beside her and to sometimes just listen and be of service. To talk with her and to work with her was a bonding experience. Sometimes to just sit next to her and hear her wisdom planted so deep from experience, as she would drop pearls, gold and diamonds of though and knowledge.

 

Elder would say “See What I See”! She would say “Stop being slaves to someone else’s ideals of so-called Democracy, a mental trick bag enslaving us and making us slaves to others. Her mission was and is to train us to think and act. We were not slaves but enslaved.

Elder Adunni had a view!

________________________________________

They Come Amongst Us

They come amongst us,
they are unrelenting
they are on fire.

They are intense with the truth,
they know the immediacy of our predicament.

They may seem brash,
but they are bold,
and bolder with the truth,
We are new age slaves,
who were once and still are,
Captive African Survivor Refugees,
thinking that we can find comfort in material enslavement.

Slaves of consumption, that were once the currency,
the objects of ruthless inhuman materialism,
selfishness, and ugliness,
and now consuming our own demise…
Trapped and captive and even trapping each other…
We would not know a Harriet Tubman,
if we saw her today,
nor would we know a Malcolm X,
or understand the messages beneath the bold face ….

A Harriet Tubman or a Malcolm X would seem strange or odd,
by not being complacent, not conforming, or consumed by an Ipod,
Not waiting for the next gadget or pacifier of lies …
Complacency does not understand “a driving force,”
Many are afraid of it .. not wanting to wake up,
wanting to be drugged by things instead …
Some come between us and amongst us …
Possessed with the truth.

On a mission to wake us up,
and to give our enemy hell.

Knowing fully well that we are on a battle gr0und.
Those bold spirits so fortunate to have never accepted
or wallowed in enslavement.

ELDER ADUNNI OSHUPA TABASI WAS ONE OF THEM…

I must humble myself with humility,
and honor to have known a powerful force,
as her spirit moves on,
Elder Adunni Oshupa Tabasi ….

~Adjoa Linda Fletcher

 

 
 
 
 

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

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