Dec 29, 2007

For the brothers who read this blog

Here's something from Francis in Brazil:


We Black people always want a hairstyle that is attractive, easily, economically and quickly maintained, that involves no chemical treatments or heating, and that allows us to participate in water sports without turning into a pumpkin. We discussed this earlier in an article entitled, "Free Your African Hair."

Now, a compliment from teenage Black blogger Phil Pierre-Paul on my new "braids" has prompted me to explain how you, too, can get these Brazilian cornrow braids in just thirty minutes, for as little as five dollars.

My hair is not really "braided." Until two weeks ago, I wore my head completely shaved clean. Then, after it had grown to the level you see here, instead of shaving it again I asked the barber to shave some cornrows into my head with a flat razor, to make it look like my hair is braided. (I took this idea from a Brazilian magazine called RacaBrasil.Com.BR, which offers many other haircare, style and cultural and political ideas from Brasil.)

Children and teens love this hairstyle.
They stop me on the street to compliment me.

The barber cut my hair with the "Number 1" (smallest) gate; used a straight-razor to design these rows, and voilá! I dabbed my head with the barber's alcohol to avoid irritation and my "braids" were ready for showing, in less than thirty minutes.

For me, the advantages over "braided braids" are tremendous. Although I've tried, I have never had the patience to wait for my hair to grow long enough to be braided. That much hair is hot in summer and hard to maintain, and I'm used to the free-headed feeling of shaving my head completely. And I don't like combing, cutting and shampooing an Afro all the time while waiting for my hair to become long enough for braids. I simply haven't the patience for that.

If you get this haircut here in Bahia, Brazil, you'll pay as little as five dollars USD (compared to fifty dollars for "braided braids". In the United States, you can get a haircut like this for probably twenty dollars, compared an estimated eighty dollars or more for "braided" cornrow braids.

If your head is sensitive at the lower back and subject to irritation, this is a style you can use without shaving that area entirely, resulting in far less risk of irritation and bumps.

The above hairstyle is one that I can obtain in two weeks, starting from being completely clean-shaven and going to the look you see above.


Since the hair on my head is less dense than if it were braided, I feel fresher and freer in the hot sun. I tried to let my hair grow long enough for braids, but

This new look allows me to get "braids" with only a two week wait for my hair to grow long enough, and I only have to sit in the barber's chair for twenty minutes instead of four hours.

But here are a couple of notes of caution: Go to a barber who has some experience cutting styles with a razor, e.g. a barber popular with the young set. When a barber uses a razor, always make sure that it is one with disposable Gillette blades, and that s/he has changed the blade in front of you. Always pass alcohol on your head afterward to avoid irritation.

If you're subject to dandruff and/or seborrhea, the cheapest and most effective solution is Therapeutic T + Plus Gel Shampoo with Solubilized Coal Tar Extract, available at Walgreens for 7.99 for 16ounce bottle, or at CVS, for $7.13 for a 16-ounce bottle. The key ingredient is the coal tar. Use it all the time instead of those expensive brand name shampoos, and your dandruff will be gone for good.

Here in Brazil, this shampoo is much more expensive, for some reason. A good alternative is coco soap, made from coconuts. It costs less than a dollar for a large bar. This and hot water washes away seborrhea, leaving behind a pleasant cocoa butter smell and sheen.

If you try these braidless braids above, I hope you'll be just as happy and free with them as I am!

Author's Note: Also read "Free Your African Hair!"

Dec 28, 2007

French charity workers leave Chad to serve sentences in France

Film Night in London - Sisters in Law

African Film and Meditation Evening

You are warmly invited to attend this free introductory meditation event for the African Caribbean community. This is an excellent opportunity to learn one of the meditation practices we offer, for calming and focusing your mind and opening your heart. Beginners are welcome, as are those with more experience who enjoy practising amongst others. Led by Zhana, who has many years of experience in Buddhist meditation.

Film Night: Sisters in Law

We will be screening the film Sisters in Law, a documentary about women judges in Cameroon who are ringing the changes in their own community.
on: Saturday 12th January 2008

time: 7:00-10:00 p.m.

at: London Buddhist Centre, 51 Roman Road, Bethnal Green, London E2 0HU

Free of charge - donations welcome.

Light refreshments will be served.

Dec 20, 2007

Noah Sow in NYC - BAMcafe, January 18 and 19, 2008

Noah live on stage in afropunkrocking New York City: BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Jan 18 & 19

Loud and Proud: Children of the Revolution presentation, celebrating Martin Luther King's birthday Black Rock Coalition Style!

Dec 19, 2007

Black Europe: Exploring Dimensions of Citizenship, Race and Ethnic Relations. June 15th-26th 2008

Visit the website, <http://www.ishss.uva.nl/Summer/Black_Europe.htm>

This course is a collaboration between the Universiteit van Amsterdam, the VU University Amsterdam and NiNsee, the National institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy.

Course Description

A multitude of discourses have emerged relative to the internationalism of Blacks worldwide and particularly in the Americas, but the prominence and impact of the Black presence in Europe has not been adequately explored. This seminar will examine the multiple constructions of the term Black Europe and the social, economic and political implications within. We will look specifically at anti-discrimination laws as they have arisen in various European countries; comparing the history of regulation and management of race and ethnic relations and the discourse surrounding the concept of Blackness and self-identification.

The seminar will begin with a historical overview of social and civil conflict in Europe leading to the formation of laws and antidiscrimination legislation within the EU. We will trace the chain of events following social and civil conflicts that prompted these policies and analyze the legislative and intellectual discourse produced in the aftermath.

We will also explore the notions of blackness as; a categorization, employed in Britain to demark all non-natives; as a social construction, employed by natives to indicate (non) belonging; as a Diaspora living within Europe; and as a contestation of the dominant (White) paradigm. We will focus on the historical and colonial legacies of European countries to discuss the origins of Black Europe and investigate the impact of these legacies on policies and legislation.

This course will also seek to address the dimensions of race and ethnic relations that are unique to Europe; examining the ways in which conceptions of the “other” are institutionalized and reproduced; the rise of xenophobia in various EU countries; the legal definitions and discourse surrounding the conceptualized “other”; and examining the ways in which each country has dealt with issues of race and national identity.

Following the program, students are welcome to participate in a two-day conference in Paris on Global Anti-Black Racism as part of the annual conference series (2006-2009) at the Maison des Science de l'Homme (MSH) organized by Lewis Gordon, Ramon Grosfoguel and Eric Mielants on "New and Old Racial/Ethnic Configurations before and after 9/11"

Instructors for 2008

■ Dr. Dienke Hondius, VU University Amsterdam
■ Dr. Stephen Small, University of California, Berkeley
■ Dr. Kwame Nimako, Universiteit van Amsterdam
■ Dr. Philomena Essed, Antioch University
■ Dr. David T. Goldberg, Director, University of California Humanities Research Institute
■ Dr. Ramon Grosfoguel, University of California, Berkeley
■ Dr. Glenn Willemsen, National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy
■ Dr. Thomas Spijkerboer, VU University Amsterdam

The Summer School on Black Europe is open to advanced undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students. Preference will be given to students based on the following criteria:

■ Undergraduate and graduate students with a background in the fields of sociology, anthropology, political science, economics and/or the humanities;

■ Post-graduate students who have begun a research project in the field;
■ Professionals with an MA Degree and who are working or want to work in a field related to the topic of the Summer School.

