DAWN Newsletter Header Jul10

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Message from the Executive Director

semharHappy Summer everyone! While you're enduring the incredible heatwave that has taken over much of the United States or the heavy rainy season in Africa, it "dawned" on me (Sorry I couldn't resist) how liberating and free this time is for so many people around the world, especially in Africa.  Whether you just finished school, are heading to a summer vacation, or celebrating the 4th of July, Bastille Day, or African independence day, this is that unique time of the year where we all break free, reflect, celebrate and restore ourselves as the liberated and independent beings that we are.

For DAWN, this couldn't be any truer.  This month, we are celebrating our third birthday under theme, "The Rise of DAWN" and celebrating our creation, our existence, and best of all, our Independence!  There is a space that's growing because of  our members' leadership and we are beginning to see it in all kinds of places. From last week's DC First Annual Africa Festival where DAWNers came out in droves and waved our flags to the Somali-born K'Naan's 2010 World Cup Anthem song "Wave Your Flag"  to tomorrow night's DAWN Career Panel with DAWN sisters Emira Woods, Ndimyake Mwakalyelye and Nicole Lee, to next week's 3rd Annual Dinner - its incredible to see how much we've grown in such a short amount of time!

This summer is a time to celebrate everyone's Independence. Here in the States, back home in our respective African diaspora homelands (Eritrea for me!), but most importantly, in our hearts and minds, for being the liberated, strong, passionate and independent DAWNers that we are. Thank you for letting us celebrate with you. 

Happy Independence Day!

Semhar Araia
Executive Director and Founder of DAWN

DAWN in DC's First Annual Africa Festival!

DAWNers Minia Mikael, Tina Musoke, Semhar Araia & Cindy Mutombo with a certificate from the DC Mayor's Office on African Affairs
DAWN DC Africa Fest
On Saturday, July 10, nearly 50 DAWNers and DAWNistas attended  Washington DC's First Annual Africa Festival held at the Takoma Park Recreation Center in Washington, DC.  Hosted by the DC Mayor's Office on African Affairs, people came out to celebrate the rich diversity and vibrancy of the contributions of African diaspora communities to the Nation's Capital. 

From the opening Parade of Flags, to African cuisine, vendors selling African clothing, jewelry, and art, to the live performances from around the continent, the event was a huge success and DAWN congratulates the Mayor's Office for all of its hard work. We are proud to have been one of the community partner organizations and thank all the DAWN volunteers for participating in this fantastic event!

Watch a Voice of America video clip with DAWNers here!

DAWN's 3rd Annual Reception & Dinner - The Rise of DAWN!

bannerAnother year, another reason to celebrate!  DAWN's 3rd Annual Reception & Dinner will be on Friday, July 30, 2010 at the Beacon Hotel in Washington, DC.  A limited quantity of tickets are still available at www.dawners.org.

Under the theme of "The Rise of DAWN" and in honor of Pan-African Women's Day,  we will  celebrate the past year of growth and give thanks to our phenomenal mentors.  The evening will include a reception, an inspirational program, dinner, and entertainment. We encourage all DAWNers to come out to socialize, network and celebrate! If you haven't gotten your ticket yet, you'll want to hurry!  Space is limited and time is running out! 
  • Volunteer!  Every year, our annual DAWN dinners are planned entirely by passionate DAWNers. Opportunities for this year's dinner are many and we're still looking for a few good organizers! If interested, email DAWN's Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives, Esraa Bani at esraa.bani@gmail.com.

DAWN Fall Membership Drive is Almost Here!
Sign up to join DAWN!  Drive Begins September 1 - 31, 2010

It's time again for our biannual Membership Drive!  This September, DAWN will be opening its membership to dynamic women of the African Diaspora during its Fall 2010 Membership Drive, this September 1 - 30, 2010. Interested women can apply through the DAWN website at www.dawners.org.
  • Note: If you are a current DAWNer or DAWNista who paid your membership dues online, please note your annual membership dues are set for automatic renewal.  If you prefer to opt out of this convenience, please login to your Paypal account to remove the recurring payments feature. For assistance or more information, please email membership@dawners.org.  .

