Archive | SRDC News

SRDC/Sehwah Summer Cultural Exchange Program Virtual Camp Announces Reduced Tuition

SRDC/Sehwah Summer Cultural Exchange Program Virtual Camp Announces Reduced Tuition

A sizeable contribution from the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) National Secretariat has allowed the Summer Cultural Exchange Program to reduce the Tuition for the Virtual Summer Camp to $250.00 per student for the entire six-week Program.

This subsidy from SRDC has been provided to help ensure the availability of the Virtual Summer Camp Program for students in Afrika and the Diaspora who have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic this summer.

The Registration Form for the Summer Camp may still be used to officially register students.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM

For full details, visit the following posts, which include fillable Registration Forms and a PayPal link for registration and tuition fees:

http://kuumbareport.com/2020/06/16/srdc-announces-the-summer-cultural-exchange-program-virtual-camp-to-benefit-the-liberia-library-project/

http://srdcinternational.org/?p=3315

Detailed questions about the Program can be directed to Mama Maisha Washington at maishawashington_865@hotmail.com.

For a little background information on the work of Sehwah Liberia, check out this story about their recent Food Distribution Project for families in Liberia who are suffering from food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The project was carried out by Sehwah Liberia with support from the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC):

http://kuumbareport.com/2020/06/18/sehwah-liberia-inc-and-srdc-report-on-covid-19-emergency-food-distribution-in-liberia/

http://srdcinternational.org/?p=3396

TUITION and DONATIONS LINK

Whether you are registering for the Summer Cultural Exchange Program (the Virtual Summer Camp) or would simply like to make a donation to SRDC’s effort, the same PayPal link can be used:

https://paypal.me/srdcinternational?locale.x=en_US

We are looking forward to a rewarding and successful Virtual Summer Camp. Proceeds will support SRDC and Sehwah Liberia’s program to build the first-ever Public Library serving the African nations of Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Conakry.

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

Africa 400 July 1 2020

Africa400 Discusses New Ancestor and Educator Dr. Kirk P. Gaddy (Wednesday, July 1, 2020)

The Wednesday, June 24 edition of Africa400 will discuss the life and legacy of Baltimore educator Dr. Kirk P. Gaddy, who joined the Ancestors suddenly on June 14 as a result of a heart attack (https://www.archbalt.org/gaddy-black-catholic-educator-and-father-figure-to-many-dies-suddenly-at-55/).

Join cultural anthropologist Mama Tomiko and psychologist Baba Ty every Wednesday afternoon on WFBR 1590 AM (Glen Burnie, Maryland) for Africa400, which gets its name in part from the 400 year sojourn of Afrikan People in the United States from the start of the Ma’afa (Great Disaster, also referred to as the “Transatlantic Slave Trade”), and discusses issues of key importance to the survival of Black People in Afrika and the Diaspora.

The show airs live every Wednesday at 2:00 PM Eastern Time (United States) on WFBR 1590 AM (Glen Burnie, Maryland). The show can also be heard live online at https://tunein.com/radio/WFBR-1590AM-Baltimore-s29972/. To listen to this show after the live broadcast as well as the full set of episodes, visit our Media Page, where you can hear this and other audio and video broadcasts.

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

SRDC Virtual Summer Camp Flyer 1

How To Contribute To the SRDC/Sehwah Summer Cultural Exchange Program Virtual Camp


The Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) and Sehwah Liberia encourage concerned activists and members of the Global African Family to Contribute to our Inaugural Summer Cultural Exchange Program.

Registrations for the Program are currently being accepted. The Program is designed for high school students from Africa and the Diaspora who wish to learn about various aspects of the Global African Family and make connections with each other.

Donations are also graciously accepted. Online, the PayPal link https://paypal.me/srdcinternational?locale.x=en_US can be used for donations as well as for registrations and tuition payments.

Below is a brief description of the Program, which can be read in full on the websites http://kuumbareport.com and http://www.srdcinternational.org:

SRDC Announces the Summer Cultural Exchange Program Virtual Camp to benefit the Liberia Library Project
SRDC Summer Cultural Exchange Program
A Summer Camp in Support of the Liberia Library Project
Produced and Sponsored by Sehwah-Liberia and the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC)

Overview

The Liberian Summer Cultural Exchange Program will recruit 84 high school students. This includes students born of families from different countries in Africa, and the descendants of kidnapped Africans in the Diaspora.

The students will learn the necessary skills to become specialists doing effective research in the area of their choice. The finished product will be utilized as exhibits in the 21st Century Liberian Library Project Facility.

This cultural interaction will broaden the students’ view and vision of Africa, leading to more effective communication, along with developing skills in project management, compromise/consensus, negotiation, decision making and problem solving.

The success and completion of the Pilot Summer Cultural Exchange Program will lead to a trip to Liberia for the students who complete this summer program successfully. They would then become a part of the first phase of building the Library in Monrovia, Liberia (scheduled for completion by the year 2027). The Library will be the cornerstone of information accessible to Africans around the world in search of our common history and culture.

For full details, visit the following posts, which include fillable Registration Forms and a PayPal link for registration and tuition fees:

http://kuumbareport.com/2020/06/16/srdc-announces-the-summer-cultural-exchange-program-virtual-camp-to-benefit-the-liberia-library-project/

http://srdcinternational.org/?p=3315

Detailed questions about the Program can be directed to Mama Maisha Washington at maishawashington_865@hotmail.com.

For a little background information on the work of Sehwah Liberia, check out this story about their recent Food Distribution Project for families in Liberia who are suffering from food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The project was carried out by Sehwah Liberia with support from the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC):

http://kuumbareport.com/2020/06/18/sehwah-liberia-inc-and-srdc-report-on-covid-19-emergency-food-distribution-in-liberia/

http://srdcinternational.org/?p=3396

If you are not registering for the Summer Cultural Exchange Program (the Virtual Summer Camp) but would like to make a donation to SRDC’s effort, the same PayPal link can be used:

https://paypal.me/srdcinternational?locale.x=en_US

We are looking forward to a rewarding and successful Virtual Summer Camp. Proceeds will support SRDC and Sehwah Liberia’s program to build the first-ever Public Library serving the African nations of Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Conakry.

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

Sehwah Liberia Inc. and SRDC Report on COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution in Liberia

Sehwah Liberia Inc. and SRDC Report on COVID-19 Emergency Food Distribution in Liberia

SEHWAH LIBERIA Inc. &
Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus
REPORT
ON THE EMERGENCY RELIEF
PROGRAM: “COVID-19 FOOD DISTRIBUTION IN LIBERIA”
Prepared by: Louise W.M. Siaway
SEHWAH-Liberia
Tel #: +231 880445456/778541208
Email: louisesiaway@gmail.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: For the PDF version of this Report, with additional photographs depicting the Sehwah Food Distribution Effort, please click the link below:

SEHWAH LIBERIA and SRDC COVID 19 Food Distribution Report

Introduction

On 31 December 2019, a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown aetiology was reported in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. On 9 January 2020, China CDC reported a novel coronavirus as the causative agent of this outbreak, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Coronaviruses (COV) have been identified as human pathogens since the 1960’s. Coronaviruses infect humans and many other vertebrates. Illness in humans is mostly respiratory or gastrointestinal infections, however symptoms can range from the common cold to more severe lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia. A broad range of coronaviruses are found in bats, which might play a crucial role in the virus evolution of alpha- and beta-coronavirus lineages in particular. However, other animal species can also act as an intermediate host and reservoir. Zoonotic coronaviruses have emerged in recent years to cause human outbreaks, such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) since 2012.

Madam Louise Siaway of Sehwah speaks to community Elders in Liberia during the food distribution effort.

On the 10th of April 2020, the Government of Liberia declared a State of Emergency, coupled with a Nationwide Lockdown. In the wake of this State of Emergency, SEHWAH and its collaborating US based partner organization SRDC (Sixth Regions Diaspora Caucus) launched a food distribution drive to supplement the government’s efforts in providing food assistance to the needy people. This was necessary in order to alleviate the hardship and suffering which came as the result of the government’s stay at home order. While the government’s stay at home order is necessary to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic, enforcing it was very problematic because the common complaint of many people was, “how can we survive if we cannot go out to look for our daily bread?”

In wealthy nations, governments provide stimulus relief packages to their citizens while they are told to stay home and practice social distancing. In Liberia, such gesture from the government was not put in place and the economic hardship was creating problem among the citizens. As such, SEHWAH Liberia Inc. and its collaborating partner, SRDC joint together to launch the fund raising campaign in support of their food donation campaign. This campaign consisted of food and material distributions in various communities in Monrovia. This campaign mainly targeted the most vulnerable such as children, elderly men and women as well as the people living with disabilities.

Residents and activists meet during the food distribution effort.

According to Madam Louise Siaway, former Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs at the Ministry of Information and founder of SEHWAH, the recipients of the food donation have been very grateful and thankful to the SEHWAH-SRDC partnership for thinking about them in this time of serious health crisis and its adverse consequences. Along with the food, we also donated face masks as well as bottles of hand sanitizer

One Month and 6 Days of Food Distribution

The SEHWAH-SRDC food distribution initiative started on Saturday, April 17 and continued until May 23, 2020. We operated on the daily schedule from 9 a.m. to 2:00 pm, including weekends. We began with 100 50lbs bags of rice. The response to that initial distribution was so overwhelming and we saw the needs to continue. Along with rice, we also distributed hand sanitizers and face masks as well as carried out preventive health education along the way. Over this period of time, we served women with children, and people living with disabilities and elderly who are disproportionately affected by the state of emergency lockdown.

Impact on Food system

Local food systems are fragile in a country like Liberia. About 85 percent of the total workforce is from the informal sector, they include agricultural and other workers who entirely depend on daily wages as a mode of living. These vulnerable groups and their families are the hardest hit during these unprecedented times. Even though the sudden imposition of the countrywide lockdown was a wise move to contain the spread of the coronavirus, local food systems were disrupted. The fear of the virus spread faster than the virus itself, leading to the following consequences below. The worst part of the countrywide lockdown was that it coincided with the country’s rainy season and partial harvesting time of a variety of crops of the season. Vegetables and fruits were ripened and ready to pick. Following the lockdown declaration, temporary workers in cities had to leave to get back to their villages as surviving in the city without regular salaries was implausible. As transportation froze and sky rocketed, many people were left with no choice but to defy the curfew schedules. The most noteworthy thing was the exodus of local migrant from Montserrado to other rural areas of the country such as Nimba, Grand Bassa, River Cess, Lofa, Bong, Grand Gedeh, etc.

SEHWAH /SIXTH REGION DIASPORA CAUCUS INVOLVEMENT

SEHWAH/SRDC emergency food distribution imitative was principally intended as an emergency food assistance under an emergency condition. It was intended to complement the efforts of the government. In order to facilitate the food distribution, SEHWAH/SRDC engaged the services of many volunteers. These volunteers were very instrumental in the overall success of our mission. These mobilizations were made through community leaders who played the major role in our efforts.

Madam Louise Siaway and members of Sehwah and the COVID-19 Response Team talk with residents during the food distribution effort.

ACCOUNTABILITY

As the curfew hours are extended from 6:00Am-3:00PM to 6:00Am – 6:00PM, economic activities are gradually picking up. As such, our food distribution campaign came to an end on May 23, 2020. Our efforts were aided greatly by the fund raising campaign. We received donations from individual Liberians as well as the SRDC. Below is the breakdown of the total amount raised and how it was expended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REACTION

The family head that received our relief items passed very positive comments. During distribution our team members interviewed a lot of affected people. The affected families appreciated our efforts as they received relief food items in timely manner. They said that SEHWAH Liberia/SRDC has selected genuinely affected and the poorest families who have no other alternative to provide food. Local people assisted our team members during distribution as they were satisfied with our beneficiary selection and quantity of food. Special emphasis was placed on the most affected families. We also involved volunteers from the local community to ensure that we identified real affected and poverty-stricken families. Local people gave us adequate cooperation in this regard.