Students are accepted on the basis of i) their previous qualifications, ii) the level of knowledge of English, and iii) an essay on their motivation. The Admissions Committee will take account of coherence, feasibility or relevance of the student’s career objectives and proposed program of study, as well as excellence in prior academic accomplishment, especially in coursework and experience related to the Summer School on Black Europe.


The regular tuition is € 1350. The tuition for students who wish to receive course credit is € 1550. Students may reserve accommodation through the Unverisiteit van Amsterdam for a cost of € 350. Student housing is available from June 14th -June 29th.

The Women of the African Diaspora website is All About You!

The Women of the African Diaspora website will launch new features early next year and is looking for submissions from sisters around the world for the following categories:

Are you a sister with a business? We want to highlight you. Send the following information to info(at)aesn.eu with Marketplace in the subject line:
1. name of buinsess/service and description
2. logo
3. link to your website
4. your headshot
5. your bio
6. indicate if you are willing to mentor an aspiring entrepreneur
7. details of your affiliate marketing program (if you have one)

Are you a sister running a non-profit or charitable organization? We want to help spread the word. Send the following information to info(at)aesn.eu with For The Greater Good in the subject line:
1. name of organization and description
2. logo
3. link to your website
4. your headshot
5. your bio
6. how we can help

Very, very soon you will be able to advertise on the Women of the African Diaspora Website and social network, for one price! Details will be published on the site soon, but it you have an offer that is too good to keep to yourself, send an email to info@aesn.ue with Advertising in the subject line and we'll get the details to you!

For two months we have been featuring sisters who are making music. If you would like to be included, please send us your details to info@aesn.eu with Musicians in the subject line:
1. your photo
2. your stage name or band name
3. link to your website
4. info on where your music can be purchased
5. bio

Dec 18, 2007

Black Women in Europe You Tube Video Channel

The Black Women in Europe You Tube Video Channel is up and invites you to submit positive and issue related videos about Black Women in Europe.

Send your favorite videos and orginal productions via email on You Tube by visiting the BWIE video channel.

Embed the player on your website to raise the profile of BWIE and their issues.

Pick up the code here.

Dec 15, 2007

Concert of Duke Ellington's Sacred Music in Brussels

Eric Jassin, Echevin et Président de l’asbl Atrium Saint-Josse,

le Conseil d’Administration de l’asbl Atrium et Bertrand van Hoorebeke, Manager Atrium Saint-josse ont le plaisir de vous convier au

Sacred Duke Ellington Concert

Chœur – Big Band – Soprano - Claquettes

Le dimanche 23 décembre 2007, à 19h00

Eglise de Saint-Josse / Place Saint-Josse

Info : www.meltingshopping.be


Eric Jassin, Schepen en Voorzitter van de vzw Atrium Sint-Joost,de Raad van Bestuur van de vzw Atrium en Bertrand van Hoorebeke, Bestuurder Atrium Sint-Joost

hebben het genoegen u uit te nodigen op het

Sacred Duke Ellington Concert

Zangkoor – Big Band – Soprano – Tapdansen

Zondag 23 december 2007 om 19 uur

Sint-Joost Kerk / Sint-Joostplein

Info: www.meltingshopping.be

Dec 14, 2007

Penda Kede's Dispair

You may have been one of the 150,000 + people who have watched the video on You Tube. Well you won't see it here. To embed that image in this blog would be gratuitous. I would rather try and find out why she was driven to burn herself in Rome last week.

I have held off on posting about this until I had more information. Today a sister in Italy told me this in the Black Women in Europe social network discussion on the topic:

I've been trying to see if I can get news on the condition of the Senegalese lady,but I can't.The reason she did that was because she,the grand daughter of the senegalese president,helped him so much during the electoral campaign in February.She expected some sort of consideration or sign of appreciation from him,seeing that she had helped him here in Italy,by letting the Senegalese community vote for him.But he didn't give a damn about her after the elections.She did all to contact him in-vain.When he came to Rome,she left Brescia for Rome to see him,but she was sent away by his guards.She first wanted to protest by throwing herselfdown some stairs,but was stopped by passerbys.She then had the idea of settingherself on fire,maybe after reading about the other lady in Belgium who did same.Since the 7th of December,nothing has been said about her. The news said she should be the grand daughter or niece to the president,but they doubt if it's true as they say the african family is sooooooo extended and people from thesame clan consider themselves cousins,nephews,nieces or grandchildren. I just reported what they said in the news.

By now you probably know that the sister in Belgium who died after setting herself alight in Luxembourg in 2001 was Maggy Delvaux-Mufu. I've been hard pressed to find out what her motivation was except. Reports have said racism. Did she leave a note, complain to friends or family that the racism she faced put her over the edge? The facts that have come to light is that she and her husband were financially strapped for cash, she worked three jobs, and he, a Belgian, was in the process of opening an auto garage, but faced many road blocks.

Rajul Paris is participating-A Parisien Multi-ethnic Expo Design Entrepreneuriat Fair

15 to 16th December 2007
From 11am to 7pm

Rencontres Ephémères:
A Parisien Multi-ethnic Expo Design Entrepreneuriat Fair

Rencontres Ephémères organize regularly friendly Design Entrepreneuriat Expo –vente privée with young creators, designers, artists or entrepreneurs in the influences of multi - éthniques.

Centre Momboye - 25 Rue Boyer - Paris 20ème

25 rue Boyer - paris 20ème
Métro Ménilmontant (ligne 2) - Bus Pyrénées- Ménilmontant (lignes 96 26)
Saturday : 11am – 7pm / Sunday : 11am – 7pm
Free Entre

To see a list of the designers and pass photos click here.

Dec 13, 2007

Laura Flessel, Olympian Fencer

Laura Flessel-Colovic (born November 6, 1971 in Pointe-à-Pitre) is a French épée fencer. She is currently number one on the all-time list of French female Winter or Summer Olympic medal winners with five medals, two more than those on joint second place: Micheline Ostermeyer, Marielle Goitschel, Pascale Trinquet-Hachin, Perrine Pelen, Anne Briand-Bouthiaux, Marie-José Pérec, Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, Félicia Ballanger and Laure Manaudou. She is married and has one daughter.

What brought the native of Guadeloupe to the summit of the fencing world was an unrelenting drive and competitive ferocity that early on earned her the sobriquet la Guêpe — the Wasp. Flessel-Colovic latched onto fencing at age seven after seeing French legend Jean-François Lamour on television. She abandoned dance lessons for the local fencing club — and soon began a victorious ascent through local and regional ranks. The promising southpaw didn't leave home for Paris, and intensive training, until 1990, when — at 19, far from family, friends and acquaintances — she fought off loneliness by pouring all her attention and time into fencing (click here for the source and more).

Visit her official website.

