Tag: Nelson Mandela

R.I.P. Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Former United Nations Secretary General

Kofi Annan was awarded the Nobel peace prize for his humanitarian work with the UN. (Photograph: Allison Joyce/Reuters)

by Chris Johnston via theguardian.com

The former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, has died at the age of 80 after a short illness, his family and foundation announced on Saturday.

The Ghanaian was the seventh secretary general and served for two terms between 1997 and 2006. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his humanitarian work jointly with the UN as an organisation in 2001.

He died in hospital in Bern, Switzerland in the early hours of Saturday with his wife, Nane, and three children Ama, Kojo and Nina, by his side. He had retired to Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village.

Annan’s foundation issued a statement on his Twitter account on Saturday that described him as a “global statesman and deeply committed internationalist who fought throughout his life for a fairer and more peaceful world.”

The statement added that Annan, who succeeded Boutros Boutros-Ghali as UN leader, was a “son of Ghana and felt a special responsibility towards Africa”.

The current UN secretary general, António Guterres, whom Annan appointed to lead its refugee agency, said: “In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations. He rose through the ranks to lead the organisation into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination.”

The former UK prime minister Tony Blair said on Twitter that he was shocked and distressed by Annan’s death. “He was a good friend whom I saw only weeks ago. Kofi Annan was a great diplomat, a true statesman and a wonderful colleague who was widely respected and will be greatly missed. My deepest sympathy go to Nane and his family,” he said.

Annan was chair of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working for peace and human rights founded by Nelson Mandela. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway and the body’s deputy chair, said she and her colleagues were devastated by Annan’s death.

“Kofi was a strong and inspiring presence to us all, and The Elders would not be where it is today without his leadership. Throughout his life, Kofi worked unceasingly to improve the lives of millions of people around the world,” she said.

Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said the world had lost a great leader: “Kofi’s dedication and drive for a more peaceful and just world, his lifelong championing of human rights, and the dignity and grace with which he led will be sorely missed in a world which needs these characteristics more than ever.”

Continue reading “R.I.P. Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Former United Nations Secretary General”

Former President Barack Obama Gives Inspiring Speech at Mandela Day Celebration in South Africa (VIDEO)

UC Davis in CA to Host 1st Energy Institute for Obama’s Young African Leaders Program

2014 Mandela Washington Fellows during the Summit with President Obama (photo via youngafricanleaders.state.gov)
2014 Mandela Washington Fellows during the Summit with President Obama (photo via youngafricanleaders.state.gov)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Twenty-five young African leaders will leverage the world leadership of the University of California, Davis, in zero-net energy and its global experience to tackle energy challenges in their countries.

They will come to UC Davis for the first and only energy-themed institute offered through the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the flagship of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

The U.S. State Department and IREX, the international nonprofit that administers the fellowship program, today (Feb. 9) announced the 36 universities that will host six-week summer programs — also in business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management — for about 1,000 fellows.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said one of the 21st century’s biggest challenges is transitioning to a sustainable energy future, and UC Davis is leading with research, education and outreach in energy sciences, technology, management and policy to develop solutions.

“The fellows are future leaders in Africa,” she added, “and UC Davis is partnering with them to make a difference in our communities, our countries and our world.”

Selected from countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a competition, the fellows are 25- to 35-year-olds who already have a record of leadership and accomplishments.

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia and has led two peace mission teams to Africa. “I congratulate these young leaders from Africa for their participation in the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, as well as their dedication to improving the energy future of their countries and the world,” he said. “I am also very proud of the University of California, Davis, for the global leadership it is showing by hosting this unique and important institute for the Mandela program.”

Expertise from campus and beyond

Institute seminars and lectures will draw on the expertise of faculty from a broad range of disciplines and some dozen UC Davis institutes and research centers — including the Energy Efficiency Center, which accelerates the development and commercialization of energy efficiency technologies, and the Institute of Transportation Studies, the world’s leading university center on sustainable transportation.

Field trips and guest lectures will expose the fellows to key energy organizations and leaders in the generation and use of renewable energy.