Some of the bags of rice that were distributed along with other food items.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all those who contributed to the success of this project. We are thankful to the youths and leaders of the communities we served. We acknowledge with special gratitude the very important roles of SRDC in this effort to prevent the spread of the deadly pandemic as well as helping people with food donation. This symbolizes a genuine collaborative partnership between the Continental Africans and the African American communities. This truly indicates that we are working in the spirit of Pan Africanism as envisioned by our great leaders from Africa and the African diaspora. This project was a great opportunity and learning experience for us all, coupled with experience on the current situation and condition of Corona Virus and the adverse impact on the economy and the lives of the people of Liberia.

The elation and gratification of this project will be incomplete without mentioning and thanking all the people who helped to make it possible. Their supports and encouragements were very crucial in this endeavor. They are the two SEHWAH representatives in the US, Mr. Kalifala Donzo -SEHWAH’s Outreach Coordinator and Mr. Nvasekie Konneh -SEHWAH’s Public Affairs Coordinator. It was Mr. Donzo who suggested the idea. Having said that, I will like to reiterate that our success with this campaign would not have been possible without our collaborating partnership with Sixth Regions Diaspora Caucus (SRDC). This project should only motivate us to continue our discussion on the Library and other important projects we are hoping to carry on. We also like to extend gratitude to the Liberian media, both print and electronic.

It’s always an amazing experience to work with people from diverse backgrounds. At last but not the least I am thankful to all SEHWAH team and friends who helped and encouraged us to move forward with the project.

We are thankful to my family for giving encouragement, enthusiasm and invaluable assistance of $1500.00 to complete this food distribution projects.

Hon. Senator Prince Y. Johnson, for the use of his pickup two times to get to the rice store.
Mr. Amos Togba for use of his Jeep to delivered on Saturday April 18 and 19.
Mr. Abraham Donzo for the use of pickup for delivers from April 19 to May 23rd, 2020.
Thomas Togba who input our daily beneficiaries’ data
Sermah Salassane head of youth that mapped the areas before delivery.
Mrs. Victoria Kuma Richards who helped hand out the food
Mrs. Pauline M. Korkor who helped hand out other items
Ms. Mulbah who helped hand out food

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

Children Holding Globe 1

SRDC Announces the Summer Cultural Exchange Program Virtual Camp to benefit the Liberian Library Project

SRDC Summer Cultural Exchange Program
A Summer Camp in Support of the Liberia Library Project
Produced and Sponsored by
Sehwah-Liberia
and the
Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC)

APPLICATION:

Overview

The SRDC Summer Cultural Exchange Program will recruit 84 high school students. This includes students born of families from different countries in Africa, and the descendants of kidnapped Africans in the Diaspora.

The students will learn the necessary skills to become specialists doing effective research in the area of their choice. The finished product will be utilized as exhibits in the 21st Century Liberian Library Project Facility. This cultural interaction will broaden the students’ view and vision of Africa, leading to more effective communication, along with developing skills in project management, compromise/consensus, negotiation, decision making and problem solving.
The success and completion of the Pilot Summer Cultural Exchange Program will lead to a trip to Liberia for the students who complete this summer program successfully. They would then become a part of the first phase of building the Library in Monrovia, Liberia (scheduled for completion by the year 2027). The Library will be the cornerstone of information accessible to Africans around the world in search of our common history and culture.

This document includes:

Class Descriptions

Camp Schedule (List and Grid)

Course Registration Form (Must be completed by Applicants)
Course Selection Form (Must be completed by Applicants)

CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

I. The following courses are required for all students:

· CODING
· SWAHILI
· WEST AFRICAN FOODWAYS/COOKING

II. Students may choose one of the following specialized classes:

· AFRICA – Geography/Archaeology

This team will do a Geographical mapping of Africa, including all physical features of the continent, all the natural resources, and explore archaeological digs that expose our long history on the planet. The team will create a database of their discovery. They will also date and tell the history of the artifact/natural resource explaining how it was or is still used today.

End product: The team will create a virtual exhibit of the artifacts, natural resources, physical features of Africa and the historical story of our homeland. The history will have a written narration, as well as a video of the team explaining their discoveries.

· ORAL HISTORY

This team will learn how to do historical research and document the histories of the main ethnic groups of Liberia. The team will have a virtual team of high school students from Liberia who will jointly work with students from the U.S.

End Product: Production of oral tapes and videos for exhibits about the people of Liberia.

· LINGUISTICS

This team will begin the process of researching and documenting all of the African languages spoken in Liberia. There will be a virtual team in Liberia with which students will work. The team will get oral tapes, as well as written examples of each language.

End Product: A book for younger children, oral tapes and videos of conversations.

· CULTURE – Art / Music

This team will research and document all forms of art, music and drama found in Liberia. There will be a Liberian team working with U.S. team. They will begin the process of collecting and preserving all the different types of art produced. They will research and collect all instruments designed and developed in Liberia/Africa.

End Product: Collections of Art and instruments. Oral report on tapes and videos of music for exhibits.

· PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Engineering / Architecture / Materials

This team will research the engineering needs, learn how architecture designs are developed and ascertain the materials needed for building the library. The team will look for both quality and best prices for materials.

End Product: Engineering specs, architectural plans and list of materials and samples. Report from each area in video presentation telling the story of building the library as a welcome exhibit from youth developers.

· ENVIRONMENT – Water, Soil, Sewage

This team will research the three crucial elements needed to have a fully functioning facility. The soil quality and depth which will determine how many levels can be built underground and how high the building can be. The team will determine access to water and sewage, as well as the impact of earthquakes seasonal (rainy, dry) conditions rainfall on soil quality. They will also examine the suitability of developing building materials (cement, bricks, etc.) from local soil.

End Product: A video explaining environmental research and how decisions were made that were considered best for the environment

· ASTRONOMY / IT

This team will research the night sky and African stories related to it. They will also determine the technical capacity of the facility and necessary equipment to create a vibrant interactive virtual world for the library.

End Product: The team will build a telescope and create an astronomy show for the planetarium.

III. Students may choose any or all of the following classes:

· YOGA
· ZUMBA
· AFRICAN DANCE

Camp Schedule (List)
Monday through Friday

9am to 9:45 am – Good Morning Activities. Students will have a choice between:

Yoga
Zumba
African Dance

9:45 to 10:00am – Snack – Fruit

10:00am to 11:30am – Class

11:30am to Lunch – Project chat and Music.

5 weeks, focus/camera on one ethnic group participating in the camp. Sixth week, Pan-African cultural program

12:30 to 2:00pm – Class

2:00 to 2:30 – Required Classes

Swahili (Monday, Wednesday)
Coding (Tuesday, Thursday)

Friday 10:00 am – Virtual Field Trip

Friday 1:00 pm – Required Class

West African Foodways Class; make an African dish for Family dinner

For the Camp Schedule in Grid Form, click the link below:

Pan African Summer Camp 2020 Camp Schedule Grid

For the Camp Registration and Course Selection Form in fillable format, see below:

Registration & Tuition Fee: $250.00 US
Includes: T-shirt, Cap, Backpack, Toolkit and Class Kit

NOTE: A sizeable contribution from the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) National Secretariat has allowed the Summer Cultural Exchange Program to reduce the Tuition for the Virtual Summer Camp to $250.00 per student for the entire six-week Program.

This subsidy from SRDC has been provided to help ensure the availability of the Virtual Summer Camp Program for students in Afrika and the Diaspora who have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic this summer.

The Registration Form for the Summer Camp may still be used to officially register students.

Questions about the Program may be directed to Mama Maisha Washington, Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) and Maryland Council of Elders (MCOE) at maishawashington_865@hotmail.com.

Pay with PayPal:

https://paypal.me/srdcinternational?locale.x=en_US

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

Dr Conrad Worrill NBUF

Dr. Conrad Worrill Joins the Realm of the Ancestors

EDITOR’S NOTE: This comes from the National Black United Front (NBUF), the organization Dr. Worrill has led as founding member and National Chairman for many years.

Dr. Conrad Worrill of Chicago, Illinois founding member and National Chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF) from 1985-2009 has made his transition to the realm of the Holy African Egun (Ancestors). Our thoughts and prayers are extended to his wife Mrs. Talibah Worrill, his children, his brother, his grand-children and large extended family.

Dr. Worrill’s contributions to NBUF are too numerous to fully account for. However, some efforts that stand out under his leadership include: The African Centered Education World Education Plan, We Charge Genocide Campaign against U.S. government, The Demand for Full & Complete Reparations, the Durban 400 delegation to the World Conference Against Racism and various political campaigns. Within NBUF some of us have been his contemporaries, some have been mentored directly by him, some he has served as surrogate father figure, for others he has been a sage elder and for all of us he has made a great impact on our lives. Travelling the Pan-African World he made us all proud representing NBUF.

As a scholar/activist Chairman Emeritus Dr. Worrill placed a meticulous focus on organizing African people, never too big to do the “little things” passing out flyers, setting up chairs and the like. While we believe in the collective, it is correct to say that more than other single people he is the reason NBUF has lasted for 41 years.

As a part of his ideological family we are assured that our ancestral realm is being fortified with his strong spirit, joining Baba Jitu Weusi, Momma Porter and so, so many others.

Conrad was our brother, he loved his biological family, he loved his ideological family, he loved his community and spent the majority of his life working for African people worldwide. He consistently made great contributions to the African Liberation Movement. He has begun his ancestral journey standing at the ready to assist us in death as he did in life when called upon.

As tributes pour in and rightfully so, we all know the best tribute to Dr. Worrill is to continue the work of African Liberation on all levels.

Updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Forward Ever, Backwards Never,
Kofi Taharka
National Chairperson
National Black United Front
PO Box 31544 Washington DC 20030
(202) 753 – 9671

Check out our Web site

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

George Floyd Memorial 1

George Floyd: We’ve Been Here Before

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally appeared on the Web site KUUMBAReport Online, http://kuumbareport.com.

By now, we have all seen the images and the videos. We have read the articles. we have heard the analyses of the news reporters, the community activists and the politicians. Some of you have probably seen everything we’re about to recount in this post. We are certainly aware of the incident that sparked all the grief over the past week, despite the ongoing concerns about the Covid-19 Coronavirus. None of us have been able to escape the upheaval that has followed in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers, whose knees compressed his neck and torso for over nine minutes until he died, pleading for breathing room and calling for his deceased mother, cries that went callously unheeded by his killers in blue. Bystanders who pleaded with the officers to allow Floyd to breathe were similarly ignored.

Given the graphic nature of the scene, four armed police officers restraining a handcuffed man and essentially choking and suffocating him to death on camera, perhaps one should not be surprised at what happened less than two days later: Minneapolis erupted into chaos, with angry protests morphing into a sometimes-violent uprising that not only evoked the rebellions that followed the March 3, 1991 beating of Rodney King, but as they quickly spread from city to city across the United States (and finally to cities in Europe as well), brought back the spectre of the nationwide conflagrations that followed the April 4, 1968 assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Some certainly saw the apocalyptic destruction of modern civilization as they declared the return of the urban riots of the Sixties; still others described the rebellions as the harbingers of a long-awaited people’s revolution, often promised but never fully delivered.

Uprisings that follow these atrocities often elicit confusion among the people. Why are they burning their own neighborhoods? Why do the police so often seem to be regarded as the enemy of the protesters? What are our political leaders doing about this? How will this bring about a new Utopia of truth and justice? Why aren’t more police officers arrested and convicted for killing us in cold blood? And how will we get out of this vicious cycle of complacency, shock, anger, despair, denial and complacency again?

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY REACTS TO THE KILLING OF GEORGE FLOYD

The United Nations responded with an expression of outrage at Floyd’s killing, which has increasingly been described as a murder. Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile and current UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, released this statement:

United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

UN Human Rights Chief urges “serious action” to halt US police killings of unarmed African Americans

GENEVA (28 May 2020) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday condemned the killing of George Floyd, an African American man whose death in police custody on Monday was captured on video and has led to serious ongoing protests in Minneapolis.