Dec 12, 2007

How Did I Miss This Story? - You're worth it - if white. L'Oréal guilty of racism

The French campaign group SOS Racisme brought the case against L'Oréal, the world's largest cosmetics firm, over the campaign in 2000. Garnier France sought saleswomen to demonstrate the shampoo line Fructis Style in supermarkets outside Paris. They sought young women to hand out samples and discuss hairstyling with shoppers.

In July 2000, a fax detailing the profile of hostesses sought by L'Oréal stipulated women should be 18 to 22, size 38-42 (UK size 10-14) and "BBR", the initials for bleu, blanc, rouge, the colours of the French flag. Prosecutors argued that BBR, a shorthand used by the far right, was also a well-known code among employers to mean "white" French people and not those of north African, African and Asian backgrounds.

One woman working in the recruitment firm involved said foreign-sounding names or photos showing a candidate was of Moroccan, Algerian, Tunisian or other African origin would ensure candidates were eliminated. Another said: "I once had a good woman candidate but she was non-white. I had to ask someone to pretend that our list was full. It was hard."

SOS Racisme said hundreds of jobs had been subject to discrimination in the case. Garnier and the recruitment company were initially acquitted last year, but the appeal court yesterday overturned the ruling. A former Garnier head and a senior recruitment agency executive were acquitted.

Anti-racism campaigners in France hailed the ruling. Racial discrimination in employment is a huge problem in France with a recent survey finding three out of four firms preferred white workers.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's new justice minister, Rachida Dati, the first woman of north African origin to hold a ministerial post, has ruled that special departments in prosecutors' offices should be set up to deal with race discrimination.

Read the full story!

Dame Jocelyn Barrow

The Director for UK Development at Focus Consultancy Ltd. Dame Jocelyn was a founding member and General Secretary of CARD (Campaign Against Racial Discrimination), the organisation responsible for the Race Relations legislation of 1968. As a senior teacher, and later as a teacher-trainer, at Furzedown College and at the Institute of Education London University in the '60s, she pioneered the introduction of multi-cultural education, stressing the needs of the various ethnic groups in the UK.

She was the first black woman Governor of the BBC and Founder and Deputy Chair of the Broadcasting Standards Council. Her equal opportunities and educational expertise is reflected in her many Government appointments to a variety of organisations and statutory bodies. Governor of the Commonwealth Institute for eight years, Council Member of Goldsmith's College, University of London, Vice-president of the United Nations Association in the UK and Northern Ireland and Trustee to the Irene Taylor Trust providing Music in Prisons. She is National Vice-President of the Townswomen's Guild and was instrumental in the establishment of the North Atlantic Slavery Gallery and the Maritime Museum in Liverpool.

She was a Trustee of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside and a Governor of the British Film Institute. In 1972 she was awarded the OBE for work in the field of education and community relations. In 1992 she received the DBE for her work in broadcasting and her contribution to the work of the European Union as the UK Member of the Social Economic Committee.


Dame Jocelyn Barrow chaired the Mayor's Commission on African & Asian Heritage. The MCAAH was established in August 2003 to take forward recommendations in the Mayor's culture strategy. The commission investigated the needs of Black and Asian community-based heritage organisations and assessed the priorities and working practices of key heritage institutions, such as museums and archives, to determine how they are serving the needs of African-Caribbean and Asian Londoners.

Sudanese lawyer Salih Mahoud is awarded the Sakharov Prize 2007 for Freedom of Thought

Dec 11, 2007

Rajul Paris - Rachel Hampton Is Doing Her Handbag Design Thing In Paris

My name is Rachael Hampton. I am a Artistic Directeur / Graphic Designer / Photographer / Designer , of American nationality. I move to france in 1999. Started my own Graphic Design Studio in 2003 www.ardephwerk.fr

I think outside the box and I don’t follow trends nor seasons. I’m more of a right here right now person, who creates on every medium wheather it's paper, website or fabric. People are my muse. I am inspired by people all around me. In the street & my friends by there Creative, Stylish & Sophisticated individuality.

Creating & designing is my passion plus I love handbag, so in 2006 I created and started Rajul Paris.

Each handbag that I make is a Namesake. Named after a real person who inspired me.

" For me, I consider my Brands Rajul Paris doesn’t follow trends we create them.” – Rachael Hampton

Rajul in Hindu - South India it means Full of love

Find out what the press is saying, and grab her bags here.

U.S. Democrats Reach Out for Minority Delegates Overseas

Under party rules of diversity, Democrats Abroad is working to ensure inclusion of African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and Asian-Pacific Americans, as well as Gays and Lesbians, Youth and People with Disabilities.

“Democrats encourage the participation of all Americans at home and abroad,” says Christine Schon Marques, International Chair of Democrats Abroad. “By offering an online global primary, we’ll reach the most voters in the most locations around the world. We hope that will also make our convention delegation the most diverse ever.”

Democrats Abroad will send 22 voting delegates to the Denver convention. Any American citizen over the age of 18 who lives temporarily or permanently outside the United States is eligible to vote in the Democratic global primary and run for election as a convention delegate.

To vote in the Democratic global primary and/or run for delegate to the Democratic National Convention, overseas Americans should contact Democrats Abroad online at DemocratsAbroad.org.

To vote in the U.S. Presidential Election in November, American voters abroad must request a ballot from the local voting authorities in the place where they last resided in the U.S. This process is explained and automated at Democrats Abroad’s voter registration website, VoteFromAbroad.org.

Get more information here.

Dec 8, 2007

Brief Look At Swedish Pop Group Afro-Dite

Färglada, meriterade och folkkära tog vi dem i våra hjärtan.

Colorful, well known and loved by their audience we took them to our hearts.

Iförda glittriga klänningar vann denna glamourösa grupp Melodifestivalen 2002 med "Never Let It Go", den första engelskspråkiga vinnaren i den svenska finalen. Kläderna kom att skapa ett nytt ord på de svenska löpsedlarna; "Nakenchock".

In glittering robes the glamourous group won the Swedish song contest 2002 with ”Never let it go”, the first English spoken song to win the Swedish song contest final. The clothes created the word nudity shock on the Swedish headlines.

Under våren samma år sålde singeln platina och var då även den bästa säljande singeln i Sverige. I Eurovision Song Contest i Tallinn var de storfavoriter, men kom bara på åttonde plats. Ett album har hittills släppts, "Never Let It Go", som nådde högt på försäljningslistan i Sverige. Från albumet har gruppen även släppt singlarna "Rivers Of Joy" och "Turn It Up".

That same spring the single sold to platinum status and was the best selling single in Sweden. In the Eurovision song contest in Tallin they were favorites, but only became number 8. So far one album has been released, “Never let it go” wich sold very well in Sweden. From that album they also released the singles “Rivers of Joy” and “turn it up”.

Afro-Dites medlemmar members är Kayo Shekoni, Blossom Tainton-Lindquist och Gladys
del Pilar. Alla tre hade framgångsrika solokarriärer innan de bildade gruppen.

All three of them had successful solo careers before they formed the group.

2003 var Afro-Dite återigen sugna på att representera Sverige i ESC och ställde upp i Melodifestivalen med låten "Aqua Playa". Gruppen gick till final i Globen, men slutade där på sjunde plats. Ganska snart efter detta nederlag valde gruppmedlemmarna att arbeta mer skilda. Blossom blev programledare på TV och Gladys gjorde ett soloförsök i 2004 års Melodifestival med "Baby, I Can't Stop".

