Carrie L. Williams



Hotel Indigo African Diaspora Roundtable Launch


Stakeholder Planning For Cultural Data Collection


In a combination of onsite and virtual participation, the African Diaspora Roundtable launch held at the Hotel Indigo Atlanta Airport on Aug. 18, 2023 quietly posed a seminal inquiry among African Diaspora stakeholder leaders, offered by World Human Rights Chairman Al Bartell.

The inquiry presented: What does indigenous cultural data collection look like, how does that collection take place, and what kind of planning effort might be necessary to collect cultural data, communicate cultural data, and distribute cultural data in the African Diaspora of the 21st century?

Victor Mbaba, Founder and CEO

Africa's Children's Fund

“Africa should not be left behind a second time.  We must pay attention to the talents underground, and support/improve those talents, particularly in the area of IT, even with the influx of AI.... If the Diaspora does not do it – no one will do it for us... Everything that's been said about data collection is true. How do we collect data and put it to use so that everybody benefits -- because as Africa develops, I think the rest of the world will develop along with her."

Mike Wittenstein, Co-Founder

FullCircle Experience

"National, regional, local organizations can’t match the size of our Diaspora-sized opportunities and problems. We need thinking and action at that scale. And, we need tools that connect us to one another globally... I heard the word 'Diasporant' today, and that lit me up... that is an identity, that is a connection."

Emphasizing the extraordinary future our global connection to one another holds, Chairman Bartell queried, "The question becomes, 'Who gets included -- and who gets left behind?'"

Bartell continued to state the relevance of a planning context for making the inclusion of the African Diaspora in the 21st century a reality, and that the World Human Rights Network was interested in convening that kind of planning. He pointed to the United Nations' various reference points, specifically the reference point of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent -- and what that might mean. "We begin to look to see what nations, what countries are even willing to consider something called Diaspora Management -- what countries are interested in investing in that conversation. United States is one of those nations."

Pointing to the Office of Global Partnership created within the U.S. State Department, Bartell spoke about Amb. Nina Hachigian's recent speech to the World Affairs Council in Atlanta, and the dialogue about what global partnership might mean for non-federal stakeholders. One of the concepts being explored, per Amb. Hachigian, is the concept of sub-national diplomacy. Bartell shared that indigenous kingdoms existed all over the world and that indigenous data and cultural communication was as much data as something that comes from statistics.

In the world of data collection, Bartell asserted, the data from the African Diaspora needs to be included, and that data deserves to be communicated and distributed. "It is necessary," Bartell told participants at the Roundtable, "for people like yourselves to know you are not alone."

Bartell continued, "Today we want to introduce you to the opportunity -- to do that kind of planning -- to do that kind of looking...The offer today is to say that to you -- and get your feedback, your ideas on it, and see, are there any next steps we can commit to."

H.E. Shanta Lana Hereford

Ateker Kingdom Alliance

"I think it's great what's being talked about, and what Chairman Bartell said about creating a Diaspora movement -- and also collecting data. We definitely need to do this. But we need to make sure we are the ones who are controlling and storing the data -- and controlling who has access to that data. In these early stages, this is a time for us to be building infrastructure, and we're talking about an Africa for Africans -- then this is who needs to be in the room...."

After participants had shared about their interests, their organizations, and their feedback about the planning next steps, Chairman Bartell closed out the Roundtable with the following remarks:

"I want to acknowledge all of you for being in this conversation. I want to appreciate your authenticity. Thank you for regarding this as a safe space, such that you could speak and consider yourself being included. It is a benchmark of the World Human Rights Network to provide that kind of safety and that kind of safe space.

“From the bottom of our hearts we thank you. We’re clear that today in the universal conversation, we’ve established a vibration that can take us well beyond the 21st century. Ashay!”

Al Bartell, Chairman

World Human Rights Network


Related Coverage



Second Session of UN Permanent Forum on People of African Descent Heightens Need For Cultural Data Collection

credit: Karen Juanita Carrillo

New York Amsterdam News


The closure of the Second Session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent is hearkening efforts to sharply impact systemic and structural racism across the African diaspora. As a thematic area of focus, The Second Session heightened the critical need for cultural data-collection.

To answer that clarion call, a scope of work has emerged: a series of diaspora management roundtable discussions that prepare stakeholders to participate in diaspora planning summits. The launch of the African Diaspora Roundtable discussion series will take place ths Friday, Aug. 18th, 2023 at the Hotel Indigo Atlanta Airport.

World Human Rights Chairman Al Bartell explains the latest UN-informed scope of work:

The stated overarching theme of The Second Session emphasized 'the promotion, protection and full respect of the human rights of people of African descent'. Coming out of The Second Session, the African diaspora efforts of the United Nations are now being communicated inside a ‘global consultative process’.

“We are clear it will take cultural data-collection for recognizing and addressing systemic and structural racism. Currently, there are insufficient structures for collecting cultural data, in comparison with corporate data and government data. It is highly useful for African diaspora leaders to consider a planning strategy to address cultural data-collection.

“The African Diaspora Roundtable series gives a framework for building diaspora stakeholder capacity in cultural data collection, data communication, and data circulation for the world of 21st century technology.”

credit:  IHG Hotels & Resorts

Hotel Indigo Atlanta Airport

College Park, GA

The Launch Of The African Diaspora ROUNDTABLE | Aug. 18 2023

Is produced by the World Human Rights Network with its fiscal agent Advocacy America Network

an emerging African Diaspora cultural movement

in the world of 21st century technology…