DAWN NL Header Jan 2011

Message from the Executive Director

semharAs we begin 2011, its not only a new year, but its also a new  era, a new day, and a new DAWN.  Its about Hope. Recovery. Restoration. Strength. And Growth.  Many of our members have undergone remarkable periods of transition over the last year. Like me I know you are looking forward to this year being even better than the one before!

This January, DAWN celebrated National Mentorship Month with each other at our monthly dinner. We also hosted our Second Annual DAWN Manifesto night.  There, members shared their thoughts with each other on what they'd like to see with DAWN for 2011. For me, it was very helpful to hear what other members wanted and saw for DAWN.  Celebrating the diversity of our members, the pivotal role DAWN can play for our communities, and the impact we are making in each other's lives was the greatest point I think everyone felt strongest about.

Now, DAWN is gearing up for a great 2011.  We have our Membership Drive in March, regular activities and events focused on professional development and Africa, and most importantly, the chance to sit and reconnect with each other at dinners, happy hours, brunches, potlucks and other relaxing gatherings.  With that, I look forward to seeing you soon and hope you are starting 2011 off right!

Semhar Araia
Executive Director and Founder of DAWN

 Celebrating Mentorship
January is National Mentorship Month! 
margot et mame khady

Happy New Year DAWN Members!We hope that you had a wonderful holiday season.Now that the holidays are over and 2011 has arrived, it's time for new beginnings, opportunities and resolutions.In making these plans for the future, don't forget to recognize and celebrate your full worth.You are an accomplished individual, with much to offer and are well equipped to achieve your goals, whatever they may be. And never forget to lend your hand along the way.


An excellent way to help others is through mentorship.  In recognition of the value of mentorship, President Obama declared January as National Mentorship month.  Such recognition in January offers a great way to start the year off right by helping others.

So in 2011, be bold.  Be fearless.  And let's help each other along the way. 

DAWNer of the Month
 Heather Cabral
HC Jan 2010Heather Cabral's African heritage lies in the Cape Verde islands off the coast of West Africa. She grew up in New England and found herself in Washington DC, when she decided to attend Howard University. There, she studied television production and graphic design. For the past few years, Heather has worked as a publicist for the National Geographic Society.  She helped facilitate the Empowering Women in Africa Symposium in partne rship with the British Embassy for two years and worked on a variety of events related to Africa.  Now, Heather is currently in transition and due to begin a new position at Brookings in February.
Growing up in a densely populated Cape Verdean community, she was raised to preserve her roots, and  always give back to Cape Verde. Her passion and love for her people and community landed Heather a seat on the board of the DC Cape Verdean Network where she serves as the Communications Officer. The DCCVN works closely with the Embassy of Cape Verde in keeping the small but growing CV Community in Washington, DC together through monthly events that foster a close-knit community. Currently the DCCVN is developing a three part series with the Smithsonian Museum of African Art to teach museum visitors about Cape Verde through music, dance and native cuisine.
Heather always strives to be a positive voice and figure not just for Cape Verdeans but all Africans in any way she can. Most recently she exhibited this by writing an op-ed in the New Bedford Standard Times newspaper, in response to an article that lacked cultural sensitivity on the annual Cape Verdean Festival in Onset Massachusetts, giving a voice to an often-voiceless group. Heather has been a member of DAWN for two years and looks forward to contributing to its growth in the new year.


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

DAWNista of the Month
Kathlyn E. Desaravines

Kathlyn E. Desravines hails from Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Originally from Haiti, she is currently a senior at Howard University, majoring in Political Science and Administration of Justice. She plans on attending law school upon leaving Howard and  aspires to be a criminal prosecutor.


Kathlyn takes on an active role at Howard; she is a part of Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity, Haitian Student Association, Students Advocating for Youth, and Trio: Student Support Services. Additionally, Kathlyn serves as a mentor/tutor for Heads Up. She is a strong advocate for education which is why she hopes to one day open her own mentorship program that will cater towards youth in urban communities.  


Being of Haitian decent, she wants to also create free public schools in Haiti, because she feels that no child should pay to receive a quality education. She has been published three times in National Conference for Undergraduates which is a scholarly journal for undergraduate research. Kathlyn will be receiving her Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Administration of Justice in May 2011.


Congratulations Kathlyn! We are so proud you are a DAWNista!

African News

Somali radio wins Reporters Without Borders award 

Radio Shabelle based Somalia has received the 2010 Media of the Year Prize. According to the organisers Reporters Without Borders, the station shares the award with jailed Iranian journalist Abdolreza Tajik for their bravery in news dissemination. Read More

Exhibit to showcase "The Other Africa"
A unique photographic project aiming to showcase a new vision of the African continent will exhibit in Africa for the first time in March 2011.Read More

What: DAWN Manifesto -
Time: 6-8PM EST

Where: American Immigration Lawyers association, 1331 G Street NW, Washington, DC


What: DAWN Monthly Dinner - Theme: MENTORSHIP
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,

DAWN's Monthly Inspiration
" How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world.  How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution...how we can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness"

-Anne Frank, R.I.P., Jewish writer, Holocaust victim

In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Celebrating Mentorship
DAWNer of the Month: Heather Cabral
DAWNista of the Month: Kathlyn Desaravines
African News
Upcoming Events

2- Gemima Neves
11- Chidimma      Agwu-Jonesrian Samura
14- Shani Cooke
17- Clara Cole
31- Thuo Wangechi

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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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