2003 AfroDite again wanted to represent Sweden in the ESC and entered the song contest with the song ”Aqua Playa”. They made it to the Swedish final but ended as number 7. Soon thereafter this defeat they returned to their solocareers. Blossom became a TV hostess and Gladys made another attempt to win the Swedish song contest with ”Baby I cant stop”.

2005 var Kayo programledare för en av delfinalerna Melodifestivalen och i samma program stod hon tillsammans med Blossom och Gladys åter på scenen som pausunderhållning.

2005 Kayo hosted one of the Swedish semi-finals and during that show the group sang their songs during the breaks.


Dec 7, 2007

London Schools and the Black Child Education Conference

London Schools and the Black Child is the major education conference concerned with closing the achievement gap in London for African-Caribbean heritage children. The 2007 conference will reflect on the major achievements so far and identify strategies to address the challenges that remain.

Date: Saturday 8 December 2007
Time: 9am to 5.30pm
Location: The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre and Central Hall Westminster

How to get there:
Underground: Westminster (Jubilee) or St James’s Park (Circle and District lines).
National Rail: Victoria station is within 10 minutes’ walk.
Buses: 3, 11, 12, 24, 53, 87, 88, 148, 159, 211, 453

Get your free ticket:
Register: Download form from the website
Email: lsbc2007@hotmail.co.uk
Fax: 020 7219 4964
Tel: 020 7219 4426

Confirmed speakers include:

--Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London
--Lord Andrew Adonis, Minister for Schools and Learners- Department for Children, Schools and Families
--Diane Abbott MP
--Kwame Kwei Armah, Actor and playwright
--Mica Paris, BBC TV presenter

The programme includes a number of workshops on a range of key issues and an opportunity for delegates to get specialist guidance at a conference advice surgery from educational experts.

Workshop themes are expected to include:

--National Strategies: Improving Outcomes for Black Children - sponsored by DCFS
Reach: Raising the aspirations and attainment of black boys and young black men
- sponsored by CLG

--Listening To Our Young People: Engaging, Supporting and Empowering
Born To Be Great: A Charter on Promoting the Achievements of Black Boys
- sponsored by NUT

--Pupil Exclusions
--Supporting Parents, Serving Young People
--The London Youth Offer
--Developing teachers' expertise in race equality
- sponsored by GTC

--Mentoring and Life Skills
--Informing parents - Assessing the Impact of the Race Relations Amendment Act on Schools
--Creative Writing for Young People
--Protecting our children - road safety of black children on London's roads
- sponsored by TfL

--Supporting Black Fathers, Creating Role Models
--Book launch: The Way We See It - A Formula for Reducing Exclusion and Raising Achievement

For general conference enquiries, please contact 020 7219 4426

Dec 6, 2007

LEAD Europe Programme in Leadership for Sustainable Development

LEAD Europe Programme in Leadership for Sustainable Development Training Announcement

Applications are now open for the LEAD Europe programme in Leadership for Sustainable Development 2008

Do you want to be a leader in a more sustainable world?

Our European training takes place in three countries and will inspire you with the latest thinking, sharpen your skills and put you in contact with a group of high-level peers from across Europe and the world. While gaining practical experience working with colleagues from diverse professional backgrounds, you will analyse contemporary sustainability challenges and search for joint solutions. You will also interact with some outstanding leaders and hear their own stories of challenge and opportunity working in this field.

The programme begins in April 2008 with the first of three 5-day residential events over six months. All events incorporate online learning, and development of a personal action-oriented project, and you have the chance to attend an optional International Training Session with over 100 LEAD graduates from around the world.

• Leadership and Climate Change: closing the leadership gap (London, April)

• International Issues, International Solutions: negotiation and collaboration through multilateral systems (Geneva, June)

• Sustainable Cities: European context (Berlin, September)

• Sustainable Cities: global context. Optional. (Mexico City, November)

Upon completion of the programme, you will join the unique LEAD network of 1800 Fellows worldwide dedicated to motivating change for a sustainable future.

I would recommend anyone who is serious about sustainable development to do this course. The training is dynamic and issues focused, and membership of the network provides access to some of the most active professionals in the world.”

--Daniele Cesano, LEAD Fellow, Italy

Visit our website http://www.lead.org/page/174 for full course details and application form.

For more information, contact Laura Hughes: europe2008 (at) lead.org, T + 44 (0) 207 938 8713.

Applications received before 31 January 2008 are eligible for an Earlybird discount. Final application deadline 28 February 2008.

*details may be subject to change

Laura Hughes

Programme Assistant

Training and Capacity Development

LEAD International

e: laura (a)lead.org

t: +44 (0) 207 938 8713

f: +44 (0) 207 938 8710

w: www.lead.org

a: Sundial House

114 Kensington High Street
London W8 4NP
United Kingdom

African Migration to Europe

Dec 5, 2007

She's the most powerful black woman in the world. Why can't I stand the sight of her? by Candance Allen - An African American Living in London

Candace Allen has spent her whole life cheering on fellow African-Americans who have battled their way to the top. Yet the extraordinary career of Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, fills her only with revulsion and anger. Here she explains why:

Wednesday December 5, 2007
The Guardian

I am African-American. We are a sentimental people in the main and we tend to track our own. We are aware of others of colour who cross our spaces. We look around asking: "How did she/he come to be here/there? Is his/her story extraordinary, coincidental or totally banal?"

At 80 years old, my dentist father has been a desegregator all of his adult life, both professionally and domestically. Although raised in Richmond, Virginia, he chose to rear his family up north, first in Boston, then in a Connecticut suburb of New York. When I call him to ask how things are going during the first week of the US Open, he tells me that the Williams sisters are doing fine, as is James Blake, and there are a young boy and girl playing in their first Open who won't get too far this time but are looking mighty good. Unsaid, I know the nature of the report he's going to give; unsaid, he knows what I want to hear: stories about black people coming on to traditional white fields of play and not just holding their own but kicking ass and taking names. Smiles, pride, a fist in the air.

Read the full article here.

BWIE's NOTE: Regardless of my politics, nothing gives me more pleasure than to walk in a US Embassy in a foreign country and see Condoleeza Rice's photo hanging near the entrance. I was happy to see Colin Powell's hung prominently as well during his tenrue.

Dec 4, 2007

Summer Diversity Internship Programme 2008

Graduating is much more than having a degree. Developing your talents and skills through a varied and challenging training programme will give you excellent future career prospects.

On the Summer Diversity Internship Programme, you will join a central government department for six to eight weeks; you’ll get a real insight into the wide ranging opportunities and a thorough understanding of the Civil Service, and you’ll have the opportunity to meet with Fast Streamers and Senior Civil Servants. We are keen to attract diverse talent with enormous potential to succeed.

To be eligible, you must be a UK national with a minimum of an expected or awarded 2:2 degree in any discipline.

Please visit our website http://diversity.faststream.gov.uk/ to complete an online application form.All information for the recruitment process is available on the website.