“This is the latest in a long line of killings of unarmed African Americans by US police officers and members of the public,” Bachelet said. “I am dismayed to have to add George Floyd’s name to that of Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Michael Brown and many other unarmed African Americans who have died over the years at the hands of the police — as well as people such as Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin who were killed by armed members of the public.”
“The US authorities must take serious action to stop such killings, and to ensure justice is done when they do occur. Procedures must change, prevention systems must be put in place, and above all police officers who resort to excessive use of force should be charged and convicted for the crimes committed.”

“I welcome the fact that the Federal authorities have announced that an investigation will be prioritized,” she said. “But in too many cases in the past, such investigations have led to killings being deemed justified on questionable grounds, or only being addressed by administrative measures.”

“The role that entrenched and pervasive racial discrimination plays in such deaths must also be fully examined, properly recognized and dealt with,” she added.

While saying she understood the anger unleashed by Floyd’s killing, Bachelet urged people in Minneapolis and elsewhere to protest peacefully.

“Violence and destruction of property won’t solve the problem of police brutality and enshrined discrimination,” she said. “I urge protestors to express their demands for justice peacefully, and I urge the police to take utmost care not enflame the current situation even more with any further use of excessive force.”

International Pan-Afrikan activists also responded to this latest atrocity, including writing letters of appeal directly to US president Donald J. Trump. Dr. Barryl Biekman, International Facilitator of the African Union African Diaspora Sixth Region of Europe, Tiye International and keynote speaker at the January 2015 launch of the United Nations International Decade of People of African Descent at the UN Headquarters in New York City, wrote a letter appealing to Trump’s sense of justice, diplomacy and statesmanship. That Trump possesses neither of these qualities did not deter her from making this appeal, though she may have known that a favorable and sincere response from Trump would be unlikely. Following is the text of her appeal.

Urgent Letter To The President of the United States of America
H.E. D.J.Trump
Regarding the Killing of Mr. George Floyd
May 30th, 2020
Dr. Barryl A. Biekman, Coordination & Monitoring Working Group UN International Decade People of African descent (The Netherlands)

Excellency,

Respectful greetings,

I hereby respectfully ask your attention to the following;

During an election year for the Presidency of the United States of America and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, I am hopeful that you will receive this letter, read it and respond to it with an assurance that new policies will be enacted so that such atrocities, such as what recently happened to Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis will not be tolerated again.

I humbly approach you as the civil society speaker, elected by H.E. Sam K. Kutesa, President of the United Nations General assembly, to speak (https://app.box.com/s/8bg9s1t0ez9sgmmiar61k7wix97jv1h5) on behalf of the global civil society People of African descent during the launching of the International Decade for People of African descent (2015-2024) on December 10th, 2014 at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly.

This Decade is based on the UN Resolution 68/237 (https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Racism/IWG/session12/A.RES.68.237.pdf). The mission (https://www.un.org/en/observances/decade-people-african-descent/programme-activities) of the Decade is summarized in the title of the Decade namely: ‘Recognition, Justice and Development’. A title that includes the themes on which the Decade is addressed. The main objective is that:

– People of African descent around the world, in all regions and countries, experience the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, as recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as well as other relevant international and regional human rights instruments.

Regarding the killing of Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, U.S., I would like to bring into memory my statement (https://app.box.com/s/4sgg9vpjvd95capjmribd36gxc4m6boy) during the launching of the Decade whereby I emphasized that: ”….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”.

And this time more than ever the killing of Mr. Floyd has shocked the world, it has shocked all People of Good Will in the Netherlands. It has shocked members of the world wide African (diaspora) family.

Excellency, we are shocked!

This here: “…..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 (These include Afrophobia, the specific term to define the forms of multiple racism against African people) as well as the symbolic & psychological violence situation in different countries must be intensified” is another statement that I speak out during the launching of the Decade.

In 2020, five years later of the International UN Decade, we are still experiencing the killing of defenseless ‘African American men’ by police. That means that the intention of my statement on the International UN Human Rights Day on December 10, 2014, and the request on behalf of the global civil society African family did not penetrate to the capillaries of the police system.

Let me reiterate my appeal that I have made towards the United Nations of which the United States of America is a member of:

“….On behalf of the world wide African diaspora families I invite all of you to join hands with us for the implementation of the Program 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”.

The invitation to make this “Reparation Decade” a great success was also addressed to the United States of America.

Excellency, President Trump,

I’m certain that you will do everything in your power to effect immediate policies that discourage such inhumane actions against African Americans and other minorities. In concrete terms I urge you to implement (city diplomacy) policies that will overhaul the police force to act as protectors of all citizens.

Thank you for your swift action to the urgent matter. I am certain we all want peace, stability and harmony. So George Floyd and his family too.

Respectfully,
Dr. Barryl A. Biekman

PROMINENT US ACTIVISTS RAISE THEIR VOICES

North Carolina-based social justice and religious leader Rev. William Barber, who has been organizing a new Poor People’s Campaign on a national level for years, wrote a commentary that was featured in an article by Fisher Jack on the Web site of the Electronic Urban Report (EUR), Screams, Tears and Protests Are A Mourning for Our Democracy on June 1 (https://eurweb.com/2020/06/01/social-justice-leader-rev-barber-screams-tears-and-protests-are-a-mourning-for-our-democracy/):

America must listen to the protests in the streets if it is ever to heal the wounds caused by both police and police brutality, social justice leader Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II said as he delivered a pastoral letter on Pentecost Sunday.

“ … I want us to look at those crowds deeply in the street. Listen to them, hear them, see the diversity,” Barber said from Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, where he is the minister. “And remember that in our history, slavery was abolished, women did gain the right to vote, labor did win a 40-hour workweek and a minimum wage. The civil rights movement in the face of lynching … did expand the right to vote for African Americans.”

Sociopolitical Commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson wrote a commentary for EUR, Many Hands Created the Frankenstein Monster Derek Chauvin (https://eurweb.com/2020/06/01/earl-ofari-hutchinso9n-many-hands-created-the-frankenstein-monster-derek-chauvin/).

SPORTS FIGURES SPEAK OUT

Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s condescending and disrespectful warning for NBA superstar LeBron James and other sports figures to “shut up and dribble” instead of speaking out against injustice seems to be (thankfully) falling on deaf ears. Gradually, athletes are speaking up. New Orleans Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, long an advocate for the people’s rights especially in cases of police brutality and abuse, chided his team’s quarterback Drew Brees after Brees’ tone-deaf criticism of those who protested by taking a knee during the national anthem, as Jenkins and Colin Kaepernick have done. Players on other teams around the league began to join in the criticism, and former player and television analyst Shannon Sharpe even suggested Brees retire from football because of his remarks. Brees was forced to issue a clarification of his remarks and an apology to those anti-police brutality activists he might have offended (https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/ravens/shannon-sharpe-says-drew-brees-should-retire-after-anthem-comments).

Former player and star wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who played for the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens (whom he helped win a Super Bowl in 2012), has been speaking out against police brutality and corruption ever since his cousin Corey Jones was killed in 2015 by a Florida police officer. Boldin has spoken to focus groups and Congressional panels about this, co-founded the Players’ Coalition with Jenkins to raise awareness about racial justice and social inequality, and he has come to the rescue again, as detailed in the commentary As George Floyd’s death sparks anger and hopelessness, Anquan Boldin urges us to fight system, by Mike Jones, June 2, 2020, USA TODAY.

… “Did I think it was going to be easy?” asked Boldin, who retired almost three years ago to devote himself fully to fighting social injustice.

“No. I’ve always been a fighter. In my neighborhood, if you didn’t fight, good luck! But that’s what we’re going to have to continue to do. Not some of us, all of us.”

(https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/columnist/mike-jones/2020/06/02/anquan-boldin-george-floyd-players-coalition-racial-injustice/5312217002/)

Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson spoke out as well, and were profiled in the article Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson: Senseless murder, racism cannot continue, by Jori Epstein, June 1, 2020, USA TODAY
(https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/2020/06/01/chiefs-patrick-mahomes-seahawks-russell-wilson-george-floyd-protests/5309716002/).

POLICE EXPRESSIONS OF REGRET AND SUPPORT DURING PROTESTS

While in several cities, there have been indications of increased cooperation between police and protesters, with the city of Seattle cancelling curfew on the night of Wednesday June 3, and with police officers and National Guard troops kneeling with protesters and in some cases marching with them, some police officials have taken more overt and official stands in solidarity with protesters and with victims of police brutality.

Houston police chief Art Acevedo walked with protesters and made several important and supportive speeches over the weekend of May 28-31 to the community in George Floyd’s hometown about their collective feelings of loss, the need for justice and the need to prevent opportunists from using his death to sow destruction. Several links to this story follow:

https://www.rev.com/blog/transcripts/houston-police-chief-art-acevedo-speech-transcript-amid-george-floyd-protests

https://www.channel3000.com/police-chief-absolutely-sorry-over-george-floyds-death-after-fiery-protests-prompt-calls-for-peace/

https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/05/31/blog-mayor-sylvester-turner-and-hpd-chief-art-acevedo-speak-local-pull-up-and-praise-event/

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo expressed regret over the responsibility felt by his own police department in creating the “deficit of hope” felt by many in the city (https://www.channel3000.com/police-chief-absolutely-sorry-over-george-floyds-death-after-fiery-protests-prompt-calls-for-peace/).

Santa Cruz police chief Andy Mills took part in several marches and protests against the brutality of his “brothers in blue”. Photos of him kneeling with Santa Cruz mayor Justin Cummings have made headlines. The pose is reminiscent of that taken by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose own peaceful kneeling protests have led to his condemnation as a traitor by Trump and his unemployment in football for the last several years.

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/santa-cruz-mayor-police-chief-kneel-in-peaceful-protest/2300401/

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-06-02/santa-cruz-police-chief-kneeling-george-floyd-protest

https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/2020/06/01/image-of-santa-cruz-police-chief-mayor-kneeling-packs-a-punch/

https://nypost.com/2020/05/31/santa-cruz-police-chief-kneels-with-peaceful-protesters/

https://patch.com/california/santacruz/santa-cruz-police-chief-kneels-alongside-peaceful-protesters

Are these expressions of regret and solidarity from a few police officers and chiefs indicative of some major change in attitude among law enforcement? Certainly not. In a more recent development, police in Buffalo, New York pushed a 75-year-old protester to the ground, where he hit his head and began bleeding from his ear. Police officers did not stop to render aid to the man they pushed, and their official report claimed the man had tripped and fallen. (At this writing, the man was in a local hospital in serious but stable condition.) When the two officers directly involved in the incident were disciplined, 57 members of that unit resigned in protest … of the disciplinary action. And other incidents of brutality by police have continued to occur in cities across the country even during the protests which were themselves sparked by an act of police brutality.

Also, just because police in places like Santa Cruz, Houston, Minneapolis, Seattle and Los Angeles have expressed contrition now, does not in any way guarantee that those same departments, and perhaps even some of the same officers, will not commit their own acts of brutality in the future (especially since Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, remains with a rather abysmal record in the area of relations between the police and the public). Such is the degree to which the public trust in police has been damaged.

TRUMP’S CHURCH STUNT

In the face of the often-angry and always assertive public protests, the condemnations of police brutality from commentators and athletes, and the political pressure that increases with each new revelation about the incident and the apparent callousness that was seen in the expression on Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s face as Floyd lay dying, the Trump administration, while admitting that the loss of Floyd’s life was a tragedy, seemed increasingly unrepentant, especially with regard to the degree to which Trump’s own bombast has contributed to the hyper-militarized “us vs. them” attitude of many police officers. Trump appeared motivated to use whatever visuals he could find to bolster his Nixonian “law-and-order president” image.

On Monday, June 1, one day after a fire had been set in the basement of historic Saint John’s Church near the White House, Trump dispatched federal police to disband a crowd of peaceful protesters in Lafayette Park in a surprise attack using flash-bang grenades and teargas, then led a small group that included Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Attorney General William Barr, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows across the park to a spot in front of the church where he stood with a copy of the Bible in what was termed a “photo op” and a “stunt” by detractors, which included Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington Rev. Mariann Budde and presiding Bishop Michael Curry, both of whom excoriated Trump for using the church as a prop, a mere backdrop “for partisan political purposes.”