In hands-on service and learning, the fellows will help install solar energy systems for lower-income families, clean up a local watershed, perform campus energy audits, and work on a community garden.

‘Brilliant, energetic and fearless’

The fellows are 25- to 35-year-olds who have promoted innovation and accomplished positive change in their organizations, institutions, communities and countries. They have made a commitment to return to Africa and apply their leadership skills and training to benefit their community or country.

The fellows will be selected this spring, and the institute will be held in June and July.  To learn more about the program and how to apply, go to: Mandela Washington Fellowship

BOOKS: 13 Must-Reads by Black Authors to Add To Your Library

In light of the recent events surrounding racial and social injustice around the country, knowing our history, as part of our eternal quest to “stay woke,” is more important than ever. While many of us are experiencing a new movement unfolding right before our eyes, scholars, experts and even regular folks with stories to tell, have been putting their experiences to the page to enlighten generations.

The publishing industry suffers from the same lack of diversity and racial biases that plague society at large. While many books don’t make school reading lists or even the New York Times Bestsellers List, there are countless classics that break down the Black experience in America.

It’s hardly a complete list, which could go on for volumes, but it’s a great starting point:

1. The Mis-Education of the Negro, Carter G. Woodson

Portrait of Carter Woodson
Carter Woodson (Source: Hulton Archive / Getty)

This book is of primary importance in understanding the legacy of slavery and how it affects Black Americans’ perspectives in society. The book essentially argues that Black Americans are not educated, but rather conditioned in American society. It challenges Black Americans to “do for themselves” outside of the constructs that are set up for them.

2. And Still I RiseMaya Angelou

Maya Angelou Signs Copies Of 'Maya Angelou: Letter to My Daughter' - October 30, 2008
Maya Angelou (Source: Jemal Countess / Getty)

This is one of the most affirming books you will ever read. Technically, it is a collection of poems which focus on hope, determination and overcoming struggle. It contains one of Angelou’s most famous poems, Phenomenal Woman.

3. The Souls of Black FolkW. E. B. Du Bois

Portrait of W.E.B. DuBois
W.E.B. DuBois (Source: Underwood Archives / Getty)

One of the most important books on race in sociology and African-American studies, it is a collection of essays that Du Bois wrote by drawing from his personal experiences. Two of the most profound social concepts – The Veil And Double Consciousness were written about in this book which have come to be widely known as part of the experience of being Black in America.

4. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
'The Color Purple' TimesTalks: Jennifer Hudson, Cynthia Erivo, Alice Walker, John Doyle
Alice Walker (Source: D Dipasupil / Getty)

You may have seen the movie from Steven Spielberg or the recent Broadway musical, but I highly encourage you read this powerful novel, too. The book explores in depth the low position Black women are given in society through the lens of a particular group of women. The story explores both interpersonal turmoil and socially-inflicted violence toward Black women, as well as the bonds they share.

5. Things Fall ApartChinua Achebe

NIGERIA-LITERATURE-BOOK-CULTURE-ACHEBE-FUNERAL
Chinua Achebe (Source: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / Getty)

This book is among the most critically acclaimed ever written by an African author. Through the character Okonkwo, his family and the experiences of his village, Achebe tells the tale of colonization and its effects on African communities, particularly in Nigerian traditional social life.  Continue reading “BOOKS: 13 Must-Reads by Black Authors to Add To Your Library”

Laurence Fishburne to Star in Nelson Mandela Miniseries ‘Madiba’ for BET

Laurence Fishburne Nelson MandelaLaurence Fishburne is set to play the lead role of Nelson Mandela in Madiba, a miniseries for BET Networks executive produced by the late South African hero’s grandson Kweku Mandela. The six-hour mini, directed by Kevin Hooks (Prison Break), is based on two Mandela books, Conversations With Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself. Named after Madiba, the Thembu clan to which Nelson Mandela belonged, the project tells the story of a younger Nelson Mandela during the early-60s as he deals with the political unrest engulfing South Africa.