Closing date: 6 January 2008

If you have any further questions, please contact the Outreach team on 01276 400 333.

Nov 30, 2007

Customers derail Stockholm's leading department store's "golliwog" Christmas

Unlike the vast majority of the Dutch and Belgian public who embrace racial sterotypes at Christmas, Swedes, at least Stockholmers put an end to a racist display in a store window this week.

Reported by Charlotte West and Paul O'Mahony in The Local.se

Stockholm's most prestigious department store, Nordiska Kompaniet (NK), has had to remove a set of black ragdolls from its Christmas window display after receiving a number of complaints from concerned customers.

A visit to NK's Christmas displays has been a part of Stockholmers' staple holiday traditions ever since 1915. This year's theme was “A dream Christmas”. Puppies, dragons and polar bears danced side-by-side with sugar plum fairies and... what appeared to be golliwogs.

When the windows were first available for public consumption on Sunday, one featured three of the black dolls emerging from a Christmas package.

"The company that does our window displays gets a lot of its stock from Germany," NK spokeswoman Sofie Stenbeck told The Local.

"They went there to buy the dolls. But they ended up getting a lot of e-mails from customers, who said that the dolls looked like golliwogs," she added.

A golliwog is a black ragdoll that was originally a literary character created by English author and illustrator Florence Kate Upton in the late 19th century.

These dolls, with their jet black skin, lipstick red lips and fuzzy hair, became a popular children's toy. They resembled the characters in the American minstrel shows, comedies that often stereotyped black people as bumbling idiots.

The golliwog was also used as the mascot of British jam manufacturer James Robertson & Sons from 1910 until the company's products were boycotted as offensive in the early 1980s.

According to Sofie Stenbeck, NK was also contacted by members of the public who found the dolls inappropriate.

"When we looked at the window again we saw that the dolls were very similar to these golliwogs. We took a decision to remove them. Of course they shouldn't be there if they cause offence," she said.

By Wednesday the dolls had been replaced by a toy spider and a stuffed turtle.

Nov 29, 2007

Christiane Taubira

Christiane Taubira, born in Cayenne, French Guiana, is a French politician. She ran for the office of President of France in 2002. Her party agreed to support the Socialists in 2007 so she didn't run in France's most recent Presidential election. President of her party Walwari, she has served as a French deputy at the National Assembly since 1993, and was re-elected in 1997. Non-affiliated in 1993, she then voted for the investiture of the conservative Edouard Balladur cabinet in 1993. In 1994, she became a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), being the fourth on the Énergie Radicale list led by Bernard Tapie. In June 1997, she then joined the Socialist party (PS), and then-Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (PS) commissioned her for a report on gold search in Guiana.

Christiane Taubira gave her name to the May 21, 2001 law which recognizes the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity. In 2002, she was a Left Radical Party (PRG) candidate for the presidency although she does not belong to the party. She gained 2.32% of the votes. After 2002, she became vice-president of the Left Radical Party. She was elected again as deputy on June 16, 2002, and joined the socialist group in the Assembly.

Curriculum Vitae

Etat civil

Né le 02 février 1952 à Cayenne (97300)



I - Formation supérieure

Économiste (1er, 2eme et 3ème cycle de Sciences Économiques à Paris II - Assas et Panthéon) Sociologie et Ethnologie afro-américaine (Sorbonne et Jussieu) Agro-alimentaire (3eme cycle CFCA : Centre Français de la Coopération Agricole Paris et Bordeaux) Langues étrangères : Anglais, Espagnol, Portugais.

II - Expérience professionnelle

Ancien Professeur de Sciences Économiques, ancienne Directrice du CNAM (Guyane), Ancien Directeur ou Directeur Général de Caricoop (Coopération agricole Antilles-Guyane) ; Atpag (Services techniques de la pêche maritime) ; Occe (Coopération et Commerce Extérieur avec la Caraïbe, les 3 Amériques, l'Asie du Sud-est).

III - Fonctions électives

Députée de Guyane élue en 1993, réélue en 1997, 2002 et 2007 ; Membre de la Commission des Affaires Étrangères, Députée au Parlement Européen élue en 1994 (un mandat de 1994 à 1999) ; Membre de la Commission Développement et Coopération, Membre de la Délégation UE/ACP.

IV-Actions législatives (sélection sur dimension internationale)

Auteur de la première proposition de Loi visant à interdire la fabrication, le stockage, la vente et l'usage des mines anti-personnel (MAP) février 1995,

Auteur d'une résolution du Parlement Européen pour l'interdiction des MAP ; Mars 1995, Rapporteur à l'Assemblée Nationale de la Loi d'interdiction des MAP, Membre de la Délégation Officielle française à la Convention Internationale d'Ottawa (Canada) pour l'interdiction de production, de stockage, d'exportation des MAP (décembre 1997),

Rapporteur à l'Assemblée Nationale de la loi de ratification par la France de la Convention internationale d'interdiction des MAP,

Membre de la Délégation Officielle française à la Convention Internationale de Maputo (Mozambique) pour l'évaluation de l'application de la Convention d'Ottawa (juin 1999),

Auteur de la proposition de Loi visant à reconnaître la traite négrière et l'esclavage comme crime contre l'humanité. Texte adopté par le Parlement français le 10 mai 2001, promulgué par le Président de la République française le 21 mai 2001 sous le n° 2001-434.Texte co-signé par le Premier Ministre et huit ministres concernés par ses dispositions (Éducation, recherche, Justice, Culture et Communication, Affaires Étrangères, Affaires Européennes, Intérieur, Outre-Mer),

Intervention devant le Conseil Exécutif de l'Unesco pour plaider la nécessité de l'adoption de lois nationales et d'un texte international de reconnaissance du crime contre l'humanité et de réparation par des politiques publiques ciblées (octobre 1999),

Membre de la Délégation Officielle française à la Conférence Internationale contre le racisme, la xénophobie et l'intolérance qui lui est associée à Durban (Afrique du Sud, septembre 2001). Conférence-débat à Durban de présentation de la loi française n° 2001-434. Intervenante dans le panel de l'Unesco consacré aux liens entre esclavage et racisme à Durban, Rapporteur du Budget de l'Action Humanitaire de la France (1993, 1994, 1995),

Rapporteur pour le Parlement Européen des relations entre l'Union Européenne et les pays ACP (Afrique, Caraïbe, Pacifique) dans le domaine de l'Environnement et du Développement durable),

Auteur d'un rapport commandé par le Premier Ministre sur l'activité minière en Guyane et ses retombées dans les relations de coopération, Rapporteur de Conventions fiscales entre la France et divers pays de la Caraïbe.

V - Activités complémentaires

Membre de la Commission Française de Développement durable (nomination par le Premier Ministre), Membre de l'Observatoire National de la Parité (nomination par le Premier Ministre), Membre du Conseil Consultatif de la Défenseuse des Enfants (Claire Brisset).

VI - Thèmes prioritaires du travail législatif et politique

Education - Jeunesse - Recherche - Développement durable - Environnement - Droits des Femmes Droits des Enfants -Coopération et Géostratégie des bassins régionaux (Amérique du Sud, Océan Indien, Pacifique).