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/dc-episcopal-bishop-outraged-trump-church-visit-71011653?fbclid=IwAR3PzvLe-T3i4jEgFd9LkBZoWB-DzRVuRcbXODmgsTXLuxU_Pkuc1xqcxU8

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/religious-leaders-lawmakers-outraged-over-trump-church-visit-n1221876?cid=sm_npd_nn_fb_ma

https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/bishop-budde-trump-church/2020/06/01/20ca70f8-a466-11ea-b619-3f9133bbb482_story.html

https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/most-gop-senators-avoid-commenting-on-trump-s-church-visit-84245061843?cid=sm_npd_ms_fb_ma

TRUMP AND HIS MINIONS TRY TO FLEX THEIR MUSCLES

As White House officials sought ways to employ the National Guard and local police of Washington DC (https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/06/02/white-house-officials-asked-if-they-could-take-over-dcs-local-police/), other states, and even the US military (which would violate the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act), Trump himself openly considered invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insurrection_Act_of_1807), a move which was momentarily opposed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper until pressure from Trump caused him to withdraw his objection.

McEnany on Insurrection Act: If Needed, President Trump Will Use It, Posted By Ian Schwartz, June 3, 2020 (https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/06/03/mcenany_on_insurrection_act_if_needed_president_trump_will_use_it.html)

On June 3, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton (R), no stranger to controversial hard right-wing statements, called on Trump to engage the military to quell protests in an opinion piece in the New York Times, Send In The Troops (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/opinion/tom-cotton-protests-military.html). This led to much rancor at the Times, with several staffers warning that the column could put Black staff in danger (https://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/new-york-times-staffers-react-with-fury-over-tom-cottons-send-in-the-troops-op-ed/ar-BB1509tJ).

THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW CATCHES UP TO THE LONG ARM OF THE LAW

The old saying goes, “Truth crushed to earth shall rise again .” When these crimes are committed in such brazen fashion, it seems silly for the perpetrators to believe that they will escape justice, or at least public exposure, for long. The names of the police officers who committed acts of brutality against unarmed civilians, especially those of Afrikan descent, are always announced as they go before a police disciplinary board or, in rarer cases, a criminal court. And the police departments for whom they worked are often exposed as hotbeds of police brutality and corruption.

As the four officers involved in the killing of George Floyd moved toward formal indictments by the Minnesota Attorney General, the troubles for the Minneapolis police force as a whole began to escalate on June 3, as the Minneapolis Public Schools severed their decades-long relationship with the police (https://m.startribune.com/minneapolis-public-schools-terminates-contract-with-police-department-over-george-floyd-s-death/570967942/).

In Atlanta Georgia, six Atlanta cops who participated in a violent tazing and arrest of college students during the protests there were arrested and charged, according to the Electronic Urban Report (EUR, https://eurweb.com/2020/06/03/six-atlanta-police-officers-charged-over-excessive-force-on-college-students-video/).

Back in Minneapolis, on June 3, Minnesota Attorney General and former Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, who had been asked two days earlier by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to take charge of the investigation of the killing of George Floyd, announced that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin would be charged with second-degree murder as well as third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, and that the other three officers who participated in George Floyd’s arrest and murder, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas K. Lane and Tou Thao, had been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. He acknowledged that the case would be a difficult one, but that the evidence supported the enhanced charges against the officers.

Attorney General Keith Ellison upgraded charges against officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck; charged other 3 involved, by Stephen Montemayor and Chao Xiong, Minneapolis Star Tribune, June 4, 2020 (https://www.startribune.com/four-fired-mpls-officers-booked-charged-in-killing-of-george-floyd/570984872/)

As more evidence comes to light and activists make increased calls for the charges to be elevated even further to first degree murder (which would require prosecutors to prove premeditation and might create difficulties for securing a conviction), we can expect more developments regarding the legal case.

POLITICAL BLOWBACK?

Sooner or later, a political price is usually paid. Sometimes, it comes in the form of a public rebuke by a respected former political leader or a former member of the current administration. Former president George W. Bush (2001-2008) delivered a speech on June 2, stating that he and former First Lady Laura Bush were “anguished” by the brutal suffocation of George Floyd and “disturbed by the injustice and fear that suffocate our country,” called for the US to “end systemic racism”, “examine our tragic failures” and protect the right of people to protest. The speech has been called a “rare silent rebuke” of Trump and his behavior.

(https://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/2020/06/end-systemic-racism-bush-43-delivers-rare-silent-rebuke-to-trump-calls-for-law-enforcement-to-protect-protestors/)

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis continues to show that, despite his “Mad Dog” nickname, he was among the more level-headed members of Trump’s Cabinet. He delivered a blistering critique of Trump’s behavior, calling him “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us.”

https://deadline.com/2020/06/donald-trump-james-mattis-george-floyd-racial-justice-1202950664/

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/03/read-mattis-statement-on-trumps-handling-of-nationwide-protests.html

Sometimes, the political price is manifested in plummeting approval ratings (though Trump has somehow managed to survive over the last three and a half years despite approval ratings that are, for all practical purposes, underwater).

But eventually, even poor performance such as this will be exposed and the opportunity will be presented for the people to punish such malfeasance at the ballot box. In Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown was killed five years ago, the first Black and first woman mayor was elected in 65-year-old Ella Jones, as reported by the Web site of the Electronic Urban Report (EUR, https://eurweb.com/2020/06/03/ella-jones-elected-as-first-black-mayor-of-ferguson-missouri/).

Also, the existing political bodies eventually work up the power in numbers, or just the courage within their existing members, to take concrete action, though this often takes far too long. EUR also reported that the Congressional Black Caucus, under the direction of its current Chair, Congress Member Karen Bass (D-California), has announced it will “forcefully respond” to cases of police brutality (https://eurweb.com/2020/06/03/congressional-black-caucus-looks-to-forcefully-respond-to-police-brutality-crisis/).

In Los Angeles, in a move that drew opposition from police unions as well as right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh, mayor Eric Garcetti announced a plan to cut the budget of the police department and divert those funds to programs to lift up marginalized communities and communities of color (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/los-angeles-police-department-budget-cuts-defund-lapd-eric-garcetti-press-conference-a9549001.html#gsc.tab=0):

Los Angeles to defund police department by $150m and instead invest in minority communities
Mayor Eric Garcetti says: ‘It is time to move our rhetoric towards action to end racism in our city’
Chris Riotta, New York

Los Angeles officials have proposed sweeping cuts to the city’s annual budget and police department while calling for that money to be invested in marginalized communities after nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced at a press conference on Wednesday night the city would “identify $250 million in cuts so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing” following demands from the Black Lives Matter movement and other activist groups to divest funding from the Los Angeles Police Department.

Those groups called for the city to implement a “People’s Budget” that would fund housing and environmental projects, as well as promote opportunities for people of colour, Los Angeles Magazine reported.

In announcing the budgetary cuts, the mayor added: “It is time to move our rhetoric towards action to end racism in our city.”

The announcement comes after Los Angeles City Council president Nury Martinez proposed cutting up to $150 million from the LAPD and reinvesting those funds into communities of colour.

Ms Martinez explained the proposed cuts in a statement that read in part: “If we are going to finally end the sin of racism and all of its illogical, dehumanizing and sometimes deadly consequences, including in our police department, then we have to provide real solutions for real people who need our assistance.”

Eileen Decker, president of the city’s police commission, confirmed at the press conference on Wednesday that her panel would seek to identify funds that could be divested from the LAPD.

The proposed cuts were seen as a response to days of protests throughout Los Angeles and across the country, with those participating in the marches demanding an end to police brutality and the disproportionate use of excessive force against people of colour.

Prior to the nationwide protests, Mr Garcetti proposed increasing the police department’s budget by seven percent. Under the previous budget proposals, the LAPD would receive nearly 54 percent of the city’s general fund while other departments faced major cuts.

The mayor said more details would come at a press conference on Thursday night about how the city would reinvest its funding, and that a new Civil and Human Rights Commission would begin meeting next week.

THE CALL FOR “REFORM”: GOING FROM THE WOLF BACK TO THE WOLF AGAIN

When the protests finally cool off and the analysts are done with their speculation, ultimately the question will have to be asked and answered, What do we do to prevent this from happening again, and again, and again? A number of ideas have already been proposed, and some even embarked upon, such as increasing community policing, instituting police review boards that are made up of civilians who are elected, and even partially defunding police departments as Los Angeles’ mayor Garcetti is proposing, though no one outside of “revolutionary activist” circles has so far proposed abolishing police departments altogether. In the end, in order for these atrocities to stop, there will at least need to be a fundamental change in the relationship between police and the communities they interact with. Even so, the danger is that the very entity that inspires so much distrust will be granted inordinate control over the process. What makes less and less sense with each incident is that for decades now many elected officials, media personalities (including reporters and talk show hosts) and community leaders want to try to deal with a long history of justifiable distrust of the police by turning back to those same police for direction on how to solve this issue. Malcolm X called that going from the wolf to the fox, or maybe more accurately, back to the wolf again. The police claim to wrack their brains wondering why they are not trusted while they continue the very behavior (including murder and covering for murderers) that provokes the distrust and rage in the first place. Add to that their slave-catcher historical origins and the fact that they behave this way everywhere in the world where we live, and it boggles the mind why they still haven’t figured this out despite their unprincipled self-interest as demonstrated by the behavior of the vast majority of their police unions, most prominently the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).

If we ever establish a true Pan-Afrikan Cooperative Coalition and re-start the kind of local Community Town Hall Meetings where the members of the grassroots community can come together and craft their own ideas for solutions to the scourge of police brutality and misconduct (among other concerns), one thing we need to look at is how we can build our own community-based means of ensuring the security and civility of our neighborhoods, so we will be less dependent on police departments to provide the kind of strong but caring and principled security that they have in too many cases proven incapable of delivering. This may require more outreach to street organizations, some of whom have their own serious issues with respect to criminality and misbehavior, to try to mobilize them into becoming community benefactors.

LACK OF ORGANIZATION ALLOWS OPPORTUNISTS AND PROVOCATEURS TO INTERFERE

The other major issue is the degree to which the principled protest movement was, especially in the early days of the uprisings, misdirected from their mission of expressing righteous anger into committing acts of random mayhem and petty thievery. Every uprising seems to contain three distinct groups: the largest group being the real activists, community members and citizens who wish to directly and defiantly protest the latest atrocity by the police state; a smaller group of opportunists who take advantage of the presence of the masses of people and the cover of darkness to break into and loot businesses, sometimes the businesses of the people of the community themselves; and a third, even smaller group of provocateurs that has no specific social-justice agenda (they may, in fact, be opposed to the aims of the main group and see an opportunity to discredit their cause with some well-placed acts of mayhem, or have political aims entirely unrelated to the issue at hand) that is there simply to cause wanton destruction in the form of burning cars, buildings and barricades in the street. Some individuals may be motivated by a mixture of these objectives, and many of them are ready with explanations designed to justify their actions as “revolutionary work” or “fighting the power”, though the only “work” they are actually seen doing is setting fire to a building or loading a television into the trunk of a car.

Reports of White provocateurs, for example, who began vandalizing buildings including spray-painting “Black Lives Matter” and anti-police slogans on windows while invoking the names of George Floyd, Philando Castille, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor and other victims of police murder, have proliferated (https://atlantablackstar.com/2020/06/01/white-provocateurs-accused-of-disrupting-peaceful-george-floyd-protests-with-rioting-some-accused-of-giving-bricks-to-group-of-black-men/; https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/george-floyd-protests-hijacked-white-22116897), though the claims by the Trump administration that the amorphous anti-fascist group “Antifa”, which Trump seeks to label a domestic terror organization, was behind the mayhem have not thus far been supported by evidence.

