A five-day conference aimed to “assess the condition of Black people in the U.S. and globally” is expected to produce possible solutions to some of the most daunting problems facing the Black world at this moment in history.
The State of the Black World Conference V, set for Baltimore April 19-25, is confirmed to draw iconic Black leaders from around the world, says Dr. Ron Daniels, president/CEO of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW21), the organization that is hosting the event. The conference, being organized around the theme, “Global Africans Rising: Empowerment, Reparations & Healing,” will seat African-American, African and diasporic leaders together at a historic table, he describes.
“There has never been a gathering of this type around this theme in the history of the United states of America and we predict that it will have global impact because of the gathering and the way we have formulated it. Not to mention all of the issues” that will be address, Daniels said in an interview. “There’s likely to be nothing in recent history more powerful than what we’re doing at the State of the Black World Five.”
Among the issues to be dealt with, he listed reparations, which is a central issue of IBW21; water as a human right; crime and violence in our community, “which is not just a U.S. issue, but one that people are confronting across the globe,” he said.
After grappling with these issues and a string of others, Daniels says a “results-oriented declaration of intent” will be issued. “We do not claim that we will be able to implement all of the items. But there will be a declaration of intent that will be determined from the plenary sessions and the eight issue areas. And IBW will look through that and find out which ones we can prioritize for action” and then partner with other organizations to move forward.
This will be the fifth State of the Black World Conference, but this one – to be held at the Baltimore Convention Center – will be the first with such broad reach, he said. Key highlights include:
• Ghana President Nana Addo Danka Akufo-Addo; Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley; Former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson; and Grenada Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell are among top level international leaders expected to interface with academics, activists U.S. Black leaders.
• A national and international town hall meeting will focus on building the U.S. and Global Reparations Movements.
• There will be a special tribute to Maurice Bishop, the assassinated leader of the People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada. Grenada Prime Minister Dikon Mitchell has been invited to lead that tribute.
• National Urban League President Marc Morial will host a global Black leadership summit, reflecting on the approximate 100 days since the 118th Congress has been dominated by Republicans in the House of Representatives.
• Black Women’s Roundtable Convenor Melanie Campbell, president/CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, will co-facilitate a global Black women’s summit breakfast along with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who is the current lead sponsor of HR40, the reparations bill. The honored guest will be Colombian Vice President Francia Marquez.
• DaQuan Lawrence, a Graduate student in African Studies at Howard University, will be in charge of outreach to university/college students and community based young leaders.
• The event will close with a keynote speech and final charge by Dr. Julius Garvey, Global Pan African advocate/leader, the son of Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., the famous activist, orator and author.
Also in attendance will be NAACP Vice President Hilary Shelton; activist and actor Danny Glover; members of Congress, including new House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.); and a string of Black leaders from Maryland, including Gov. Wes Moore are expected to attend.
“So we will have the who’s who of Black America there;” says Daniels. “We must become better organized to do what Dr. King said at the end of his life. We must use what we have in our hands.”
For registration, full agenda and more detailed information: IBW21.org. or call 1-888-774-2921.