VII - Engagements divers

Contributeur de Handicap International, Membre de la Ligue française des Droits de l'Homme, Membre de l'Human Rights Watch, Membre de ECPM (Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort), Parrainage d'enfants (prise en charge mensuelle des frais de scolarité) : Sénégal, Brésil, Actions pour la suppression de la dette des pays du Sud.

VIII-Autres missions internationales

Observateur parlementaire aux premières élections multiraciales en Afrique du Sud (avril 1994), Membre de la Délégation Officielle française à l'investiture de Nelson MANDELA, Mission parlementaire sur le droit des Minorités en Afrique du Sud (septembre 1994), Membre de la Délégation officielle française à l'investiture de M. Thabo M'Béki, Président de la République Sud-Africaine (juin 1999), Membre de la Délégation du Parlement Européen au Sommet des femmes à Pékin (Chine septembre 1995), Membre de la Délégation de la Commission des Affaires Etrangères de l'Assemblée Nationale au Sommet des femmes méditerranéennes pour la paix à Marrakech (Maroc février 1995).

IX -Conférences universitaires et internationales

Universités françaises de Paris-Sorbonne, Paris-Nanterre, Paris-Créteil, Bordeaux, Nantes, Montpellier, Toulouse, Lyon, Grenoble, IEP Paris, IEP Strasbourg, Université Antilles Guyane. Divers lycées en France, aux Antilles, en Guyane, à la Réunion. New-York University ; Schomburg Center ; CUNI ; Howard University ; Congressionnal Black Caucus ; Commission Indépendante Millénaire pour l'Afrique (PNUD, Bénin juin 2001).

X - Ouvrages

Rendez-vous avec la Republique. 2007

Codes noirs : de l'esclavage aux abolitions (Introduction). 2005

L'esclavage raconté à ma fille. 2002

Essais sur la pêche maritime ; sur la coopération transfrontalière ; sur l'identité et la multiculturalité. Nouvelles publiées en ouvrages collectifs (Gallimard).

Bulletin parlementaire mensuel « Kayakou ».

Cap sur l'horizon.

Nov 27, 2007

Mattiwilda Dobbs: Legendary Opera Singer and my friend Florie's aunt

My long lost friend Florie told me that her aunt is an opera singer, but I could never remember her name. Just a while ago my friend Angela shared an article with me about the first graduating class of 10 black women to from Harvard Law School, of which she was one. In that article Angela discovers her Harvard classsmate's book on Black Expatriates. In that book she sees an entry on Mattiwilda Dobbs whom she remembers as their classmate's godmother.

When I researched Mattiwilda Dobbs I realised that she is my long lost friend Florie's aunt, the opera singer I had been told about many years before! Here's a brief look at her ground breaking life.

Mattiwilda Dobbs has sung in virtually every major concert hall in the United States and abroad, with her sparkling voice thrilling audiences and astounding critics. She is considered to be one of the great coloratura sopranos of our time. With a career that has taken her to every corner of the earth and onto stages of the great opera houses of the world, including the Bolshoi Opera, the Vienna State Opera, Glyndebourne, the Paris Opera, and the Stockholm Royal Opera, she often broke color barriers. Her 1953 debut at La Scala as Elvira in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri marked the first time a black artist ever sang in that famed opera house. That same year her great success as Zorbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne resulted in her first major performance in New York with the Little Orchestra Society. Dobbs desegregated the San Francisco Opera Company two years later. The following year she became the first black soprano to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House and the first black female to sing regularly under contract with that house. Her debut as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto followed Marian Anderson's and Robert McFerrin's barrier-breaking debuts by one year.

Born in Atlanta, Ms. Dobbs sang her first solo at age six, and began her musical studies in piano one year later. She began her formal voice training under the tutelage of Naomi Maise and Willis Laurence James at Spelman College where she graduated valedictorian. Upon graduation Ms. Dobbs traveled to New York to study with Lotte Leonard. While in New York, she was granted a Marian Anderson Award as well as scholarships to the Mannes Music School and to the Opera Workshop at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. She also won a John Hay Whitney Fellowship and used the grant to study French repertoire in Paris for two years with Pierre Bernac, and to coach Spanish repertoire with Lola Rodriques de Aragon in Spain.

In addition to these awards, Ms. Dobbs won the coveted first prize at the International Music Competition in Geneva over hundreds of other singers from four continents
. Shortly afterwards, her international career took off with her debut in Amsterdam with the Netherlands Opera, followed by engagements in Paris, London, Vienna, Stockholm, and Milan. Numerous engagements followed, including and invitation to sing a command performance before Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and visiting King Gustave and Queen Louise of Sweden at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Following the performance she was decorated with the Order of the North Star by King Gustave. Her list of festival appearances is also extensive, including the Edinburgh Festival, Perth (Australia), Auckland (New Zealand), and the Caramoor, Meadow Brook, and Grant Park Festivals in the United States. In Russia, Japan, Australia, Israel, South America, Mexico, Scandinavia, the United States, and all of Europe, she became a favorite with the opera and concert goers and critics.


Although she remained close to her family and performed in Atlanta several times, personal as well as professional considerations prevented Dobbs from making the city her home. She lived in Spain with her first husband, Luis Rodriguez, who died of a liver ailment in June 1954, fourteen months after their wedding. She then married Bengt Janzon, a Swedish newspaperman, just before Christmas 1957. Her family attended the wedding, but because of the stir an interracial marriage would have caused in the segregated South, the ceremony was held in New York, and the new couple made their home in Sweden. Bengt Janzon did not visit Atlanta until 1967.

Following the example set by African American performer and activist Paul Robeson, Dobbs refused to perform for segregated audiences. In Atlanta she could have performed in African American churches or colleges, but she was not able to perform for a large integrated audience until the Atlanta City Auditorium was desegregated in 1962, when she was joined onstage and given a key to the city by Mayor Ivan Allen Jr. It was the first of many performances in her home city. Before the organization of the Atlanta Opera in 1985, Dobbs performed in operas produced and directed by the acclaimed opera singer Blanche Thebom, and in 1974 she sang at the gala marking the inauguration of her nephew Maynard Jackson as mayor of Atlanta.

In 1974, after retiring from the stage, Dobbs began a teaching career at the University of Texas, where she was the first African American artist on the faculty. She spent the 1974-75 school year as artist-in-residence at Spelman College, giving recitals and teaching master classes. In 1979 Spelman awarded honorary doctorates to both Dobbs and Marian Anderson.

Dobbs continued her teaching career as professor of voice at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. She served on the board of the Metropolitan Opera and on the National Endowment of the Arts Solo Recital Panel. Dobbs continued to give recitals until as late as 1990 before retiring to Arlington, Virginia, where she currently resides.


Nov 26, 2007

Yearly Blackface: Being in Amsterdam two weekends ago reminded me that I find Zwart Piet very strange.

Part of the Dutch and Belgium Chritsmas tradition is a fellow named Zwart Piet (Black Peter).

