Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Holidays from the ACN! Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa.

Today's Kwanzaa Principle: Kujichagulia, which means Self Determination in Swahili.

What does self determination mean to you?

Yesterday's principle: Umoja, which means Unity.

Let us all come together to improve the lives of our families, children, nation and all of humanity.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Eritrea leading the world in tackling HIV/AIDS

A time to reflect around World AIDS Day. Eritrea, a nation of 5.2 million people and nine nationalities located in East Africa and bordered by Sudan in the North, Ethiopia in the South, Djibouti in the Southeast, and the Red Sea in the East and Northeast, is conquering its AIDS crisis through social awareness. Let all the nations follow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

ACN Supports Liberia and her President During Visit to Richmond, VA

ACN Helps Welcome Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Richmond!

ACN members welcomed Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Richmond, VA on Sunday, Nov. 7! President Sirleaf was adorned in regal green African attire as the Liberian Association of Virginia, Virginia Union University (VUU) officials, Richmond and Petersburg city government officials and friends of Liberia gathered in a Sunday worship service, recognizing the spiritual and social leadership of women, such as Sirleaf. President Sirleaf is the first female to be elected president of Liberia, a nation once plagued with strife and now, under President Sirleaf's leadership, facing a more prosperous future in areas of educational, economical, social and political progression.

Sirleaf infused the love for her nation and a call for partnership and support in her remarks to the congregation at VUU, a day after speaking to a full house at the Richmond Forum. Her peaceful yet passionate tone filled Coburn Hall at VUU as the young and the wise held on to her words of hope and positive transformation. She told the audience of Richmonders and Liberians that their support for her nation was not only wanted, but needed, and she urged them to be a part of change. Her remarks followed celebratory African drumming, harmonic singing by Liberian Association of Virginia choir, a history presentation given by area youth honoring Joseph Jenkins Roberts, the founding father of Liberia and its first president, and a powerfully poignant sermon led by VUU Dean of the School of Theology, Rev. John Kinney. The sound and beauty of Africa filled the air as ACN drummers poured out their love for Liberia and its leadership, welcoming President Sirleaf and then seeing her off with the rythm and beats of the Mother Land.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

ACN Shares Culture and Uplifts the Community

The African Community Network (ACN) reaches out to the community to inform, educate, engage and inspire. The ACN partnered with the Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on Thursday, Oct. 21 for "An Evening of African Culture" event at All Saints Catholic School in Richmond, VA. Students, parents and community members gathered to learn more about the beauty and values of various African countries and cultural groups. From drumming libations and African story telling, to African food tasting and educational seminars, youth and families in the City of Richmond are one step closer to reaching full potential through a heightened cultural consciousness.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It Takes a Village to Transform a Village

Connections create partnerships which then create potential for change and mutual prosperity. Connecting to culture can impact the world and make a difference in the life of a child, family, community and nation.

In this story, communities in African nations are utilizing resources created through partnerships and connections to succeed. While some initiatives are working, others are in need of improvement. This project, part of the U.N.'s Millenium Development Goals, is just one way we can all connect to culture and make a difference. One person can't do it alone. One organization can't do it alone. It takes a village.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cultural Connections

The African Community Network collaborated with Richmond's Elegba Folklore Society again this summer to promote cultural awareness and multiculturalism in the community. African garments, artifacts, and jewelry were on display to showcase and share the history and influences of Africa. ACN members helped to educate and connect African-American guests with information about their cultural past that will help mold and cultivate a better future for the entire community. Come out this Saturday, Aug. 28 to another ACN-partnered event to celebrate, unite and grow as a community. Event will be held at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Welcome Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Richmond, VA

A leader of justice and a promoter of peace, Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will grace The Richmond Forum on November 6, 2010 and offer insight into some of the most pressing issues surrounding the Continent of Africa and Africans around the globe. This insight is sure to shed some light on concerns faced also by the African-American community and has the potential to lead to mutual understanding and a stronger cultural linkage.

Sirleaf is the first female elected president of any African nation.

For more information on Sirleaf's visit to Virginia for The Richmond Forum, click here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Different tongues, one voice

Did you know that hundreds of languages are spoken in Africa? From Amharic to Igbo, from Swahili to Oromo, the diversity in languages depict the various forms in which people communicate across the Continent and the breadth of distinct cultures and traditions that exist in Africa.

To understand Africa is to understand the plethora of beauty, knowledge, power and influence of different ethnic groups that, together, form an incredibly empowering force that stretches across rivers and oceans and pours itself into humanity.