The fact is that in any uprising such as this there are a number of groups that will come out of the woodwork, as opposed to those who have been working tirelessly to organize our community at the local level. In Baltimore, Maryland, for example, “veteran” organizations have proposed a variety of strategies for our people’s uplift for years and even decades, from the Pan-Afrikan Liberation Movement (PLM) to Our Victorious City (OVC, https://www.ourvictoriouscity.org/home) to Teaching Artists Institute (https://www.facebook.com/teachingartist/?epa=SEARCH_BOX) to Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS, https://lbsbaltimore.com/) to the Maryland Council Of Elders (MCOE, https://www.facebook.com/mcoe1958/?ref=br_rs; https://bmorechristnewschr.wixsite.com/marylandcouncilofeld) to the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC, http://www.srdcinternational.org) and many other SERIOUS organizations and activists, as opposed to those that just surfaced to take advantage of the publicity brought by our response to the latest attack against our community. There are so many different organizations with different strategies because we are beset on multiple fronts, and not just police brutality, which is on graphic display right now. We are also threatened by environmental racism, healthcare disparity, political instability, political imprisonment, mass incarceration, human trafficking, deprivation of education, food insecurity, demonization by media, entanglement in the courts, cultural manipulation & appropriation, political imprisonment, economic marginalization and much more. We are under attack on many levels and as many activists in Baltimore and elsewhere have said many times before, we must be able to respond on many levels. But those many levels must be organized. Disorganization, and insufficient organization, allows opportunists and provocateurs, many of whom seem to have come out of nowhere and who we may not have heard of, to turn a righteous uprising into an unprincipled riot that will only elicit a response of mass condemnation from major media and violent reprisals from right wing militias as well as the police state. We must coordinate our responses so the true revolutionaries, those who are ready to build rather than just destroy, can work hand-in-hand with grassroots activists, businesses that work for the Community and Black Media to ensure that any Black response to White racism remains under control of Black activists committed to the Community and to Ma’at. This is why we need a Cooperative Coalition, and not one that is slapped together as a reactive measure to deal with the latest attack on our communities, but planned, organized and built as a proactive measure that can lead to a standing Pan-Afrikan United Front to respond to crises when they arise and develop forward-thinking strategies to build and lift up the community for everyone’s benefit.

Building such a Coalition is never easy. The reality of so many organizations with different missions that sometimes seem mutually exclusive of each other is the reason why a Cooperative Coalition is important, and why I talk about “Spokes of the Wheel” so much. People can pick the battle, or “spoke”, that speaks to them, be it economic, cultural, media, grassroots, spiritual, science or something else. And the different “spokes” can, and must, interact with each other to make sure one “spoke” works constructively with the others, that one “spoke” doesn’t counteract or disrupt the activities of others, and that the activities of each of them are timed in a strategic way so everyone’s work has the greatest and most beneficial effect. Sometimes, I must wait for your plan so I don’t step on it (like in football when the long pass play waits for several runs by the fullback to bring the defense’s safeties closer to the line of scrimmage). Sometimes I must go first to “set the table” for you (like in baseball when a leadoff hitter gets on base so the cleanup batter can belt the 3-run or grand slam home run). But we must be more strategic so the different groups with their different strategies can see their work finally bearing fruit and bringing success and victory for our people. And there is a role for all of us here, except those provocateurs and opportunists who thrive on our confusion and ultimately use it to bring us all down and leave us running laps instead of actually moving forward and making progress for our people and the world.

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

Liberian Officials Welcome SRDC and the Library Project

Liberian Officials Welcome SRDC and the Library Project

This article originally appeared on the Web site http://kuumbareport.com.

This article gives some details of the agreement between the Liberian grassroots organization known as Sehwah, the African Union, and the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) to proceed with the planning and construction of what will be the first-ever Public Library in Liberia, located on a two-acre plot of land in the capital city of Monrovia. The new library will service the nation-states of Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Conakry.

Statement from Sehwah Liberia on the Sehwah-SRDC Public Library Project in Monrovia, Liberia

In a 29 January 2019 consultative meeting with The National Arcade Director and full teams, the African Union Ambassador to Liberia and SRDC/Sehwah Liberia representatives held our first discussion to harmonize the public Library and the future sites for the library.

The National Arcade (GOL) and SRDC/Sehwah Liberia Incorporated, and in collaboration with the African Union Regional Office-Monrovia, Liberia organized the National project for Liberia which aimed at discussing the proposed sites for inclusion of the National Public Library Property. The project is to enhance capacity in implementing the education system in Liberia.

Based on the importance and a special need for the first National Public Library to be constructed in Liberia, the African Union ambassador welcomed this project and the plan to fund it from the African Union and the international partners of the AU for Liberia. Successful Finance Planning for the 2 acres of land is designated for the National Public Library in central Monrovia.

February 10, 2019: Mrs. Louise W. McMillian [Siaway], Founder of Sehwah Liberia Incorporated, visited the land for the proposed public library site in Monrovia and discussed a partnership agreement with The National Arcade of Liberia and based on the conversation, the decision was reached for the African Union Ambassador to Liberia to represent the AU for the library in regards to financing the projects for the first public library ever to be built in Liberia. The next step is property analysis for the architectural drafting technical team to design the library base on the land space, etc., associated with the project.

The mission of the National Public Library of Liberia is far reaching and deeply motivated. As a first repository for the Republic’s rich history, it will be a beacon of knowledge, unity and inspiration for all. This Library will be a state of the art complex.

“The historic Liberia Public Library will be vibrant community buildings for peace and security for the country and will embrace the opportunity to observe, interact, and consider human events in the realm of ideas that will empower the people to make a difference in their communities and socially impact the nation with the pride and self-esteem of a modern nation to contribute meaningfully to the development agenda. SRDC will provide technical support.” (Statement from the African Union Ambassador)

The African Union (AU) Ambassador to Liberia, Ibrahim M. Kamara, has said the Union is satisfied with the level of peace and security in the country since the end of the 14-year civil conflict. Kamara also said it is the responsibility of the AU to support the development agenda of Liberia, which is a founding member of the body, in the name of Pan-African solidarity.

The Ambassador recounted that the National Public Library will play a significant role in Liberia to ensure that the peace and security the country now enjoys is continued.

SRDC (Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus) is a 501 (C-3) legally registered civil society organization based in Seattle, Washington and Los Angeles, California. The primary purpose of SRDC is to help bring the African Diaspora into a working partnership with the African Union, and individual African countries, which will be mutually beneficial to Africa and to the Diaspora. Examples of such partnerships include the current project to build a new public library in Liberia, on-going efforts to encourage and work with groups like AFRICARE and the ASI (African Scientific Institute) to provide free technical training to African youth, gaining Diaspora membership in the African Union, working with the Pan African Parliament, etc. The SRDC promotes diplomatic training and engagement among African-descendent youth, endorses and supports the accomplishment of the AU’s AGENDA 2063, and sees itself as a positive representative and spokesman for Pan African unification.

The SRDC believes that working collaboratively; we are stronger in our quest to restore dignity, respect and sustainable development on the African continent and in the Diaspora. This group with support from Partners intends to construct a National Public Library for the benefit of thousands of residents of Montserrado County, and other counties and locals within the territorial boundary of the Country.

The Liberian Delegation Officially Announces the Commencement of the Library Project

On Day Two of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) 12th Annual International Summit, held October 25-26, 2019 in Charleston, South Carolina, the crowning achievement of the weekend was realized: the official designation of the Sehwah-SRDC Liberia Library Project. With assistance from a cooperative arrangement between Sehwah, a grassroots Pan-Afrikan organization in Liberia; the African Union; and the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC), the country’s first ever Public Library is now slated to be built on a two-acre tract of land in the capital city of Monrovia provided by the government of the Republic of Liberia.

Ms. Louise Siaway is Executive Director of Sehwah-Liberia. Over the last year, as Sehwah has solidified its cooperative arrangement with SRDC, Liberia is now home to the first SRDC organization on the Afrikan Continent, complete with an office space that has yet to be fully furnished and placed into operation. She is a former Assistant Minister of Cultural Affairs and Tourism in the administration of former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Ms. Siaway has been negotiating with the African Union on the need to work cooperatively with SRDC to construct what will be the first public library in Liberia.

“The strengthening of the relationship between SRDC and Afrika is working. With an office in Liberia, it is now a topic of SRDC in the Continent. So, we would like to call on the [Liberian] government representative for land. The government of Liberia gave two acres of land to SRDC’s project for the public library in Liberia,” she said as she introduced the National Archive Director-General of Liberia, Mr. C. Neileh Daitouah.

Mr. Daitouah made the official presentation of a deed to two acres of land in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city, to Ms. Siaway.

“I bring you greetings on behalf of His Excellency, George Manneh Weah, President of the Republic of Liberia and the government and the lovely people of Liberia. … We are delighted about the invitation extended to us to participate in the 12th Annual Conference of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus … to bring together the Afrikan Diaspora into a working partnership with the African Union. This endeavor of partnership is a laudable initiative toward regional integration and sustainable development. …

“As the 2019 Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus seeks to stimulate a constructive dialog, knowledge sharing, and formulation of a new social and cultural economy, and strategic efforts to bring the Afrikan Diaspora into a working partnership with the African Union and further highlights a part of its objective …

“And we underscore the importance of the objectives for this conference, that is to the sustainable development of individual Afrikan countries and further set the stage for the opportunity to share with you fellow participants, our initiative and exciting efforts to seek to promote and improve the educational center of Liberia, especially with what has to do with library development in Liberia.

“The lack of a modern library in Liberia is a serious impediment to the educational needs of the people in Liberia. As we have come to see, a public library is a powerhouse for acquiring knowledge. …

“We have been holding discussions with Ms. Louise Siaway, Executive Director of Sehwah-SRDC. She is a former Assistant Minister of Cultural Affairs and Tourism [in the administration of] Her Excellency, [former] President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and who has been negotiating with the African Union on our behalf, on the need to construct a worthy public library in Liberia and have as one component a Presidential Library that will profile the civic and vital accomplishments of past and present presidents of the Republic of Liberia for our present and future generations to know the role played and the accomplishments of their former and present presidents. …

“The African Union has agreed to construct the [national] library … and the government of Liberia will require that the land available is suitable land for said construction. …

“Subsequently, we received the letter of confirmation from the Liberian Land Authority about the availability of land for the construction of the public library in Liberia by the African Union in partnership with SRDC.

“On behalf of the government of Liberia, we are pleased to present that aforementioned letter of confirmation of land. …

“On this note, it is my honor to invite the Director of Sehwah to receive from us on behalf of the government of Liberia, the letter confirming the availability of two acres of land.

“As we conclude, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we look forward to the realization of a dream come true. The construction of a Public National Library in Liberia by Afrikans working in partnership with SRDC. Thank you and may God bless you all. Liberia is home for all Black Afrikans.”

Ms. Siaway then invited the Minister/Counselor for the Liberian Embassy and the SRDC leadership to the podium.

“I would like to call on our Assistant Ambassador, Dr. Horne and the leadership of SRDC. This is the official turning over of the deed to SRDC and to let you know that the government of Liberia and AU, African Union, welcome the Children of Afrika. And all of our delegation from Liberia, Sehwah-Liberia, are honored to present this, like we said last year: Bridging the Gap Between Us.”

Ms. Sophia Togba Mawle, Minister Counselor of the Liberian Embassy, representing the Liberian Ambassador to the United States, The Honorable George S. W. Patten Sr., officially presented the Land Deed to SRDC’s International Facilitator, Professor David L. Horne.

“Indeed, we need to come together as one. For the common good of our people. Indeed, we need to raise up our hands, in our collective, to raise up and run with this vision. We are here, and we are here in our capacity to support this effort. …

“Indeed, it is an honor, on behalf of the government of the Republic of Liberia to present at this time, to the leadership and members of Sehwah, to Dr. David L. Horne, the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus in the Americas, we want to take this time to present to you this deed. … We want to raise our hand to say, We are one from the Motherland, and we are going to build the Motherland to our collective. We want to present this deed; even as you galvanize the resources, even as we go about this vision, we know that it will come to reality in the Republic of Liberia, this Library Project that will serve the sub-region – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea [Conakry], Ivory Coast. Yes, We Can!”

