2DAWN Newsletter Header April10

Message from the Executive Director

semharIn honor of Earth Day, this month's DAWN newsletter has a special theme highlighting some of the ways the African diaspora is contributing towards a greener lifestyle, both here in the States and on the Continent. You'll find uplifting stories of a young Liberian woman who entered USAID's African Diaspora Marketplacecompetition and became a finalist for her waste management proposal. You'll also learn about the first African country to recognize Earth Day. Finally, we end this month's theme with a powerful quote from 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Dr. Wangari Maathai, founder of the Greenbelt Movementin Kenya. 

In addition to Earth Day, DAWN is pleased to tell you about our recent coverage in international magazine, Arise, where I and my fellow DAWNer, Tina Musoke, were featured in a piece on the next generation of African diaspora leaders in the Nation's Capital. We had the most riveting and inspiring conversation and it was a tremendous honor to be in such great company. 

Lastly, DAWN is very excited to announce its official launching of our DAWN Meet with Our Mentor Series (MOMs), where DAWNers will have the chance to regularly meet with and learn from our Mentors in private get-togethers on a regular basis. This mentorship and professional development series gives us the chance to sit with and learn from women who have come before us. These informal conversations will serve as a critical tool for our development and growth and it will also strengthen relationships between today's and tomorrow's women leaders working on Africa. DAWN is grateful to have the support of countless MOMs and other Mentors who have cheered us on month after month. We appreciate your support, willingness and availability to spend time with us year round.


Semhar Araia
Executive Director and Founder of DAWN

Earth Day 2010
African Diaspora Marketplace As we celebrate Earth Day on April 22, DAWN recognizes the contribution that African Diaspora women are making to impact the environment in their communities and on the African continent.

Saran Kaba Jones was a 2010 finalist in the African Diaspora Marketplace, a business plan competition funded by USAID and Western Union. The African Diaspora Marketplace is designed to support the entrepreneurial spirit and resources of the U.S.-based African diaspora community in order to promote economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa by facilitating diaspora direct investment in viable small and medium enterprises.

Cleaning Waste After War

Face AfricaWhen Liberian native Saran Kaba Jones, founder of Face Africa, a Boston- based non-profit that manages the installation of water purification systems in Liberia, learned that up to 60 percent of trash in the capital city of Monrovia is not regularly collected; she teamed together with Caspian Holdings, a waste management company in Liberia to play her part in ensuring better trash collection.

The magnitude of waste-management problem is not the only challenge for people in Monrovia. The type of waste ending up in dumps creates problems. Medical waste goes directly to the landfill or garbage dumps, posing a direct health risk to poor residents, many of them children, who sift through the garbage for items they can use or sell. After years of living engulfed by mounds of trash, Monrovia residents seem to view it as a part of the urban fabric. In fact, without cooperation from the residents, waste-management firms are unlikely to make much progress in cleaning up the city. That is why Saran is such an integral part of the process. Using her experience in community outreach Saran helps Caspian Holdings educate the public about trash management and encourages residents to take responsibility for their environment.

Through this effective waste-management system, Saran is having a direct impact on the quality of life and environment of the people in Liberia.

ARISE with DAWN: Talking About an Evolution
DAWNers Semhar Araia and Tina Musoke featured on Arise Magazine
DAWN is currently featured in this month's Arise Magazine, the first global magazine dedicated to achievements in African fashion, music, culture and polity. DAWN Executive Committee Members Semhar Araia and Tina Musoke were both featured alongside colleagues also focused on Africa. The lively discussion and thought provoking views of this group of African Diaspora leaders can be read in its entirety online on DAWN's website.

A New DAWN Rising
The Spring 2010 Membership Drive was a success!

What a difference a month makes! This March, DAWN launched its Spring 2010 Membership Drive and it was a resounding success! It is a true testament to the hard work that DAWN has done but also a portent of good things to come.

We have received applications from many qualified women representing a myriad of industries.   Ranging from global health to small business and from the public and private sectors, DAWN will expand its base of amazing women who are the current and future leaders in their fields. At DAWN's Cocktail Hour, on Friday April 16th, applicants will have the chance to learn more about our wonderful organization. April's monthly dinner will be an opportunity to welcome successful candidates into the DAWN sisterhood.

Thank you to everyone who either applied or recommended women to seek out our organization. We are grateful for your continued support.

DAWN SEEDS Opportunities
Ways to serve

Join the 2010 Annual DAWN Dinner Committee
Our Annual Dinner Planning Committee (ADPC) needs your help! During the last couple of years, our Annual DAWN Dinners were unique because they are planned entirely by passionate DAWNers.Opportunities to get involved with this year's dinner vary from co-chairing the committee to volunteering on-site on the day of the dinner.

