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Message from the Executive Director

semhar September is my favorite month of the year.  Not just because of all the exciting Africa and UN events in Washington and New York, but also because it is when DAWN hosts its Fall Membership Drive from September 1-30th.  DAWN prides itself on building a diverse network of African diaspora women focused on African affairs in a variety of professional fields, many of which are often underrepresented in our diaspora communities. So far, the range and quality of applicants we've heard from is incredibly impressive and I am deeply encouraged at how strong and diverse our network is becoming. Just last week, our Executive Committee hosted our Membership Drive Meet & Greet Night where we met with a number of incredible women whose passion, professionalism and desire to do more for Africa was clear from the start. For me, as I met them and listened to their questions, it was an incredible affirmation that DAWN is creating a much-needed space for women and girls of the African diaspora focused on African Affairs.

In addition to our Membership Drive, our members have also recently participated in some DC events related to Africa, including a panel on "The Role of Education for Women and Girls of Africa and the Diaspora" by Phelps Stokes and events hosted by Constituency for Africa's Ronald H. Brown Series during the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference. DAWN is proud to offer our members the chance to engage and share their skills with the broader public.  We hope to offer more opportunities like this to our members on a regular basis as well as our monthly member dinners, professional development opportunities and daily listserv. I invite you to join DAWN and apply before our drive ends on September 30, 2010! If you miss the deadline, don't worry, we will be holding another drive in March 2011!   

Semhar Araia
Executive Director and Founder of DAWN

DAWN Fall 2010 Membership Drive Time!
Apply Now Before The September 30th Deadline!

DAWNers Rafi Crockett, Carol Rugege & Leila Yosef
DAWNers April 2010
Are you or someone you know a woman of the African Diaspora focused on African affairs?  Are you looking for an organization of like-minded women to expand your network, help with your professional development, and most importantly, support the advancement of African women as decision makers?  If so, then DAWN is the organization for you!

We are currently accepting applications for new DAWNers until September 30, 2010.  DAWN offers its members access to a myriad of benefits ranging from career and professional development panels to mentor and mentee opportunities.  This year alone, DAWN has launched not only the DAWN Meet Our Mentors (MOMs) Night  which connects seasoned Africa specialists with junior to mid-career professionals but also the "SEEDS by DAWN" initiative which, through Sisterhood, Excellence, Empowerment, Diversity and Service, invests in each others' power to make a great impact in our local communities and on the continent.

Please visit our website to learn more about our history, mission and goals, basic membership eligibility criteria and to apply.  Encourage women you know who could be potential DAWNers to apply!   If you have any questions, please contact DAWN's Membership Outreach Officer, Nicole Amarteifio, at

Current DAWN Members - Renew Your DAWN Membership Before It's Too Late!

To our current members, we want to thank you for being a valued member of DAWN and for supporting us this past year. DAWN has grown significantly and we have exciting plans for the upcoming 2010-2011 year.  You are the core of DAWN's mission and we are thrilled to have you as a member.  We invite you to keep your membership active for the upcoming year by logging into the DAWN Members-Only page and renewing your membership no later than September 30, 2010.  Make sure to click on the appropriate subscription button which reflects your membership type.

If you have any questions, please contact DAWN Executive Director, Semhar Araia at Thank you for your patience and we look forward to supporting you with more opportunities related to African affairs in the years to come!

DAWNer of the Month
Andrea Bediako

Andrea Bediako is the international program coordinator at the Katherine A. Kendall Institute for International Social Work Education at the Council on Social Work Education in Alexandria, Virginia. In that role, she works to promote international social work to the broader international development community and has organized workshops and panels in Beijing, China and Hong Kong on key Institute topic areas addressing disaster management and migration issues. Andrea has previously worked at InterAction and interned at the Aspen Institute.

Originally from Ghana, she received a Bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Michigan and Master's in public administration with a concentration in international development from Michigan State University. After deciding to pursue and international career, she volunteered with a small humanitarian organization, Promotion et Développment Humain (PDH) where she assisted in monitored the health and well-being of those who sought services from PDH. 

Andrea participates in the DAWN mentorship program and volunteers with Women for Women International, a sponsorship organization that supports women's economic empowerment in post-conflict countries. She is also an honorary member of Assistance d'Urgence aux Enfants Vulnérables, a small NGO for street children in Togo. She has visited three times and hopes to make a fourth trip in 2011. One of her goals is to establish a microfinance program in West Africa.

Congratulations Andrea! We are proud to have you as a DAWNer!!!

African News

AU celebrates anniversary by honoring women scientists
The African Union has marked its 11th anniversary with ceremonies honoring five female scientists. AU Commission Chairman Jean Ping told the 11th anniversary gathering that women's gross under representation in science and technology is a sign of their exclusion from the mainstream economy. He pledged to do more to encourage women to enter traditionally male-dominated fields.Read More

Kenya: Kicking HIV out of Nairobi's slums
On a dusty football field in Mathare, one of the largest slums in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, young boys chase a rough, home-made ball. Their coach, Elias Mwangi, 21, a former drug addict, hopes football will not only keep the boys away from crime but motivate them to avoid behaviours that put them at risk of HIV.  Read More

Upcoming Events
What: DAWN  Monthly Dinner
Time: 7PM - 9 PM EST
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.

October 8-10
What: Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure
Time: TBD
About this event:  Volunteer with fellow DAWNers in supporting the cure for breast cancer, contact Milen Zerabruk via e-mail at

October 26
What: DAWN Career Panel
Time: TBD
About this event: Join DAWN for it's second career panel at The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars.

For a listing of events in the Washington, DC area, please visit DAWN's Calendar of Events at
DAWN's Monthly Inspiration

"Man can never be a woman's equal in the spirit of selfless service with which nature has endowed her. "

-Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi, Spiritual, Political Leader and Humanitarian

In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
DAWN Fall Membership Drive!
Renew Your DAWN Membership
DAWNer of the Month: Zeniojor Enwemeka
African News
Upcoming Events
September Birthdays

6 - Saba Sebhatu
13 - Mame Khady Diouf

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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