Discussion of the Liberia Library Project and the January 2019 Visit of SRDC to Monrovia, Liberia

Mr. Nvasekie Konneh, Public Relations Officer for Sehwah-Liberia, then made a more detailed presentation about the future public library, including photographs of the prospective building, the land that has been prepared for the construction, and the recent visit by Prof. Horne, Bro. Kumasi Palmer, Bro. Fred Lincoln and Sis. Deborah Wright as representatives of SRDC to Liberia to commemorate and celebrate this important new partnership.

“Today, I have come humble in my stance but progressive in my thoughts about a vision of unity and connectivity concerning our cause as Afrikan people. The SRDC must come together with us and accept the view that the continent of Africa is ours and not allow others to do more than us. This vision has already been casted and we must all own it so as to move forward as a people, united in progress.

“We must treat the continent of Afrika and its people just as the Jews from all over the world consider the state of Israel as their home.

“We should not sit on the sideline and complain about other groups of people investing on the continent and extracting the natural resources of this great continent. Today, everybody is talking about China, or Russia. Everybody’s coming to Afrika, right? To extract resources for, I guess they would say, our mutual benefit, but most likely it may benefit them more than us. But we, the sons and daughters of Afrika, those who have come from the Afrikan Continent, and the Afrikan Diaspora in America and the Caribbean, we must come together [for] building for our own benefit.

“We have to be part of those who will make history and not watch as history is written.

“Our contribution will be noted and generations yet unborn will see that we have provided them a cultural inheritance that has no monetary value. Let me say that as we gather here today, we have to take a seat at the African dinner table of development and cooperation amongst our brothers and sisters.

“Through this movement, we must go back and educate our children about our connection to the African continent and the Diaspora as a whole, meaning the partnership that exists between the native Afrikans and the Afrikan Diaspora must be taught to our children on both sides of the Atlantic so that the children of Afrika will know the connection and the children over here will understand the connection.

“Sometimes there’s a lot of misconception … particularly among young people. I remember years ago, when I was in the US Navy. I served many years in the US Navy, I served on two battleships, and I was stationed in Philadelphia, but I realized there’s a lot of misconception. Many times, when I come home around Afrikan people, I hear some thing they say about Afrikan Americans, and when I come among my Afrikan American Brothers and Sisters I hear them say something about native Afrikans. And it disturbs me. And I feel like there is a lot of communication that is needed for all of us to understand and to work together as one people for one common agenda.

“SEHWAH Liberia is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable development, through building cultural heritages initiative and advocacy for women and children in Liberia. So, our partnership with SRDC is geared toward promoting this kind of development agenda for both our areas. Because I believe, for a lot of Afrikan Americans, you feel the deep connection to the land of your birth. There’s a lot of great people that have done a lot of great work, for this connectivity we are having today. I’m a writer. And I can go back to Accra or Johannesburg and … coming to today, we have to understand that there is a lot of good work that is being done; we are only building on the foundation that has been laid by other people before us. Whether it was Malcolm X, Kwame Ture, Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, their vision is the same one we are building today. I remember several years ago, when Rev. Dr. Leon Sullivan organized the African and African American Summit; I was here when the first one was here. … So, that work has been going on for a while, and Sehwah is coming to continue the work that has been going on for all these many years.

“Last year Dr. Horne and a delegation from SRDC went to Liberia, and we attended the SRDC program last year in Baltimore to basically bring us together for one common purpose. And as you said here today, this library project must be brought to reality for future benefit.

“This is the land that is being demarcated for the library project in Liberia. That’s the land where the library is to be built in Monrovia.

“And this is the “blueprint” [a proposed version] of the library.

“As you can see here, Dr. Horne is being greeted by the joyous people of Liberia, celebrating the arrival of his delegation.

“Making reference to 1822. What some of you may not know, after the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln, some Afrikan Americans decided to go back to Afrika to start a country. And though there might have been a lot of negative things about the coming together of the native Afrikans and the Afrikan Americans, but a good thing is that we have a nation called Liberia as a result of it. Coming together. And we will also have to understand it took a lot of sacrifices for the people to leave everything they had known for hundreds of years to go back to Afrika, to an unknown situation, When people who have been separated for hundreds of years come together, sometimes you can have some commotion, some misunderstanding, but at the end of the day, we have the Republic of Liberia today.

“This is more of the interaction between Dr. Horne and Liberians [enjoying] Sehwah’s program, which was a very elaborate program with government officials, the former vice president of Liberia was present, as you can see here.

“There’s a saying that a picture says a thousand words. So, for all of us here that are seeing the slide show here with all of these pictures, be assured that the relationship between Sehwah and SRDC is well cemented in our history. These are art and cultural artifacts that are on display at the occasion as well. Cultural dancers in Liberia serenading the delegates with beautiful Afrikan songs and dances.

“The wife of the late vice president of Liberia [center of the photo] was also in attendance at the program.

“It means that SRDC visited Liberia last year. It was a high profile event that was covered by the Liberian media. … And of course, there is a lot of enthusiasm in Liberia for this wonderful project. So we would like to extend great thanks to our Executive Director Ms. Louise Siaway for having the vision to initiate such a project, and we would also like to show our appreciation to the members and leadership of SRDC for deciding to partner with us to undertake such a wonderful project.

“SEHWAH Liberia and Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) initiated a partnership in Liberia for the purpose of strengthening engagements with stakeholders in Africa and Diaspora.

“2018, we had the honor to enter into partnership agreement for sustainable Development on the continent and Diasporas. Both agreed that there are ample opportunities in bringing the African Diaspora into a working partnership between Africa.’Bridging the gaps between ourselves’.

“We all have to be proactive in these endeavors because there is no time to standstill but to create financial, social and moral method to make this journey a success.

“Thank you.”

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

Introduction to the 2019 SRDC International Summit, October 25-26, 2019, Charleston, South Carolina

Introduction to the 2019 SRDC International Summit, October 25-26, 2019, Charleston, South Carolina

The 12th International Summit of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) was held on Friday and Saturday, October 25 and 26, 2019, at the International Longshoremen’s Association Hall in Charleston, South Carolina. This was the same location as the 2010 International Summit the last time it was held here. The weekend was ably organized by the South Carolina Organizing Committee of SRDC.

Members and organizational allies came from California, Washington State, Maryland, South Carolina, Central America (via New York), Belize and Liberia. We thank the South Carolina SRDC Organization for planning and organizing a course-defining conference and creating a welcoming environment for the attendees.

The theme for the Summit was a discussion of 21st Century Pan-Afrikanism. A panel discussion was held that featured several organizers from the United States, Central America and Afrika. Details about the panel discussion, including audio and video clips, are featured in the article “21st Century Pan-Afrikanism: The SRDC Summit Panel, October 26, 2019” on the web site http://kuumbareport.com.

The first day, Friday afternoon, began with a Tambiko or Libation ceremony, in which the attendees invoke the Creator, the different manifestations of the Creator (Orisha, Nsamamfo, Netcheru, and other subordinate Afrikan spiritual Ancestral deities analogous to the Archangels of Protestantism and the Patron Saints of Catholicism), and the Honored Ancestors of our families and of the global Black Struggle against oppression and toward the unity and uplift of Afrikan People. Names were invoked such as the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Steve Biko, Sojourner Truth, Henry Sylvester Williams, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Shirley Chisholm, Jomo Kenyatta, Amilcar Cabral, Fannie Oou Hamer, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Sankara, Malcolm X, Dr. Betty Shabazz, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Yvette Colvin, Rosa Parks and so many others. The purpose is for the positive energy and spirit that imbued these Honored Ancestors would continue to inspire us to carry on with their historic and mighty work on behalf of Afrikan People.

At the conclusion of the outdoor ceremony, the attendees took their seats inside the spacious hall of the International Longshoremen’s Association, a Black association of the longshoremen and dock workers who have helped make Charleston a valuable port on the east coast of the United States. The Charleston longshoremen had participated in the shipping of relief supplies to The Bahamas in the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Dorian earlier in the year, and will figure prominently in efforts to ensure the safe transport of important goods and services to Afrika as the Diaspora’s connection to our ancestral home becomes stronger and stronger.

Once seated inside the International Longshoremen’s Hall, the Summit’s program officially began.

The theme of this year’s Summit was “21st Century Pan-Afrikanism”, and included a panel discussion on that topic on the second day. The signature achievement of the Summit, or as SRDC’s International Facilitator, Professor David L. Horne, defines our task now as “doing something and not just talking about it”, was the commencement of the process of planning and building the first public library in Liberia’s history. We have featured an introductory article about this project on this Web site, which can be read here. You can read about the concrete steps that were taken at the Summit to get the library project underway, to begin “doing something”, here.

This article will feature the opening remarks from SRDC’s South Carolina Facilitator, Bro. Kumasi Palmer; the Director of the Liberian advocacy organization Sehwah, Sis. Louise Siaway; and SRDC’s International Facilitator, Professor David L. Horne.

Kumasi Palmer, South Carolina Facilitator, SRDC

The SRDC South Carolina team consisted of Facilitator Bro. Kumasi Palmer and Organizing Committee members Bro. Fred Lincoln, Sis. Deborah Wright, Evangelist Patricia Wright and a number of local activists, with direct ties to the local Charleston community as well as the Geechie-Gullah communities that inhabit the coastal areas and the barrier islands of South Carolina. Bro. Kumasi introduced us to the weekend’s activities and stressed the on-the-ground emphasis of SRDC.

“Welcome to Charleston, a historical town. We are here, talking about us. We’re here from South Carolina, from North America, from South America, the Caribbean, Central America, and the Afrikan Continent. This whole program is revolving around us, and our work to reconnect to Afrika. We have a number of folk from the Continent of Afrika itself. We have on the program an organization called Sehwah, which is located in Liberia, being led by Ms. Louise Siaway.

“SRDC is … a Pan-Afrikan organization … that is where we are headed as a people worldwide, getting together globally. We need to become a global people. When we become a global people, then we develop power and influence. The problems in America, the problems in the Caribbean, the problems in Central America where our people are located, will never be resolved until Afrika is free, independent and powerful as a base. That’s been understood historically by Marcus Garvey, it was understood historically by Kwame Nkrumah, by and also Malcolm X. They were always saying we have to have a base. Afrika is our base, and after we become strong and independent, the world will respect us. It has to be [based on how] we see it. [For a lot of people] who are not here, they don’t understand this concept. We understand it as a strong moral concept, and it’s going to grow.

“Anyway, SRDC, we’ll get more into that as we move forward tonight and tomorrow. It is a Pan-Afrikan organization that has been working diligently to try to bring Afrikan people together worldwide. We do go to the Afrikan Continent. David Horne is our chief facilitator. We’ve been traveling to Brazil, we’ve traveled to Nicaragua, we’ve traveled to Honduras, we’ve connected to the CABO Organization, Central American Black Organization … we’ve been doing that for the last ten years, just hooking people up, and introducing them to Afrika and the concept of coming together as a people globally. … this is what we’ve been doing. And tonight, this is just an introduction to who we are and what we’re all about. And we have a special group of people here tonight, from Liberia, who we have invited. We are working diligently now with an organization called Sehwah, on the Afrikan Continent. And one of our major projects is to build a public library in Liberia. That’s what we’re doing. We’ll talk about that more, but it’s about work, practical Pan-Afrikanism, what can we do together to help build Afrika, and empower Afrikan people around the world.

“With that, I’m going to stop, and get this program going. I’m going to introduce to you the first person who is going to come up to speak to us. As I said there are a number of people with us here tonight. We won’t hear from all of them, but we’re from Seattle, we’re from California, we’re from Maryland, and we’ve got chapters in different parts of the country and we have affiliated organizations in other parts of the world.

“So, we’ve got our Sister right here from Central America, Honduras, Spanish-speaking Afrikan people, Sis. Mirtha Colon, who is here with us tonight, traveling all the way from New York City, where she now lives, but she’s representing the Central American Black Organization, which is the major Black organization in Central America. So we’re connected worldwide. You’re going to hear from some of these folks as we develop our panel discussions in our workshops tomorrow. But right now I want to introduce Sis. Louise Siaway, who is going to come up and give us a few words about who she is, what she’s doing. Louise is the former Minister of Culture in the Liberian government under the [Ellen Johnson Sirleaf] administration. So now she’s working with an organization called Sehwah, and we’re working diligently with her to make this library project a reality. We have collected thousands of books already, and we will collect thousands more. Louise Siaway.”