Can you speak any of these languages? How can we use them to unify so that we may continue to speak the language of good will and humanity?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ngouon: Celebrating the Bamum People

The richness of the Cameroonian culture, life and values were on display during the All Cameroonian Cultural Development Foundation (ACCDF). The objective of the ACCDF is to promote and share the Cameroonian culture in the United States.

The event celebrates the Bamoun Cultural dynasties of the King and Shumum language and writings of the Bamum tribe from the Western part of Cameroon, which is located in the Central part of Africa. Bamum tribe is a kingdom in Cameroon that is well known in Central Africa as one of the most powerful kingdoms of ancient and modern times. Under the rule of King Njoya, was born the bamum language called Shumum, the renowned palace and fine, cultural art.

Come be a part of another December 2010 Ngouon celebration!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Africa has a lot to offer to many people."

Serve as a common voice for African families and immigrants.
Create a network for community members.
Empower communities through cultural awareness.

Mahamadou Tandia and Djibril Niang of the African Community Network (ACN) discuss the purpose, goals and mission of ACN with Defenders Live, the live radio show of Richmond's Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality!

To listen, click on this link!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Embracing Culture

The ability to embrace the core of the African culture is conducive to the healing of society, the enhanced perception of history and of ourselves, and the expansion of our hope for the future. The Elegba Folklore Society in Richmond, VA is an organization that aims to create heightened cultural consciousness in Richmond and surrounding communities.

Among the Yoruba, Elegba is the Orisa or intercessor who opens the roads, bringing clarity out of confusion. The Elegba Folklore Society provides the road-opening experience for those who seek a journey.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Leonard Pitts Visits His Ancestral Homeland, Niger - Africa

World-renowned columnnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Leonard Pitts discovers his roots in Niger, Africa and begins his life-changing, cultural connection. The awareness, influence and transformation that such an experience can have on one's life is evident here. As Pitts alludes to in the video, this cultural connection can indeed change a society.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

African Community Network (ACN)...Making a Difference in VA and Beyond

Become a Facebook friend of the African Community Network (ACN) and get involved to make a difference! ACN is a new, non-profit organization that aims to serve African families and communities in Greater Richmond, VA and beyond in the areas of education, advocacy, economic development, health and social and cultural affairs. Many members are from the diverse countries of Africa, including Senegal, Eritrea, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon, Sierre Leone, and many more. ACN works to promote diversity and helps bridge the gap between communities in order to develop a better quality of life for all.

Want to get involved? Let's do it! Contact us at africancommunitynetwork@googlegroups.com and help make a difference in your world!

Rebuilding the Cultural Bridge

The personal and educational pursuit of Africans is embedded in the culture and is passed down to children of the Continent. Perseverance. Dedication. Commitment. Hard work. Work ethic. Resilience. Victory. These strong attributes describe and almost define the existence of many African cultures all over the beautiful Continent. According to research, African immigrants, particulary Nigerians, have the highest level of education in the U.S. when it comes to the entire global immigrant population.

Some children who grow up in villages (not all do. many are raised in the cities) in Africa so greatly value their education that they transport their hard, wooden desks and chairs to and from school on the back of their bicycles, riding miles to school under the beaming African sun. Some schools don't have doors, and if their desk, chair and books are left unsecured overnight, there is fear that these educational tools may be gone by morning.

There is a bold and bright concept of education held by an African heritage that many African Americans (children and adults) living in the U.S. are missing. A culture reconnect between Africans, African history and culture and African-Americans could greatly change communities, the world even, and save lives.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Journey to a Cultural Connection

My first trip to Nigeria at the age of 27 was one that has helped to further me along my path of achievement and self actualization. Yes, even at the ripe age of 27. The towering palm trees. The majestic blue sky. The smell of sweet mangos and pears dangling from vines that flanked my grandfather’s compound. On that compund was my grandfather’s “palace” where he sat in a wide, mahogany-rimmed chair for years, decades really, talking to me over the phone and often times through static. The former British colony is filled with several languages and cultural sects. I was fortunate to be informed about my roots at a very early age, thanks to the cultural connection that my father initiated when I was a child. The values. The struggle. The pain. The perseverance. The hope. The future. Instilled in me as an elementary schooler were the codes of life that I would live by. I went to school and studied faithfully because I knew that there were kids in Nigeria who wanted to learn, but because of circumstances could not, or had to do with much more difficulty than I would ever experience. The maturity of life and of the spirit embedded in stories my father shared with me helped develop my mind and perspective on who I was, where I came from, where I am going, and what to do and how to do it along the way.