DAWNer of the Month
Maryamu Aminu

Maryamu Aminu is Assistant Director for U.S. Government Relations at the ONE Campaign. Co-founded in 2002 by singer and activist, Bono, ONE is an advocacy organization dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty and preventable disease in the poorest parts of the world.  Previously, Maryamu worked for the late Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she was Director of the Africa Region and Global Health for the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, and Congressional Coordinator for the Lantos 'Humanity in Action' European Fellowship Program.  Before joining the Lantos Office in November 2001, she was the African Diplomatic Corps Fellow at the Constituency for Africa (CFA), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving U.S. policy towards Africa and fostering increased relations between Africans and Americans. 
Born and raised in Nigeria, Maryamu graduated in 1998 from the University of Wales at Aberystwyth, UK, with a degree in International Relations.  She also has a graduate degree in International Politics from Aberystwyth, majoring in Critical Security Studies and Human Rights.  Her Masters' dissertation explored the question of whether regional organizations can act as mechanisms for security in the post-Cold War era, examining the role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the resolution of the Liberian conflict.
Congratulations Maryamu! We are proud to have you as a DAWNer!!!

African News

First Annual DC African Festival
On Saturday, July 10, the DC Mayors Office of African Affairs, hosted its First Annual DC African Festival, with community partners including DAWN.   Watch the video here

9 out of 10 for South African World Cup
FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, has given South Africa 9 out of 10 for organising a successful World Cup. "You have shown the world that you can achieve anything and its time now that you show the rest of Africa that it can achieve anything... there were many pessimists in the beginning but as I always said it is a question of trust and confidence and we trusted South Africa and they have delivered," Blatter said at a post-tournament press conference.  Read More

Upcoming Events
What: DAWN Career Panel at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars Auditorium
Time: 6:00PM - 8 PM EST
About this event:  Register for this FREE Event at http://dawnevents.eventbrite.com/ and spread the word!


Career PanelEmira Woods is co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and an expert on U.S. foreign policy with a special emphasis on Africa and the developing world. She has written on a range of issues from debt, trade and development to U.S. military policy. Emira serves on the Board of Directors of Africa Action, Just Associates, Global Justice and the Financial Policy Forum. She is also on the Network Council of Jubilee USA.

Ndimyake Mwakalyelye has been reporting for the Voice of America for eight years, in both radio and TV, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, economics, and social issues. Ndimyake currently reports for, and co-hosts VOA's daily news program, /In Focus/, which airs daily in several African countries. Ndimyake has a strong interest in Africa, and other developing regions, and strives to report on issues that shed light on the plight of the general public.

Nicole Lee is the President of TransAfrica Forum. She was appointed to the position in December 2006 by the Board of Directors, led by Chairman Danny Glover. Ms Lee has worked as a human rights attorney in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean where she has gained a keen understanding of global human and economic rights conditions. Ms. Lee's passion for human rights and activism has propelled her to the top of one of the leading human rights advocacy organizations in the world.

For a listing of events in the Washington, DC area, please visit DAWN's Calendar of Events at http://www.dawners.org/events.html
DAWN's Monthly Inspiration

" Let freedom reign. The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement.."

-Nelson R. Mandela, Former President, South Africa
In This Issue
DAWN's 3rd Annual Reception & Dinner
DAWN Fall Membership Drive is Almost Here!
DAWNer of the Month: Maryamu Aminu
African News
Upcoming Events
African Independence Summer Dates

Eritrea - May 24
Mali - June 20
Senegal - June 20
Mozambique - June 25
Madagascar - June 26
Djibouti - June 27
Seychelles - June 29
DRC - June 30
Somalia - July 1
Burundi - July 1
Rwanda - July 1
Algeria - July 3
Cape Verde - July 5
Malawi - July 6
Comoros - July 6
So Tom & Principe - July 12
Benin - August 1
Niger - August 3
Burkina Faso - August 5
Cte d'Ivoire - August 7
Chad - August 11
CAR - August 13
Congo - August 15
Gabon - August 17

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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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