NABJ Members part of U.S. Delegation to World Festival of Black Arts and Culture in Senegal
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Posted by: ryan williams
NEW YORK, Dec.
10, 2010 – A delegation from the National Association of Black Journalists
will join a gathering of black artists, writers, filmmakers, academics,
scientists, and other leaders in Africa for the historic World Festival of
Black Arts and Cultures. The Festival, under the auspices of President
Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and other African leaders, begins Friday, Dec. 10 in
Dakar, Senegal, and continues through Dec. 31.
For only the
third time in 50 years, a U.S. delegation of more than 200 African-American
leaders will attend the Festival, including groups from NABJ, the National
Conference of Black Mayors, the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and
the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. In
all, thousands of delegates from 80 countries will converge on Dakar.
Diallo, (pictured, right) Coordinator of the U.S. Committee for the World Festival of Black Arts
and Cultures and Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of UNAIDS (the Joint
United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), said the size and depth of the
delegation underscore the historic nature of the Festival.
Festival will be a landmark event, bringing together great artists and
intellectuals from around the world to celebrate the theme of African
Renaissance,” said Diallo, who also is co-chair of the NABJ World Affairs Task
Force. "The Festival will also be an important opportunity to highlight the
role of art and culture in promoting development and the achievement of the
Millennium Development Goals by 2015, including progress in reversing the AIDS
delegates are Dr. Julius Garvey, son of Marcus Garvey; actor Richard Gant; jazz
legend Randy Weston; Professor James Turner, Cornell University;
Dr. Johnetta Cole, Director of the National Museum of African Art at the
Smithsonian Institution; Professor Leonard Jeffries, City University of New
York; Runoko Rashidi, noted historian; and Mississippi State Sen.
excursion is part of NABJ’s strategy of connecting black journalists with
journalists of color round the world, Diallo said. NABJ formed a World Affairs
Task Force to look at how to ensure more balanced and frequent coverage of
Africa. Festival participants will have access to development professionals
with expertise in a variety of areas, from poverty to HIV/AIDS to conflict
Since the World
Affairs Task Force was formed in 1984, Diallo said, "Progress has been seen in
saving lives of people with HIV/AIDS, prevention, and treatment of those
infected. The African-American community is one of the hardest hit by HIV/AIDS
in the United States. To have NABJ
members give visibility to HIV/AIDS from the Mississippi Delta all the way to
Timbuktu in Mali is something the task force has tackled head-on and with
The trip will
build on the work of NABJ President Kathy Times and previous NABJ leaders.
A roundtable will be held to discuss how NABJ could work with African
members in the delegation are: Vice President-Print Deirdre M. Childress,
Photojournalist Kimberly P. Mitchell and Columnist Rochelle Riley, both of the
Detroit Free Press, Ebony Senior Editor Adrienne Samuels Gibbs, Curtis Simmons,
representing the Amsterdam News and the National Newspaper Publishers
Association, and Miami Herald World Editor John Yearwood, co-chairman of the
NABJ World Affairs Task Force.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington,
D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation,
with more than 3,000 members, and provides educational, career development and
support to black journalists worldwide. For information, contact Ryan Williams
or (301) 405-0248.