Madiba will be produced and financed by Toronto-based Blue Ice Pictures and also produced by UK-based Left Bank Pictures and South Africa’s Out of Africa Entertainment in association with Fishburne’s Cinema Gypsy Productions. Blue Ice Pictures president Lance Samuels executive produces alongside Kweku Mandela of Out of Africa and Daniel Iron, Neil Tabatznik, Steven Silver, Andy Harries, Marigo Kehoe and Loretha Jones.

Pre-production will begin later this year, with production slated for early 2016 in South Africa.
nelsonmandelabyhimselfconversationswithmyslef“Nelson Mandela’s journey of political activism and leadership is deeply inspirational and we are proud to have the talented and award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne join Madiba to tell this triumphant story” said Stephen Hill, President of Programming, BET Networks.

Fishburne executive produces and co-stars on the ABC comedy series Black-ish and will be seen next summer in Batman vs Superman: Dawn Of Justice. He recently signed on to star in the A&E remake of Roots and is in production on Sony’s romantic sci-fi drama Passengers starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence.

There have been a number of feature and TV movies about Mandela, with the Nobel Peace Prize-winning anti-apartheid activist and political prisoner-turned-president portrayed by such actors as Morgan Freeman, Sidney Poitier, Idris Elba, Dennis Haysbert, Terrence Howard and Danny Glover.

article by Nellie Andreeva via deadline.com

President Obama To Rename Africa Program For Nelson Mandela

obama-africa

WASHINGTON (AP) — A program designed to foster a new generation of young African leaders will be renamed after former South African President Nelson Mandela.

President Barack Obama, who has said he was one of the untold millions of people around the world who were inspired by Mandela’s life, is set to announce the name change at a town hall-style event Monday in Washington with several hundred young leaders from across sub-Saharan Africa.

The youngsters are participating in the inaugural Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, part of the broader Young African Leaders Initiative that Obama launched in 2010 to support a new generation of leadership there. The fellowship is being renamed as a tribute to Mandela, who died last December at age 95.

Obama announced the fellowship during a stop in South Africa last summer. It connects young African leaders to leadership training opportunities at top U.S. universities.

In remarks at Monday’s event, Obama also was announcing new public-private partnerships to create more programs for young African leaders, including four regional leadership centers across Africa, online classes and other resources, the White House said.

Mandela spent 27 years in jail under apartheid, South Africa’s former system of white minority rule, before eventually leading his country through a difficult transition to democracy. In 1994, he became the first democratically elected leader of a post-apartheid South Africa.

This week’s events with the next generation of young African leaders are a lead-in to the inaugural U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, being held Aug. 4-6 in Washington. About 50 African leaders are expected to attend what the White House says will be the largest gathering any U.S. president has held with African heads of state and government.

article by Associated Press via newsone.com

Rally in Times Square Tomorrow To Honor Nelson Mandela Day and Fight Extreme Poverty

46664 Concert: In Celebration Of Nelson Mandela's Life - Performance
Nelson Mandela (Photo: Getty Images)

Friday is Nelson Mandela Day, a day to celebrate the great humanitarian and former president of South Africa. And if you’re in the area, you totally ought to stop by Times Square in New York City and get in on the activist action taking place!

That’s because Global Citizen, Nelson Mandela’s grandson Kweku Mandela and tons of activists will be there to help put an end to extreme poverty. The get-together starts at 4, and at 4:15 they’ll start playing footage of Mandela on the giant billboards. You’ll also be able to watch the “Zero Poverty 2030” movie and you might even get a photo with Kweku Mandela. Plus, if you attend and are able to get 10 people to sign the Zero Poverty 2030 petition, you’ll receive 8 points on Global Citizen, which could help you get to the Global Citizen Festival this fall.

If you don’t live nearby or can’t make it for any other reasons, there are still ways you can take part. You could share a special #DayofAction video on Facebook (which, again, could help you get tickets to the Global Citizen Festival). You can also share on Twitter to help raise awareness.

