WASHINGTON, -- Tens of thousands will gather in the capital city of Dakar on April 3 - 4 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Senegal's founding as an independent republic. UNITY: Journalists of Color President, Barbara Ciara will join Grammy-nominated artist AKON and leaders of the NAACP, Rainbow PUSH Coalition and many other U.S. organizations in Dakar for the ceremonies. Presidents and prime ministers from around the African continent will also attend.
It will be Ciara's second visit to Senegal. She was last there in 2008 with a dozen members of the National Association of Black Journalists reporting on the impact of climate change and efforts to eradicate HIV/AIDS. While in Senegal, Ciara plans to meet with Senegalese and other West African journalists to discuss UNITY: Journalists of Color support of local journalists and advancing journalism on the continent. UNITY's Board of Directors recently approved the creation of a World Affairs Committee, which is charged with recommending ways to expand the organization's global reach. Those efforts include creating strategic partnerships with international journalism organizations.
"This event, while historic, also offers an opportunity for UNITY: Journalists of Color to continue it's dialogue with the international journalism community,'' Ciara said. "UNITY hopes to expand its footprint to advocate for journalists of color worldwide."
Under the auspices of President Abdoulaye Wade, the events in Senegal will focus on the future of Africa and place particular emphasis on how all African states can work together to foster and support the economic, cultural, social and political well-being of the entire continent. At the heart of this vision are the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs offer a platform for progress in ending poverty and hunger, reaching universal education and gender equality, improving child and maternal health, ensuring environmental sustainability, drastically reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS and creating a global partnership for development – all by 2015.
"I am sure that the historic visit by this prestigious American delegation will strengthen ties between the United States andAfrica, and reinforce African efforts for sustainable human development, bearing in mind the efforts of UNAIDS and its partners in working to reverse the AIDS epidemic," said Dr. Djibril Diallo, Chair of the U.S. Leadership Committee for the World Festival of Black Arts (FESMAN) 2010, which organized the U.S. delegation, and Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of UNAIDS. Diallo serves as a co-chair of the UNITY World Affairs Committee, along with Cecilia Alvear, former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and John Yearwood, World Editor, The Miami Herald.
The commemoration will begin for the American delegation on April 2nd with a visit to Goree Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its historic link to the slave trade. The African Renaissance Monument will be dedicated on April 3rd in an event focusing on the theme of a United States of Africa, an objective endorsed by the African Union for realization in 2017. The man, woman and child depicted in the monument symbolize the strength and promise of an Africathat will grow, flourish and experience a renaissance of culture, economic prowess, innovation and achievement.
About UNITY: Journalists of Color
UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenging its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity. UNITY is comprised of four national associations: Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association representing more than 10,000 journalists of color. In addition to planning the largest regular gathering of journalists in the nation, UNITY develops programs and advocacy initiatives that promote its mission. For more information on UNITY, visit www.unityjournalists.org, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (703) 854-3585.
SOURCE UNITY: Journalists of Color