Ms. Louise Siaway, Director of Sehwah-Liberia

“Thank you. Well, first of all, I would like to introduce my honorable Deputy Secretary of the Liberian Embassy, she is the Minister Counsel. She is the higher authority in the house. Next to her is the director of ACA, that is responsible for the public library in Liberia. We also have the Director for Projects at the National Archives. So, I want to give their names, not just giving their positions, the Honorable Madame Sophia Togba Mawle is our senior government official here in the US. Her reason for being here is that anything that we’re going to do in Liberia will go through her department, her office. It may be a public library. It may be an investment opportunity in Afrika. It begins in Liberia. Because, like Kumasi said, now, for SRDC to have an office on the Continent, it is historically placed in Liberia.

“And I want to say thank you to the SRDC members. We will go into more detail tomorrow, how we begin bridging the gap between us. You are Afrikan-American, I am an Afrikan. We are one.

“So, unity is what I’m going to talk about tomorrow. Unity and connectivity. You see, from here to Afrika is not that far. Afrika is right here, in your community. Your culture, what you eat, are what make you an Afrikan. So when I travel to other countries, from Liberia, into Europe, I’m an Afrikan. If you leave here and go to Europe, you’re an Afrikan. They’re not going to say, ‘Oh, Louise is an Afrikan-Liberian.’ Or, Afrikan-American. You are an Afrikan. So that makes us very unique, and this unity that we started last year, we shall say thank you again to the SRDC Family. The opening of the office in Liberia is the beginning of our relationship, this family and how we come together. And one of the most important things in Afrika is that, it isn’t to just criticize and say ‘Oh, why is it that other foreign people are coming in here and looting our wealth, our natural resources?’ But, it is not them, it’s us. We have one united role. We will be able to make it beneficial of the natural resources in Afrika. Afrika is very rich. It’s not poor. The minerals, the iron ore, the diamonds, the gold, the timber. Once upon a time, Liberia was exporting shrimp, seafood, because we are on the west coast of Afrika. So, business opportunity is huge. It only takes one step, and that’s the step we’ve already taken, last year, March, when we signed the MOU [Memorandum of Understanding], and the [SRDC] office was launched in Liberia. So tomorrow, I will give you mire detail, where we are. I have a responsibility, and my responsibility is to strengthen the relationship between the Diaspora and the African Union. And you will get the report tomorrow, how far we’ve come, and what we have done, on the Continent. Thank you.”

21st Century Pan-Afrikanism Must Be About Building: Remarks from Prof. David L. Horne, Lead Facilitator, SRDC

Prof. Horne was among the original founders of SRDC, and he has served as the organization’s leader since its beginnings in 2006. After years of pushing to establish a voice for the Pan-Afrikan Diaspora in the African Union, SRDC has included a number of practical strategies in our effort to connect the Diaspora to our ancestral home. The following were his comments to officially open the Summit on Friday evening, October 25.

“Good evening. …

“I’m not here to talk about problems. We’ve all got problems. What we don’t have enough of are solutions and projects to solve the problems. They start teaching us in grade school, here’s how to recognize the problems. And some of us even paid attention long enough to find out, after learning to recognize it, how to solve it. Black folk are great problem solvers. … Without having been great problem solvers, we would not be here. They would have taken us out. They have tried to take us out. They are still trying to take us out! We ain’t going nowhere. Whatever you throw at us, we get up, clean up, keep on moving.

“A few years ago, some people said, ‘You know, there are over eighteen thousand public libraries in a small country like Italy.’ Eighteen thousand! In America’s only official colony on the Afrikan Continent, the one that they dropped and now want to talk about, America’s only official colony, Liberia, there is not even one public library. Not one. Now think about what impact that’s having on the education of our children. Our children will take us into the future. And we will have a future. We can complain about what we don’t have in Liberia. Or we can start building. Start moving. So Louise came up with the idea, and I’m a typical Black man, I know how to follow a strong Black woman. She said, You know, we can work this out, cooperate, and do something really unique here. We can build our own library, not go and beg somebody else to do it for us. We can build our own.

“Part of what we’re going to talk about at this conference is building. Last week, as the other part of what we do, we had a Pan African Business and Trade Conference in northern California. It went very well. We had a number of Afrikan visitors, some from Uganda, some from Ghana, some from Nigeria. They wanted to talk about California making arrangements to trade with Afrika. Not just to wait until 45 or someone else says ‘We don’t want to talk to those people’. California has a larger economy than 95% of the countries in the world. And California said that it is ready to start trading directly with the Continent. So we were having this conference, cooperating and learning to engage with each other, and it occurred to me that our Global African comrades who were there — and we’re all Global Afrikans; there are Global Afrikans who live on the Continent and there are Global Afrikans who live right here in South Carolina; we’re all Afrikans; we were born Afrikans, we’ve been Afrikans and we are still Afrikans – but it occurred to me that our Nigerian friends, my South Afrikan friends … woke up every day, knowing that they were Afrikan. Knowing that they were part of a country, part of a land, part of a community. They knew they were Afrikan because they were raised to be Afrikan. I was not born in Afrika. Unfortunately, they took us away. But Afrika was born in me. And because of that connection, my life has a purpose. We are to reconnect each other, and with each other. That young child has to know, has to be taught, that there is nothing wrong with Afrika, because that’s you.

“We have some other practical issues that we have to talk about before the end of the conference. … One of the practical ideas that we’re going to talk about is this ideas of the African Union, the real Pan-Afrikan organization that is operating now, hooking up with the Diaspora. We’re supposed to be part of that, we’re supposed to be in the building. We’re supposed to be part of the discussions. Well, they have not really fully allowed that, so we’re going to take it anyway. We’re going to take our place. And one of the ways that we’re going to take our place, because we have to have something worth it, we’ve got to have something in the fight, and simply saying that we want to go back home to Ghana, or go back home to Niger, or go back home to Liberia, is not enough. So what we are demanding and what we are working on is something we call Dual Citizenship, because if these crazy people get too crazy, we’ve got to have someplace else to go. If we want to. There are 250 Diasporans living in Ghana right now who have just been made citizens of Ghana. Without giving up their American passports or Jamaican passports or Trinidadian passports. They’ve got two. They’ve got two. And the [US] State Department, even under 45, is not interfering in the idea of /Dual Citizenship. We now have that on the table, we’re going to win that battle.

“Again, we’re not just talking about what the problem is, but how to solve it. Thank you.”

After Professor Horne’s initial remarks that Friday evening, there were cultural presentations from several locally-connected Afrikan Drumming schools, who performed drum and dance routines for the assembled guests based on traditions from Afrikan and the nearby Geechie-Gullah communities.

On the morning of Saturday, October 26, Prof. Horne again called the Summit to order and introduced the topic for the panel discussion on 21st Century Pan-Afrikanism that would be taken up later that afternoon:

“Welcome to Charleston. This has been an agricultural community, a fishing community. It’s fine to get up in the morning and say that you’re going fishing and you plan to bring back stuff that you can sell at the market, but if you come back and your nets are empty, you have no fish to take to the community, then you’re just talking. You’re wishing. You’re hoping.

“Now, we’ve all been through personal situations, we’ve all been through very public, nasty situations as the forces of the world try to keep us back, and we’ve talked about we need to change stuff, we need to move beyond this, we need to do something.

“Black people have been talking about doing something longer than we’ve been here. And in Charleston, in South Carolina, even though we’ve done this big project, the 1619 Project, beautiful work, New York Times spent a lot of money on it, but part of it’s not true. Slavery did not begin in Jamestown in 1619. Those were not the first Afrikans brought to this country. They started in Charleston before they started in Jamestown. And they were already in Florida before the English ever brought anybody Black here. But again, that’s a way of trying to compact our history to show a kind of narrative that we’ve been here, we’ve survived, we have been able to overcome all of the things they’ve put on us and that’s fine. But it’s time to do something about where we are. We have to be able to show up with, ‘Here’s our project. Here’s how we’re going to change it. Here’s how we’re going to get something that’s not already here.’

“When the National African American Museum got produced, organized and put together, mainly by Lonnie Bunche, he started with an idea that most people told him would never work. You can’t get this done. Number one, it’s just you. You’re just one poor Black man who has some experience doing libraries, but you don’t; who are you? You’re not the president. You’re not a big bank. You’re not a big dog. What are you bringing to the table? How can you, a single Black man, create a museum that can speak for all Afrikan Americans? How can you even dream of doing that? But guess what? He did it. Against all odds, he did it, and White people fought him tooth and nail. They did not want him to use that land. That land was supposed to be special, for them only. And they fought him tooth and nail over that. But he got some support, even from some Southern racists, and some other people, and he got the museum built. Now, some people who did not participate in getting it built are trying to slowly tear it down, or bring some criticism to it which will make it no longer feel worthy. There are some of us who recognize Kwanzaa, the process that we celebrate towards the end of the year. There are some people in DC who said that the National African American Museum should have a special place for Kwanzaa. ‘You need to have an exhibit space, you need to make more of a presentation about how important it was. How dare you have a National Afrikan American Museum and not have Kwanzaa?’ Well, the people in charge if the museum said ‘well, that was not our idea, we’re not going to do it.’ So we now have some Black folk talking about doing a protest movement. Black folk protesting their own story. Talking about marching out in front of the Museum. Silly!

“I just got a call this morning from our representative in Guadeloupe and Martinique. Most of you know Line because she comes to most all of our Conferences. She said a French representative, somebody working in president Macron’s office, just came to visit Guadeloupe this week, and brought with him this young man called Louis Tin, who is now representing himself as the Prime Minister of the Diaspora, which means nothing. He can’t be the Prime Minister of air. He needs some territory, he needs some property. But he’s going around the world representing himself as the Prime Minister of us. He didn’t ask us, we didn’t elect him to anything, but he is putting his name out and his personage out, representing that. We had a quick discussion about that last night. Line was concerned that the French are coming up with an approach toward Pan-Afrikanism to make sure they keep it confused. To keep us fighting over non-issues. Sis. Maisha [Washington, Maryland Council of Elders] was telling me last night, we don’t need to fall for the hype. We don’t need to get distracted and go chase the mouse down the hole, down the rabbit hole. But we need to understand that Pan-Afrikanism is working in this world and in our countries, and there are people who will fight tooth and nail to kill it. They have no interest in Afrikan people uniting. None. Afrikan presidents, Afrikan countries, who we don’t always think of as being brilliant or being servants of the people, we sometimes think they are only in it for the money. Some of them are. But you have these 55 heads of Afrika who make decisions for the African Union. They, and us, were never taught that we were supposed to work together. That we are supposed to see other Afrikans and think that we can get something done, not just something to talk about but something done. These 55 Afrikan leaders were never supposed to be able to overcome their own selfishness and agree to a Continental Free Trade pact. That we are going to trade with each other first, before the Commonwealth, before the EU, before the French. We have come to, as Afrikans, grow, produce and trade together first, then with them. There is absolutely no love from those who are used to telling us what to do for that kind of agreement. ‘How dare you make that common agreement! How dare you come together. You all are not supposed to do that!’

“It’s doing, it’s moving forward, which is what we’re about. The Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus was created in response to the invitation that the African Union made to the Diaspora to come back home, to come back and join this effort to build a union, to build a coming-back-together, to build something that the world has not seen. The Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus has been at this for a few years. This is our twelfth annual conference. We’ve done a lot of talking. Had a lot of meetings. We are now on the road to Let’s Do Something! Let’s demonstrate what we mean by getting something tangible done. We need to see a building, we need to see a car, we need to see a boat, we need to see something! Touch something. The African American Museum, you can go knock on the wall. You can go and taste it and touch it, as some people do. They actually try to wrap their arms around the whole building and kiss it. We, as Fred has always said, need to do something. When the hurricane almost took out The Bahamas, there were a bunch of people talking about, ‘That’s so sad. That’s too bad.’ They didn’t need talk. They had had their lived devastated, their homes crushed. They needed help. So Fred said, I can start working on getting something done. Raise some money, get some food, get some stuff that will help them over their crisis.