We are looking for a group of dedicated DAWN members to join our planning committee and to be an integral part in the dinner planning process. Serving in the Dinner Planning Committee will be a rewarding experience you will be using your existing talents while developing new ones.
To join this annual dinner planning committee or to find out more details about this opportunity please contact DAWN's Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives, Esraa Bani, at esraa.bani@gmail.com.

DAWN Hope for Haiti

We will never forget the tragedy that devastated the Haiti on January 12th. We launched the  DAWN Hope for Haiti Campaign, an online resource portal and initiative aimed at directing you to the relief organizations in Haiti, with ways you can help and opportunities and events in support of the nation.

DAWNer of the Month
Omonigho Ufomata

Omonigho UfomataOmonigho Ufomata is the newly appointed director of the District of Columbia,  Mayor's Office on African Affairs. Before this, the Nigerian native served in the Mayor's Executive Office (EOM) as a health policy advisor in the Office of Policy and Legislative Affairs, advocating directly for several of the Mayor's resident health and healthcare policy priorities. 

Prior to joining EOM, Omonigho worked in the government affairs practice at K&L Gates, LLP where she advised on various international and domestic issues. Omonigho previously served as a legislative staffer for Rep. John Barrow (D-GA) and later with the House Ways and Means Committee, Democratic Staff.

Omonigho received a bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts at Kentucky State University with a minor in Political Science where she initiated an annual Women's Leadership Conference and was a delegate during the 1998-1999, National Summit on Africa. She received a Master of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University in 2006.

Congratulations Omonigho. We are proud to have you as a DAWNer!!!

African News

The IMF in Africa: Going Green
The IMF says it wants to help Africa handle climate change. The global recession was slow to hit Africa. Its banks and stock exchanges were isolated enough from the wider capital markets to suffer few shocks. Foreign investment remained steady. Oil-rich countries such as Angola continued to boom. But dampened demand for African exports last year, together with the shrinking of many venture-capital funds, has now hit the continent hard after a long period of unusually perky growth. Read More

Morocco: First African country to host Earth Day
Morocco has been chosen as one of six world cities to lead celebrations for Earth Day celebrations. The  decision to host celebrations of the event in Morocco is a recognition and reward for the efforts made by kingdom towards environmental protection and the promotion of sustainable development.  Read More

Upcoming Events
What: DAWN MONTHLY DINNER featuring DAWN Mentor Dr. Gloria White-Hammond
Time: 7:00PM EST
About this event: DAWNers will welcome our special guest and mentor Dr. Gloria White-Hammond atthis month's dinner.
Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, M.D. is the Chairwoman of the Save Darfur Coalition. She has been the Co-Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, MA since 1997 and a pediatrician at the South End Community Health Center since 1981.

gloria-hammondDr. White-Hammond's work as a humanitarian has achieved global impact. She has worked as a medical missionary in several African countries including Botswana, Cote D'Ivoire and South Africa. Since 2001 Dr. Gloria has made seven trips into war-torn southern Sudan where she has been involved in obtaining the freedom of 10,000 women and children who were enslaved during the two decades long civil war. In 2002 she co-founded My Sister's Keeper, a humanitarian women's group that partners with women of Sudan in their efforts toward reconciliation and reconstruction of their communities. My Sister's Keeper has developed two grinding mill projects and supports the Akon School for Girls in Gogrial County.

In February 2005, Dr. White-Hammond traveled into Darfur, western Sudan to listen and learn from female victims of genocide in Internally Displaced Persons camps. She recently served as the National Chairperson of the Million Voices for Darfur campaign and is the Co-Founder of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur.

N.B. This is an exclusive DAWN event. You must be a registered DAWNer to attend. If you would like to take part to this or other exclusive monthly events, click here.
APRIL 15 & 16
What: Dare to Shape the Future! - Conference on Zimbabwe
Time:6:00PM EST
About this event:
The conference seeks to promote a culture of tolerance, democratic discussion and inclusive dialogue among a diverse range of participants to come up with the best ideas to advance reconstruction, democratization, national healing and reconciliation in Zimbabwe.

Other exciting events to look forward to:

  • DAWN Tour of the White House
  • Passport to Africa Fashion Show
  • DAWN Career Panel
For a listing of more events in the Washington, DC area, please visit DAWN's Calendar of Events at http://www.dawners.org/events.html
DAWN's Monthly Inspiration

"We are sharing our resources in a very inequitable way. In a few decades, the relationship between the environment, resources and conflict may seem almost as obvious as the connection we see today between human rights, democracy and peace."

-Wangari Maathai, Kenyan Environmentalist, first African woman to receive Nobel Peace Prize
In This Issue
Time to Rise with DAWN!
DAWN SEEDS Opportunities
DAWNer of the Month: Omonigho Ufomata
African News
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List!
Our Mission
The Diaspora African Women's Network is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and support talented women and girls of the African diaspora focused on African affairs.

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