DAWN New Newsletter Header December 10

Message from the Executive Director

semharAs we say goodbye to 2010, DAWN wants to thank you for all of your good wishes and support this year! We've had an incredible journey so far and I'm so encouraged by our growth.  Thanks to you, our DAWNers, DAWNistas, DAWN MOMs and friends of DAWN, we've been able to provide regular programming and events focused on professional development, mentorship and leadership as well as our monthly dinners and social get togethers.

There are some exciting things lined up for 2011 which we'll be sharing with you very soon - but for now, I want to remind you that you are always welcome to share your ideas with us at feedback@dawners.org and join us as a volunteer! Whether for a one time project or a DAWN Executive Committee position, DAWN is yours to make even better and we want to hear from you!

I hope you've had a great time so far with DAWN. We're looking forward to another great year with you and thank you for all your support.
Semhar Araia
Executive Director and Founder of DAWN

 2010 DAWN Holiday Clothing Drive

For the second holiday season, DAWN hosted its Second Annual Holiday Clothing Drive for local African diaspora communities in the Washington Metropolitan area. This year, dwinter coats, sweaters, pants, gloves & hats were donated to the Ethiopian Community Development Center, Inc. (ECDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to resettling refugees and promoting cultural, educational, and socioeconomic development in the refugee and immigrant community in the United States. Considering the number of refugees & new families that arrive to the United States each year, and that many DAWNers hail from immigrant families themselves, we are humbled and honored to do what we can to help so many families in need this holiday season.

Thank you to everyone who supported our drive! Your donation means that men, women, and children will have a warmer winter this year thanks to you. Be it a coat or a pair of gloves, it is all needed! THANK YOU!  

 2010 DAWN Holiday Potluck

This month, DAWN members gathered together for our final DAWN event of 2010. In celebration of the holiday season and the end of another year, DAWNers gathered together at Semhar's cozy Capitol Hill abode to enjoy the holiday season together with candy canes, Santa hats, and lots of joy!

Oh, and did we mention all the food that the DAWNers made? Delicious! The informal get together allowed the time to chat and catch up one on one with other DAWNers before the start of a fresh new year. As busy as everyone is during this busy time (and in this busy city), the potluck was a great escape from our busy lives and we all were able to relax and reflect on 2010 and the future. With New Year's goals and resolutions as a top discussion, DAWNers left renewed and revved up for the great opportunities that await in 2011.

We wish the best for all of our DAWNers and wish you all a happy and safe new year!

 DAWN Career Panel on International Organizations

CP3 Intl Org PanelDAWN recently held its third Career Panel on Careers in International Organizations,  featuring fellow DAWNers Nicole Amartefio from the World Bank and Shani Cooke from the United Nations and USAID, along with Jamie Bey from Devex, the largest provider of business intelligence and recruitment services to the development community

An intimate, detailed, and frank discussion, our esteemed speakers shared insights into life as a professional with advice on how to break into a career in an international organization, including:

  • It takes passion, focus and dedication to succeed. If you are passionate about an issue, write about it and post it to a blog. If you are focused on working at a specific organization, reach out and meet key people at the organization- set up an informational interview. If you are dedicated to working on specific issues, dedicate your time to learning more and being an expert in that field.
  • As one panelist wisely quoted mogul Oprah Winifrey, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity." Remain steadfast and be ready at all times for the next big step in your career and life. 

Thank you to Nicole, Shani & Jamie for sharing their expertise with us and for all those who were in attendance!

DAWNer of the Month
Clara T. Cole

Clara T. Cole is currently the Senior Program Officer for Africa at Freedom House, one of the oldest human rights and democracy assistance organizations in the United States.  As the SPO for Africa, she is responsible for Freedom House's West Africa Portfolio and oversees democracy and human rights programming in the region.  

Prior to Freedom House, Clara worked for five years at the National Democratic Institute managing elections, civil society, and women's political participation programs for the West and Central Africa team. She has spent a significant amount of time in West Africa, specifically in Nigeria and Sierra Leone.  In Sierra Leone, she observed the electoral process, provided technical assistance to civil society partners and facilitated trainings for female candidate contesting in the local government election.   In Nigeria, she provided support to both civil society representatives and members of the Nigerian parliament.

Originally from Nigeria, Clara strongly believes in the potential that lies within the continent, and so is passionate about developing and promoting accountable governance, as she sees this as an essential element for the growth and stability of the continent.  She holds a BA in Political Science from Loyola College in Maryland and a Masters in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. She has also lived, studied and worked in South Africa, Namibia, Liberia, Cameroon, and Sudan.

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

DAWNista of the Month
Sara Abdel Rahim

Sara abdel rahimSara Abdel Rahim is a junior at Johns Hopkins University, pursuing a double major in International Studies and Anthropology. One of Sara's greatest passions is bringing attention to humanitarian issues, the closest and most dear to her heart being the crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Sara has been advocating and bringing attention to Darfur since high school, having co-organized a three-day awareness conference to educate and empower high school students to become more involved on humanitarian issues.

Today, Sara is a motivational speaker at high schools, encouraging students to learn about the world's greatest crises and find ways to get involved. Over the past few years Sara has interned with UNDP and UNICEF, getting an inside look into the workings of these agencies.  She is currently considering various options for the future which include joining the Peace Corps, enrolling in law school, or pursuing a PhD program in Anthropology. Her hope is to eventually work for an NGO or the State Department.

Sara is also an avid supporter of the importance of multiculturalism at Hopkins. Each year, she  interviews prospective students for the Office of Admissions, hosts prospective multicultural applicants twice a year, and mentors four or five incoming multicultural freshmen to help them acclimate to college life and their new environment. Sara spent majority of her life living in the Middle East and North Africa and moved to the United States in her high school year.  Sara is originally of Sudanese and Eritrean descent and her family resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

Congratulations Sara! We are so proud to have you as a DAWNista!

African News

Soweto Choir gets another Grammy nomination

South Africa's Soweto Gospel Choir is looking forward to making space for another award in its already crowded trophy cabinet. The world-renowned singers have been nominated for a Grammy Award for their fifth album, Grace, in the Best Traditional World Music Album category. Read More

'Lost Boys' of south Sudan lead diaspora voter registration drive
 Hundreds of thousands of southern Sudanese who fled their homeland during Sudan's civil war are signing up to vote absentee in the January 9 independence referendum. Former war orphans, the so-called 'Lost Boys', are leading the absentee vote campaign at a registration centre in the Ethiopian capital. Read More

What: DAWN Honor Our Mentors Dinner for January 2010 National Mentorship Month
Time: 7PM
Where: TBD

**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,

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

DAWN's Monthly Inspiration

""In too many instances, the march to globalization has also meant the marginalization of women and girls. That has to change."

-Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State and former First Lady

In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
DAWN Holiday Clothing Drive
2010 DAWN Holiday Potluck
DAWN Career Panel on International Organizations
DAWNer of the Month:Clara T. Cole
DAWNista of the Month: Sara Abdel Rahim
African News
Upcoming Events

3- Martha Haile
24- Tafadzwa Pasipanodya
29 - Medesse Sonou

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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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