“So going back to that quick discussion I had with Kumasi a few minutes ago, when it comes down to it, it’s not what you say, it’s what you do. It’s not what you promise, it’s what you put on the table. So, S.R.D.C. in its twelfth year, started working with Sehwah of Liberia, and we opened a joint office in Liberia. You can actually go and see the office. No, it’s not well furnished yet. We’re getting there. We also went and made a presentation to the Liberian government. Liberia is very important to South Carolina. You have a long history of contact with that country. They have iron. They have substance. The agreement between SRDC and Sehwah was You know what? Liberia needs a library. Educational purposes. Have students show up, and have people learn how to read. Reading is a problem in Liberia, I hate to say it. It’s a problem right here too. The problem that we have in South Carolina, the problem that we have in California, the problem that we have in New York, with our folk learning how to read, is nothing, nothing compared to what they have in Liberia. You’re actually seeing fully grown people who cannot read. And it’s not because they’re dumb, they’re not. Nobody ever taught them how to read. A library is where you can go and learn how to read. Have people help you, have people train you. So the position was, we can connect with each other, Liberia back to the Afrikan Diaspora here, and we can build a library. We can do something that most people haven’t even thought about doing. We can and will build a library. And we’re in the process of getting that done now.

“This young lady, Louise Siaway, from Liberia who used to be in the Liberian government, has been a brilliant organizer of getting this done. A few months ago we were just talking about the idea, the she wrote Deborah and me into it and Kumasi into it in August. Now, today, in October, we already have a grant of land. The government has granted two acres of land. Not in the bushes, not in the trees where nobody will find us, but in the pricey part of Monrovia. We got 2 acres of land, the government is basically not going to try to control it. We are in the process of getting a GoFundMe page set up so we can raise our part of the money for the architects, the designers, etc.

“The issue is making sure we do our part, which means that we are going to train the young people in library science to run their own library. We’re not talking about putting up a building for White folks to come and make a showcase, ‘Look at what we did in Liberia, for them!’ No, this is not doing something for them it’s doing something with them. So we’re going to train young people to run their own library. Deborah’s going to be in charge of that, so we’ve got to raise some funds for that too.

“Again, we are doing something. Brother Kamau is working on a project our in Seattle that says you can go and get equipment, computers, ship those to the Afrikan areas that say they can be used for schooling, for teaching, for helping students. We will arrange it, we will ship it, you pay for the shipping, and then you distribute it in your own area. Doing something. Pan-Afrikanism, if it’s not about doing something, it’s not Pan-Afrikanism.

“This conference, starting with this vanguard, is about Pan-Afrikanism as a ‘doing-something’ concept. I can quote Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. I can quote Sekou Toure. I can quote George Padmore. We can talk all day about these leaders who have come and given us important statements and documents to move forward with. But again, that’s not getting it done. That’s talking about getting it done. This is 2019. They are going to impeach and remove a president of this country, not just talk about it, they’re going to do it. We have to show our seriousness in the same way, by moving with a Pan-Afrikanism that’s about doing. So this 12th Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus [Summit] is about doing.

“So we have, here in the vanguard, members of the Central American Black Organization. We have the Deputy Minister from Liberia here to talk about how they are doing. We are here to talk about what they are going to do to participate in the building, indeed, let’s identify projects and get stuff done. Let’s be known by what we do and not by what we say. We have a Brother here from Belize. Belize used to be very, very important and will be important again in Afrikan-American activities. They are not doing enough, yet, but with Brother Hodari, they are going to. We just have to sit down with him and plan and get some stuff done in that area.

“You have to understand, Afrikan people are not going to sit idle and let their land, their people, their culture be taken advantage of here. As I finish this brief introduction, within the next ten years, we have been told that if we don’t do something definitive about climate change, all of the talk is a waste of time. We cannot stop the sun, we cannot stop the change, we cannot stop the weather, it’s just going to get worse. There’ll be more fires in California, they’re going to burn the hell out of California just like they’re doing now, you all are going to be flooded out here. We have about ten years, to either do something, or else it’s just going to be all over. White people are not going to get to Mars in time to have a colony on Mars. They’re not planning on taking us anyway but I don’t think we want to go.

“Within ten years, 60% of the still available land resources on earth will be in Afrika. That means they’re coming back to try to take Afrika again. There’ll be this recolonization going on. They will have burned out their own places, so they’re going to try to come back to Afrika to take that again. Understand, that is already on the horizon, it is already in the planning stages. And the French have either been told or they have decided that they’re going to be the point of the arrow about doing something about that.

“We have to, we have to, we have to, count ourselves as part of the [group] to get stuff done to block any of the people who want to come and rake our land again. We have to be part of building what is necessary. And we’re starting with the library and moving forward to other things.

“As an introduction to the conference, welcome. Again, you are the vanguard, you are the folk who are going to plan what’s going to be happening. Congratulations on your new museum coming in to Charleston in a few months. Hopefully you will not let them tell you what your museum is supposed to be about. Hopefully you will take charge of your own story. Okay, the conference is now open!”

SRDC Local Organizing Committees

Several SRDC local organizations were present at the Summit, as we stated before above. At this time, the attending organizations made their reports on their activities and plans up to this point. Below are brief descriptions of the speakers and brief audio of the various local organizations’ reports.

Sis. Mirtha Colon is the current president of the Central American Black Organization or CABO (in Spanish, the name is Organizacion Negra Centroamericana or ONECA). Born in Honduras and living most of the last several decades in the New York area, Sis. Colon has been a guiding force in CABO for many years, and currently serves as the organization’s president.

These are her remarks as she introduced herself, described the mission of CABO and affirmed her support for SRDC’s work through this Summit:

Mama Maisha Washington is a member of the SRDC Maryland organizing committee as well as a member of the Maryland Council of Elders, which was officially seated at a December 2017 Maryland Pan Afrikan Town Hall Meeting. She is also a teacher and, as such, is helping spearhead the development of an Afrikan Centered Curriculum for Afrikan Diasporans.

Here, Mama Maisha discusses one of the priorities of the Maryland Organization, the building of an Afrikan-Centered Curriculum, which had been espoused at last year’s Summit in Baltimore, Maryland:

Bro. Kamau Taplin is the Washington State SRDC Facilitator, based in Seattle. He has worked with The Gambia to arrange for the transport of surplus furniture and other goods to that Afrikan country. On the ground in Seattle, Bro. Kamau has also helped sponsor a number of cultural and business initiatives in the area.

Bro. Kamau gave an update on the SRDC Washington State organization’s activities:

Bro. Demba Hydara is SRDC’s connection to The Gambia. He has been working with Bro. Kamau Taplin to facilitate and strengthen ties between SRDC and the government and communities in The Gambia. Bro. Demba has attended several SRDC Summits over the past three to four years.

Bro. Demba would also participate in the panel discussion later that afternoon. Here are his comments from the early session:

Bro. Kumasi Palmer is the SRDC South Carolina Facilitator and our gracious host for this year’s Summit. He has been involved in sponsoring youth tours to Afrika, primarily Ghana, where he also owns property, and was the primary initial connection between SRDC and the Liberian organization Sehwah, which, in cooperation with SRDC, is launching the Liberian Library Project.

Bro. Kumasi, who also took part in the panel discussion later in the day, spoke briefly about the South Carolina organization’s activities:

Bro. Fred Lincoln is also from South Carolina, and has worked closely with Bro. Kumasi on SRDC projects. He also took many of the delegates to the Summit on a tour of the area, including a visit to a former plantation site and several settlements that sprang up in the countryside that had been founded by our Honored Ancestors who had endured and survived the horrors of enslavement, post-Reconstruction and Jim Crow to build vibrant, cooperative communities. Here, he gives a little background on that history, as well as efforts of the South Carolina organization to render aid to the communities in The Bahamas in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian:

Later in the day, the Conference moved on to the specific items on its agenda: the Liberia Library Project and the panel discussion on 21st Century Pan-Afrikanism.

Posted in SRDC News0 Comments

21st Century Pan-Afrikanism: The SRDC Summit Panel, October 26, 2019

21st Century Pan-Afrikanism: The SRDC Summit Panel, October 26, 2019

The 12th International Summit of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC), held in Charleston, South Carolina over the October 25-26 weekend, featured among its various agenda items a panel discussion on the state of Pan-Afrikanism in the 21st Century. The panel was held on the afternoon of the final day of the public Summit, October 26. The panelists who were invited to present their viewpoints were the following:

  • Professor David L. Horne, International Facilitator of the Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC). His experience with Pan-Afrikanism includes his status as a tenured professor of Afrikan History, a participant at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa, his participation in a number of Pan-Afrikan conferences since that time, his membership in several Pan-Afrikan organizations from the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA) to the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL).
  • Ms. Sophia Togba Mawle, Minister Counselor, Embassy of Liberia. She is the representative of the Liberian Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable George S.W, Patten Sr.
  • Ms. Mirtha Colon, president of the Central American Black Organization or CABO (in Spanish, the Organizacion Negra Centroamericana or ONECA). Born in Honduras, she now resides in New York, where she ably coordinates the activities of the premier Black organization in Central America.
  • Bro. Demba Hydara of The Gambia. He has been involved with SRDC since at least 2016, coordinating the provision of surplus goods and services to his home country through the SRDC office in Seattle, Washington State. A prolific traveler across at least North and West Afrika, he has opened doors for SRDC on the Continent through cooperative ventures on behalf of The Gambia.
  • Bro. Kumasi Palmer, South Carolina Facilitator, SRDC. He has worked alongside Professor Horne at least since 2001. He and the South Carolina SRDC have sponsored several trips to the Mother Continent for youth. He also owns property in Ghana, where he has participated in several economic development projects.
  • Sis. Victory Swift, founder of Our Victorious City and a member of the Maryland Organizing Committee. Sis. Victory has been involved with SRDC in Maryland since 2009, and has led several community projects over the years, from the Afrikan Heritage Walk-A-Thon to her current work with Our Victorious City, which she named after her son Victorious, who was a victim in a murder-robbery in 2017.
  • Bro. Malcolm Cash, educator and community activist. Bro. Cash was involved with SRDC through the Columbus, Ohio SRDC Organization, which went inactive after 2013.

The panel began with opening remarks from Professor David Horne:

Ms. Sophia Togba Mawle of the Liberian Embassy then made her statement:

Next was Ms. Mirtha Colon of CABO:

Bro. Demba Hydara of The Gambia offered his perspective on 21st Century Pan-Afrikanism:

Bro. Kumasi Palmer and Sis. Victory Swift then made their statements:

[evp_embed_video url=”http://kuumbareport.com/wp-content/Summit%20Panel%202%20Kumasi%20and%20Victory.mp4″]

Finally, Bro. Malcolm Cash applied his experience as a father and a teacher to the issue.

The panel then discussed three questions from the audience: How do we involve our children in the push for Pan-Afrikanism and this new movement of change? How do we keep the fires of Pan-Afrikanism burning in the 21st Century? And do any of the panelists feel they are fighting a “losing cause”?

Professor Horne introduced these questions and gave his answer to the last one:

[evp_embed_video url=http://kuumbareport.com/wp-content/Dr%20Horne%20Summit%20Panel.mp4]

In the end, the struggle to “keep the fires burning”, awaken an awareness of Pan-Afrikanism in our children and avoid this struggle becoming a “losing cause” will depend on each of us. As a grassroots organization participating in what must be a grassroots-led movement, SRDC and those like us must show the resolve that we call for from the people. Pan-Afrikanism as a global movement will not succeed unless the activists and organizers consistently take it seriously and show the people the value of cooperative work by practicing it among themselves. Perhaps the cooperative effort of Sehwah Liberia and SRDC can provide one such model for the people to follow.

Posted in SRDC News1 Comment

SRDC Pan African Virtual Summer Camp

Sehwah Liberia

KUUMBAReport Online

Archives