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African Union - Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus/New York (SRDC/NY)

Harlem, NY

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African Union 6th Region Representatives/Observers Election Held!

by Sis. Iman Uqdah Hameen

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Lumumba Grant

Lumumba Grant Statment Why he wanted to be a Representative

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Ras McPherson, Representative

Rastology

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Nova Felder, Observer

The Lost Mother (Why We Need Her) By Nova MwaAfrika Felder

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Bakary Tandia, Observer

Bakary Tandia's Statement

On Sat. Mar. 31, 2007 at White Rock Baptist Church in Harlem, NY from 2 p.m.  - 6 p.m., an election 

for the African Union 6th Region Representatives was held.

 

The African Union, whose main purpose is to establish a United States of Africa, has invited Diasporans to participate as voting members in its discussions and decision making. The invitation comes with a multi-tiered task, the first of which is to organize as a community to elect two Representatives and up to six Observers, state by state in the US, in Europe, Central America, South America, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean. All elected representatives must be in place by December, 2007.This is the second and last deadline.

 

 

Almost 100 people from every segment of the population came, from the backbone of our coummunity - the everyday grassroots folks, to community activists, church goers, Muslims, Rastafarians, labor unionists, pacifists, "Buppies", nationalists, entrepreneurs, college students, mothers, and fathers to give "feet" to the  African Union initiative.

 

The community process and announcements were delivered by Prof. David L. Horne and Kumasi Palmer of the PAOC (Pan African Organizing Committee), and Ras Nathaniel representing WHADN (Western Hemisphere African Diaspora Network).  

(Prior to this gathering, the New York community heard the call and committed to the invitation by holding a gathering on January 6, 2007, spearheaded by Elder Adunni Tabasi of Staten Island and the Nkwanta Project to select a Community Council of Elders and call for nominees.)

The event started slowly with presentations from Education Campaign Director, Ras Nathaniel Blake of WHADN and Elder Adunni Tabasi regarding the Nkwanta Project, which is a Ghanaian land grant to Diasporans.  See Ghana Nkwanta Project website at: http://nkwanta.tripod.com

 

Candidates for Representative were Elder Lumumba Grant (Harlem), RAS E.S.P McPherson of ENF(Ethiopian National Federation) and Nova Felder (Harlem). Observer Candidates were Bakary Tandia (Mauritania) and Nova Felder. It must be stated that Nova Felder is a young man and the son of community activist and scientist, Dr. Jack Felder.  It became crystal clear as to why this young man received nominations for both positions when he took his seat and held his own at the Nominees table.

 

At approximately 3 p.m., the proceedings picked up speed and commenced with Baba David Sankofa calling the forum to order by introducing Moderator and Election Chairperson Sis. Carmen Collymore. The approval was given by the Elders to continue and Sis. Collymore outlined the agenda for the event. After introductions of the Community Council of Elders/New York and the Nominees, some audience members took exception to the election by posing questions about the official African Union mandates, their invitation to the Diaspora, election guidelines and some of the 25 people who had been nominated.

 

Bro. Ras Nathaniel and Sis. Collymore answered all questions patiently and deftly.

 

After clearing up the facts that:

1. this information has been known since at least 2003, but hoarded away from the community,

2. that the Diaspora has already missed one deadline regarding the

    election of  Representatives and

3. out of 25 male and female nominees only 4 males accepted or were

    declared eligible based on the agreed upon Minimum Qualifications,

    none of whom the audience was critical of, it was understood by the

    audience that the election had to take place. There was a request for

    more information about the election guidelines etc., and once that was

    presented, all doubts seemed to be allayed. The call to hear the

    candidates was made.

 

Mother Melva Franklin stood regally to pose the first question. Four more Elders asked the rest of the agreed-upon pre-selected questions for each candidate to answer.  The timekeepers allotted five minutes for opening statements and three minutes for each answer.

 

Following this, the community posed their own questions ranging from Zimbabwe, the  definition of Pan African, personal character, candidates' qualifications to be strong-willed and independent thinkers, global warming, knowledge of world history and African history, self-sufficiency, pressing agenda items once at the AU table, and a vision for the community.

 

At 5:10 p.m. the ballots were distributed and the voting began. The community was more than willing to participate in the tally and count. From the college-aged to middle-aged to Elders, there were 5 volunteer vote counters, 5 observers and 3 Election Committee members working intently to insure that the results would be fair and accurate. During the count, the community engaged in fellowship and networking. It was noted that Elder Elombe Brath, a respected, dedicated long time community activist and President of the Patrice Lumumba Coalition and Grandassa arrived at this point, clearly stating that he was not there to take part in the election process.

 

With the tally completed, the final results were:

 -  Representatives   ----    Elder Lumumba Grant and RAS McPherson

 -  Observers             ----   Nova Felder of Harlem and Bakary Tandia of

                                        Mauritania.

 

As flowers were presented to each warrior/winner to say congratulations and thank you, the Brothers stood tall, proud and ready to accept their responsibilities as African Union 6th Region New York Representatives and Observers. The community greeted them with applause, smiles, A-shes, drumming and sounds of victory. Elder Thutmoses Powell (CCOE/NYand UNIA) led the Garvey charge and a brother ended the election with a spiritual offering. Elder Tabasi was presented with a gift from Ras McPherson honoring her work and Earthday.

 

Special thanks to:

1.  AU 6th Region Organizer Prof. David Horne of California for his

    commitment and diligence in making sure our people are a part of the

    world stage by pushing to meet the AU invitation deadline,

2. The Reverend Cooper, of White Rock Baptist Church  and his members,

     for their unending cooperation in providing a meeting place month

     after month for this important initiative;

3. Election Committee Members, especially

    Carmen Collymore, Chair,

    Linda Fletcher, Internet and Public Relations, 

    Iman (Uqdah) Hameen, Media and Organizing Committee, 

    Dacca Shabazz, Media and Flyer Distribution,

  

4. Ras Nathaniel Blake for acting as AU/ WHADN Liaison and Education

    Director;

5. CCOE/NY Elders and  

6. Amsterdam News, NY Beacon, BronxNet and BCA for the public

    announcements and

    to all community members for making this a success. It is done!

 

Submitted by Sis. Iman Uqdah Hameen 2007

 




__._,_.___

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Elder Mother Melva Franklin

The audience/participants knew and understood that the Election had to take place. There was a request for more information about the election guidelines etc. and once that was presented, all doubts seemed to be allayed.

     

The call to hear the candidates was made.

     

Mother Melva Franklin stood regally and the questioning began.

 

 

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FORWARD EVER, BACKWARDS NEVER!

AFRICA MUST UNITE AND AFRICANS MUST UNITE!