Black Peter (Zwart Piet), while now a benevolent companion of Sinter Klaas, was at one time a more sinister character. During the Middle Ages, he threatened to punish the children if they were naughty by throwing them into his sack or giving them switches (coal also?) instead of presents. Today, however, he helps Sinter Klaas distribute gifts, even offering to go down chimneys to fill the children's shoes, thereby saving the holy Bishop from getting dirty. Black Peter, often depicted as a boy or young man, wears a Moorish costume, probably because Spain ruled over Holland during the 16th century. So Zwart Piet is a Moor. How interesting to have a black character in Dutch and Belgian Christmas folklore.

Now let's take a brief look at Black Peter's history:

1845: Jan Schenkman writes Saint Nicholas and his Servant; Piet is described in this book as a servant and as black, not as slave and is depicted as a dark man wearing Asian-style clothes. Steamboat travel becomes part of the mythos from this point. In the 1850 version of Schenkman's book, they are depicted looking much as they do today. The servant gets his African origin but still has no standard name. In later editions Piet was shown in the page costume, the book stayed (with some changes) in print until 1950 and can be seen as the foundation of the current celebration, even though it did use a lot of older ideas and customs. Barring a very rare exception the relation between St. Nicholas and Pete has always been described as one between employer and employed, between boss and worker, never between owner and slave.

Anybody can be Zwart Piet: The website zoz.nl explains how you too can transform yourself into a Zwarte Piet: "a real Piet can be recognised by his black make-up, red lipstick, perm curls, frilly collar, hat and tights. We refer to Piet as he or him, but Piet can also have considerable female attributes: many helper Piets have real breasts under a loose blouse and abundant, unnecessary space in their puffy pantaloons."

It's easy to critisize something you don't undertand. Some people will say that I am missing the point. The point being that this Black Peter character is demeaning because he was a slave or is a servant, or was described as evil, and he threatens to take away the bad children. I honeslty may think this role was strange even if he wasn't black.

Frankly what bothers me the most, what I really don't get is why Zwart Piet is portrayed by a white person in black face. There have been black people in Holland longer than this tradition, so why not have a black person play Black Peter if the Dutch and Belgians are determined to incorporate a black person into their folklore? Is it just a "legitimate" way to don blackface once a year to the delight of young children and for the sake of warm memories for the adults?

I'm not the only person who thinks this yearly display of blackface is quite inappropriate. Here are links to two others:

Toby Sterling
Just Dazzle

Nov 25, 2007

BWIE Social Network's Black Holland Group Met in Amsterdam

I was in Amsterdam on business and was able to meet up with 5 ladies in the Black Holland group in the Black Women in Europe Social Network.

We hugged, talked, laughed, and laughed some more. Our conversation ranged from current events, personal projects, past experiences and future plans.

Nov 22, 2007

While the US celebrates Thanksgiving, I'm giving thanks for Josephine Baker as did the French government

It's no secret that I love Josephine Baker. I love her self love, courage, moxy, bravery, generosity and optimism. There are a lot of lessons for black women in Josephine's life.

On Thanksgiving Day 2007 I am thankful for my family and friends and for the life I have created in Sweden. I am also thankful to Josephine Baker who motivated me to move to Europe years ago.

The French government was also thankful for Josephine Baker as exemplified in the three honors they gave her:

October 8, 1946 French Medal of Resistance for her wartime work
August 18, 1961 Medal of the Legion d'Honneur, the highest honor that France can bestow, and the Rosette de Resistance

Here is my take on the Life Lessons from Josephine for which we can all be thankful she taught us:

1. First sex symbol of modern times. Josephine was known as "Black Venus", "Creole Goddess" and "Black Pearl". She became the inspiration to many of the hottest fashion designers of the time. By 1927 Josephine was one of the most photographed women in the world, along with personalities like Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford. Joséphine Baker is noted for being the first woman of African descent to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world famous entertainer. We always have been and always will be style icons. But make sure you have substance to go along with it.

2. When she was thirteen she became a waitress, met a man there named Willie Wells whom she married. She left him when the relationship went bad. She went on to be married a total of 4 times. Josephine never depended on a man financially, so she left relationships as soon as they'd began to fall apart. Don't be afraid of hard work. And definitely don't be afraid to get out of a bad situation. Even at a young age Josephine displayed self love.

3. Josephine participated in World War II as a performer for the soldiers as well as doing undercover work for the French Resistance. She smuggled secret messages written in invisible on her music. She also served as a sub-lieutenant in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. The French government awarded her with the Medal of Resistance, named her a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and Rosette of the Resistance. Let your conscious be your guide. Do the right thing.

4. Although her celebrity status was unrivaled in Europe, when she returned to the United States in 1936 to star in the Ziegfield Follies the public rejected her due to her color. Visiting the U.S. again in the 1950's, Josephine continued to fight against racism. The Stork Club rejected her as a customer, she began a media battle with pro-segregationist Walter Winchell as her opponent. The NAACP named May 20 as Josephine Baker Day to honor her efforts. She participated in the March on Washington in 1963. Don't let society bring you down. Self love is possible and very necessary when you live in a hostile environment.

5. She protested in her own way against racism, adopting twelve multi-ethnic orphans, whom she called her "Rainbow Tribe." Her adopted children were: Akio (Korean son), Janot (Japanese son), Luis (Colombian son), Jarry (Finnish son), Jean-Claude (Canadian son), Moïse (French Jewish son), Brahim (Arab son), Marianne (French daughter), Koffi (Ivory Coast son), Mara (Venezuelan son), Noël (French son), Stellina (Moroccan daughter). We've got a lot of love to give.

6. After retiring to raise her adopted children, Baker had staved off financial problems in the '50s by returning to the stage, but only temporarily; in 1964, "the sale of the chateau by auction was announced,". The sale was avoided at the last minute thanks to the intervention of Brigitte Bardot and others, but the chateau was ultimately auctioned off in 1968. A clause in the sales contract allowed Baker to remain in her home until October, 1968, and a subsequent reprieve until March of the following year. While on the road, she learned that the owner planned to evict her, so she returned from touring, sent her children to Paris to stay with her sister, and barricaded herself in the kitchen. While she was out one morning collecting water -- it was Baker who, on buying the chateau in 1947, had first installed running water and electricity to the estate -- the owner locked her out. After spending the rest of the day and most of the night on the outside stoops of the kitchen, she was rushed to the hospital in a state of shock. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III offered her a villa in Monaco, but financial troubles again forced her to return to performing. On April 12, 1975, four days after a triumphant return to the Paris stage, Josephine Baker died after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Keep your finances in order, but also keep good friends who can help you in your time of need.

Nov 21, 2007

Gloria Ray Karlmark-Little Rock 9 trailblazer-Swedish resident-Meet her on the 13th in Stockholm

Lucia Day Luncheon - December 13, 2007

with Emily Samson Tepe

11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.

Stockholm Grand Hotel, Hall of Mirrors

Special Guest - Gloria Ray Karlmark

Just before Christmas, Lucia comes to light up the long Swedish winter nights. Enjoy this bright and beautiful Lucia Day celebration in the elegant setting of the Grand Hotel’s Hall of Mirrors. Gloria Ray Karlmark, one of the members of the Little Rock Nine , will be our guest speaker and will tell us of the foundation she and “The Nine” have established, providing educational scholarships to lower-income children in America. She will also share with us her lifetime of work promoting positive race relations in the US, and her perspectives on Sweden. This will be followed by a traditional Lucia candlelight ceremony with the Emily Samson Tepe.

Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King are household names in the US for their roles in America’s Civil Rights movement. Less-known but equally important are the Little Rock Nine : 9 black high school kids who gained national attention in 1957 by challenging the South’s segregation of schools when they entered all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Forty years later, the Nine were honoured at the White House by President Bill Clinton, each receiving the highest award a non-military citizen can receive, the Congressional Gold Medal. Now, fifty years later, you have an opportunity to hear one of the Little Rock Nine speak at this year’s American Club Lucia Luncheon!

Gloria Ray Karlmark has lived in Sweden nearly 40 years, working throughout Europe for IBM and serving 15 years as Editor In Chief for the Computers in Industry journal, which she co-founded in 1976.

Fresh back from the US where she and her 8 colleagues commemorated the 50-year anniversary of that fateful day they walked through the gates of Central High School and into the history books, Gloria Ray Karlmark will tell us of the foundation she and “The Nine” have established, providing educational scholarships to lower-income kids in America. She will also share with us her lifetime of work promoting positive race relations in the US, and also of her perspectives on Sweden.

Do not miss this unique opportunity to hear one of America’s foremost Civil Rights pioneers!

11:45 a.m. Registration in Strömsalongerna and glögg and pepparkakor in the Vapensalen

12:00 p.m. Lucia luncheon in the Spegelsalen (Hall of Mirrors) with:

Speaker: Gloria Ray Karlmark
Lottery drawing
Music: Emily Samson Tepe

2:00 p.m. Luncheon concludes

DATE: Thursday, December 13, 2007

TIME: 11:45 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

PLACE: Grand Hotel, Hall of Mirrors

COST: SEK 450:- per member before December 4; SEK 500:- thereafter. Members may bring one guest at the member price. SEK 575:- per non-member or additional guests. SEK 5000:- per table of 10 (4500:- if before December 4th)

RESERVATION AND PAYMENT: Reservation and payment no later than December 8. Reservations to Lucia Luncheon: email: amevents@amclubsweden.org. This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Mike at 073 714 8789. Then, send payment to Bankgiro 5473-6830. Write “Lucia Luncheon” and print legibly the names of the participants. Space is limited - first come, first served. Reservations are binding after December 8.

Space is limited - Book early!

Cancellations must be made no later than 5 p.m. Friday, December 8, 2006. Reservations are binding thereafter.

Nov 20, 2007

Novlette Rennie-The UK’s first black female Chief Executive in the sports sector

Novlette Rennie was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

The UK’s first black female Chief Executive in the sports sector, this award recognises Novlette’s contribution both to the world of sport and to race equality in general. Involved with sport for over 30 years, both professionally and personally, in a variety of roles ranging from player to official to manager, Novlette has been with Sporting Equals since its foundation in October 1998. She began as a National Sports Development Officer and was promoted to Project Manager in April 2000. In April 2002, her title changed to Director to reflect the strategic level of her work. She became Chief Executive in September, 2006.

Novlette Rennie said of her award:

‘I am so pleased and proud to be the recipient of such a great honour. As a black woman, I feel that the OBE recognises not only my contribution but also the validity and importance of addressing issues of racial inequality in sport. I hope that my success will serve as an inspiration to other black people who wish to pursue a career in the sports sector’.

Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport, said:

‘I should like to offer Novlette Rennie my congratulations on receiving an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List. This is an acknowledgement of the longstanding and significant contribution she has made to promoting racial equality in sport. I am delighted that her work has been recognised in this way.’

Stephen Baddeley, Interim Chief Executive of Sport England, said:

"On behalf of Sport England, I would like to congratulate Novlette on the enormous contribution she has made to addressing issues of racial equality in sport throughout her career - the award of an OBE is deserved recognition for her commitment and hard work. Her work with Sporting Equals in recent years has shown the value of getting more people from ethnic minorities involved in sport at all levels, not only as players but as coaches, volunteers and administrators. I am confident that what Novlette has achieved will help inspire more people from ethnic minorities to get involved in sport."

Nov 15, 2007

Claudia Jones - Founder of the 1st Black Weekly Newspaper in Britain

Claudia Jones was born in Trinidad, a British colony. Her family moved to Harlem, New York, where, from age 9 she lived in conditions of extreme poverty. When Claudia was 12 her mother, a garment worker, died of exhaustion and poverty. 'I couldn't attend graduation classes because I didn't have a dress. Our family was so poor. I cried for days.'

She worked as a sales girl and a factory worker. She saw that government measures directed against blacks also affected poor whites and so, when she was 18, she joined the American Communist Party. By 1941 she had become the National Director of the Young Communist League and devoted all her time to political work.

After the second world war came the McCarthyism period when the US government hounded, jailed and deported many blacks and communists for 'un-American activities', Claudia was imprisoned four times by the US government.

In prison she called on the United Nations to 'investigate the manner in which immigrants in the United States are being treated by the United States Government. If we can be denied all rights and incarcerated in concentration camps, then trade unionists are next; then the Negro people, the Jewish people, all foreign-born, and progressives who love peace and cherish freedom will face bestiality and torment of fascism. Our fate is the fate of American democracy. Our fight is the fight of all opponents of fascist barbarism, of all who abhor war and desire peace.'

There were campaigns and protests for her release but she was eventually deported in 1955. She came to Britain and lived in Notting Hill in west London where she was active in campaigns to defend the black community during the riots against them of 1958, also protesting against the racist killing of Kelso Cochrane. She was one of the founders of the West Indian Workers and Students Association.

In 1958 she founded the black newspaper, the West Indian Gazette, a newspaper for the West Indian community in Britain which campaigned for an independent and united West Indies, justice for blacks in Britain and world peace. Claudia worked to create links between political campaigns and cutural actvities; she established the first ever West Indian Carnival in 1959, which continues to this day every year on the streets of Notting Hill.


Additional reading: Claudia Jones: A Biography

Nov 12, 2007

Black Students in the UK Excel From Corporate Mentoring

For Immediate Release


The ACDiversity mentoring programme has achieved an 87.50% GCSE pass rate for 2007; this is 27.50% above the Governments benchmark of 60%. In partnership with some of London’s leading institutions, the “Mentoring and Enrichment Programme” was created for the black youth to support their development and educational growth.

Brenda King, Chief Executive of ACDiversity states, “The Mentoring Programme” has now proved that mentoring will improve a student’s academic and personal abilities. Black youth have many obstacles to face, and with this programme, it enables them to build their abilities and understand the aspects of critiquing social and media
influences. The results for 2007 have exceeded all expectations with their attitudes and personal issues greatly improved”.

Since 2003, 142 students have participated in the programme with 25 students in 2007. ACDiversity works with organisations that include JPMorgan, Citi, Clifford Chance LLP , Baker & McKenzie LLP and Barclays Capital.


For all press and media enquires:
Victor Trocki

AC Diversity
African and Caribbean Diversity (ACDiversity) was founded in 1990 by a group of black business professionals, with an objective to implement educational programmes for young African and Caribbean students in the UK. ACD became a charity in 1995.