DAWN Feb 11

Message from the Executive Director


Wow, the second month of 2011 came and went in the blink of an eye! 


February has been an incredibly historic and inspiring month.  As I sit from Nairobi, watching the scenes unfold across North Africa during Black History Month has been a real world lesson into the quest for peace, justice and prosperity - an issue the entire continent of Africa and its people can relate to. The momentum from the Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian, Libyan and Sudanese diaspora communities both around the world and in social media networks reaffirms the commitment, passion and important role that diaspora have in supporting their relative countries of origin during times of transition and growth.  When harnessed properly, the diaspora and next generation leaders have shown an innate ability to be the agents of change that communities so often desire. 


For DAWN, we believe in investing in and supporting the next generation of African diaspora women leaders who are focused on Africa.  We will hold our Spring Membership Drive during the entire month of March with more events to follow in the spring.  I hope you consider sharing our work with interested persons and potential candidates, especially during the membership drive which ends on March 31st! DAWN appreciates your support and we invite you to contact us anytime at info@dawners.org.


Semhar Araia

Executive Director and Founder of DAWN  

Celebrating Black History Month

February is an important time to honor the history of the African Diaspora in the United States. As we all know, Africans faced incalculable challenges when brought to the U.S. as slaves.  Then came the discrimination of Jim Crow laws, lynching and other practices. 


 However, many of these limitations have been overcome. Through great contributions in the fields of agriculture, medicine, science and law, peoples of African descent have gone on to play pivotal roles in American society. Black history month provides us with an opportunity to recognize these struggles and accomplishments and continue to move forward and progress as our ancestors did.


Remember the people that came before us and let it be a spring board to move forward and achieve even greater things.


DAWN Spring Membership Drive:  Being Fearless in Our Excellence!
Some DAWN members 

Spring is upon us!  It is a season that represents new life and new opportunities.  The title of DAWN's Spring 2011 Membership Drive is "DAWN: Being Fearless in Our Excellence"  From the social to professional development, DAWN is embarking this year on many initiatives that will give its members new opportunities to grow and flourish. 


Not only is spring a time for new opportunities, it is also a time for fearlessly reach for them.    From March 1 - 31, DAWN is opening up its membership to welcome new, dynamic women of the African Diaspora who have a proven commitment to the continent and her community.  We are looking for amazing women to fulfill our mission of "developing and supporting talented women and girls of the African Diaspora focused on African affairs."


If you know of women who are dedicated to Africa and her Diaspora, please encourage them to apply to join DAWN at http://www.dawners.org/join-dawn.html or contact the Director of Membership, Nkechi Mbanu, at membership@dawners.org 


Deadline to apply is March 31st so HURRY!

DAWNer of the Month
     Sophia Nur

SNurSophia Nur holds a doctoral degree in the field of Health Communication and Intercultural Communication.  Her dissertation specifically focused on an HIV/AIDS behavioral change communication intervention for university students in Ethiopia. She also holds a certificate in Women's Studies from Howard University. While at Howard,  Dr. Nur was a Professor of Register for two years in the Department of Communication and Culture. During her academic career she conducted extensive research on the implications of gender on sexual communication and reproductive health. She has experience in both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Overall, Dr. Nur's career experience focuses on the research, development, and implementation of culturally appropriate HIV/AIDS-related tools and programs both domestically and globally.


Currently, Dr. Nur works for the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs/National AIDS Resource Center- Ethiopia (JHU-CCP/ARC). At the ARC, she coordinates, manages, and provides strategic direction on the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the health communication campaign focused on the prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS interventions. Dr. Nur also assists the youth radio program and the positive living program. Previously, she was a fellow in the Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (REHD) Program at the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). She assisted in the development, implementation, and evaluation of resources relating to NASTAD's Black women's initiative. Her major responsibilities included the development of tools and resources for health departments to assist them in developing interventions that target women of African descent in the United States. Dr. Nur was a co-author of NASTAD's Black Women and HIV Issue Brief, where she conducted qualitative research and analysis.


Her overall career and academic experience are centered on gender, HIV/AIDS, and health communication.

DAWNista of the Month
Kani Keita

KKaniKani Keita was born in Cocoa Beach, FL to Malian parents. She grew up in Miami attending public school where she graduated from Killian HS in the top one percent of her class and was named a Ron Brown Scholar. Kani is currently a junior at Harvard University, majoring in Government and minoring in Economics. 


After becoming fascinated with theories of economic development as a freshman, she obtained an internship at Constituency for Africa the summer after to learn more about development in practice. While Washington helped shape her thinking towards development and Africa's future, Kani decided to take a chance the following winter and spent her winter vacation in Mali where she started a project partnering with Energy for Opportunity and UNESCO Mali to provide solar-powered community charging stations to the rural villages.


Her love for the environment continued throughout her sophomore year when she organized a beach clean-up and also served as Campus Coordinator for The Leadership Campaign. That summer, Kani interned in Sales & Trading at Goldman Sachs.  She will be interning there again next summer in the Investment Banking Division.


Kani is currently spending the 2010-2011 year in France studying at Sciences Po Paris. She continues to work on the Mali project. In her free time, Kani enjoys playing guitar, listening to house music, laughing with friends, and just being totally lazy sometimes. 


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

African News

Role of African Diaspora in the spotlight

The idea of the African Diaspora being declared a formal, institutionally recognisable region of the continent is once more gaining momentum as experts on the subject sit for a meeting in South Africa. African Heads of State and Government have expressed keen interest in the African Diaspora being declared the sixth region of the continent. Read More 

500 African films to be available online

From June 2011 hundreds of African films will be available online through a worldwide legal, commercial downloading platform that guarantees fair revenue to African film makers and producers.Read More 


MARCH 1 - 31

What: DAWN Spring Membership Drive 

 Apply online at www.dawners.org during March for DAWN's Biannual Spring Membership Drive! 


**MARCH 1 & 2
What: Africa's New Era: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future
Time: 9:30AM -5PM EST

Where: SAIS Kenney Auditorium at 1740 Massachusetts Avenue. 



"Africa's New Era" will feature a keynote address from the former President of Botswana Festus Mogae.  Panelists will be traveling from Africa, Europe, and North America to participate in this event.  


For more information, please visit: www.sais-jhu.edu/centers/schwartzforum/africaconf.htm



DAWN's Monthly Inspiration  
Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better."
 -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  
In This Issue
Message from the Executive Director
Celebrating Black History Month
DAWNer of the Month:
DAWNista of the Month: Kani Keita
African News
Upcoming Events

26 Camille Brown
28- Ndimyake Mwakalelye

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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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