What Global Citizen is doing on Nelson Mandela Day is a part of something bigger. They’re serious about ending extreme poverty by 2030, and we can all join in and help them. And creating a world without extreme poverty would be a great way to honor Nelson Mandela and continue his humanitarian mission. After all, Mandela himself said, “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

article by Danica Davidson via act.mtv.com

Michael Sam to Receive Arthur Ashe Courage Award at ESPYs

Michael SamYesterday University of Missouri’s defensive end Michael Sam was selected as the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. The award, which is given to individuals who transcend sports, will be presented at The 2014 Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly (ESPYs) on July 16th. Other recipients of the award include Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela and Billie Jean King.

Michael Sam made history in February by becoming the first Division I college football player in history to come out as gay.  Sam, who was named the 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-SEC selection during his senior year at Missouri, is expected to be picked in the NFL Draft in the upcoming days.  

Sam joined a growing list of notable athletes who have come out recently, including Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers, Brittney Griner, Orlando Cruz, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey, and Tom Daley.

article by Hayley Miller via hrc.org

NAACP Image Awards: Kevin Hart Named Entertainer of the Year, “12 Years A Slave” Wins Best Picture

Kevin Hart wins Entertainer of the
(Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Kevin Hart was named Entertainer of the Year while 12 Years a Slave racked up another four awards including for Outstanding Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards, which were held Saturday at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.  Hart said he was a “real mama’s boy” and dedicated his prize to his mother, who recently passed away.

Director Steve McQueen and writer John Ridley won kudos for “12 Years” during a non-televised portion of the show Friday, while Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o said she was honored to win for a film ”that has inspired discourse long overdue.”

Forest Whitaker and David Oyelowo were honored for their roles in Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Angela Bassett won the Lead Actress prize for Black Nativity. Whitaker was also honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award.  “I’m one of those with a funny accent and an African name,” Oyelowo referencing emcee Anthony Anderson’s earlier jokes about Brit actors with their accents and African names in his speech who cross the Pond to grab roles in Hollywood.  Meanwhile, Whitaker quoted a song from Nat King Cole, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved.”

On the television side, Hart and his BET show Real Husbands of Hollywood were honored for comedy, while Kerry Washington, Joe Morton and ABC’s Scandal picked up three awards for drama. Since showrunner Shonda Rhimes was unable to attend, Washington accepted the Scandal award. In her own acceptance speech, Washington said, “The historic nature of this role is due not to lack of talent, but lack of opportunity.”

The NAACP Image Awards were broadcast live on TV One and hosted by Anthony Anderson. Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and Director’s Guild (DGA) president Paris Barclay were inducted into the Image Awards Hall of Fame. Both are the first African-American presidents of their respective organizations. Barclay referenced his upbringing saying, “I’m the first in a long line of factory workers.”  Boone Isaacs said AMPAS invited more women and minority this year than it ever has. “We still have a lot of work to do. I look forward to it,” she said to applause.

Continue reading “NAACP Image Awards: Kevin Hart Named Entertainer of the Year, “12 Years A Slave” Wins Best Picture”

Idris Elba Named Essence Magazine’s 2013 “Sexiest Man Alive”

idris_elba_02

Idris Elba’s talent may have landed him the role of the late and legendary Nelson Mandela in a new biopic – but his good looks swept the woman of Essence off their feet as they named him 2013′s Sexiest Man Alive.  Elba has had a banner year with the release of two high-profile movies: the first was a July release of the action film Pacific Rim but it is his role as Mandela in Long Walk to Freedom that has brought him considerable buzz.

Aside from the talent he delivers on-screen, Elba is also admired by women for his whimsical charm and let it be known, according to Essence: “When Elba smiles, he dazzles. We’re seeing stars, moons and rainbows right about now.”  The magazine chose the British actor to join the league of men who have received the “Sexiest Man Alive” title by a variety of magazines.

People recently released that their pick for this year’s Sexiest Man Alive was musician Adam Levine – and theGrio responded by compiling our own list of black men in Hollywood who are just as deserving (note: Elba was a top pick).  Click here to see the 50 reasons Essence gave for naming Elba as their choice for 2013′s Sexiest Man Alive.

article by Lilly Workneh via thegrio.com

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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