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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

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.

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