Helsinki Commissioners Seek Cooperation from Tolerance Representatives – Hearing Brings Together Three International Monitors of Discrimination

WASHINGTON—The countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) need to improve their reporting of hate crimes and other acts of discrimination within their borders, the leaders of the U.S. Helsinki Commission said today at a hearing on tolerance.

U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) chaired the hearing, “Promoting Tolerance and Understanding in the OSCE Region,” the first hearing of its kind to bring together the three OSCE Personal Representatives who separately monitor discrimination against Muslims, Jews, and Christians and other religions.

“We have witnessed a resurgence of various forms of intolerance and discrimination in the OSCE countries, included in our own, and it is up to all of us to stand up against it,” said Chairman Cardin, referring to a 54-percent increase in hate groups in the U.S. since 2004. “There is renewed urgency to the work of the personal representatives as we face a global economic downturn that wrongheaded hate groups have already used and will continue to use to scapegoat individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or immigrant status. “

“There is almost a denial that these problems persist in the OSCE countries,” said Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL). “We are making some progress, but in comparison to the problem, the progress is too slow. Too many acts of hatred still fill our headlines, which is why we need the OSCE personal representatives to work more cooperatively to shine a light on the xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and other forms of discrimination that continue to feed off one another.”

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The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is an independent agency of the Federal Government charged with monitoring compliance with the Helsinki Accords and advancing comprehensive security through promotion of human rights, democracy, and economic, environmental and military cooperation in 56 countries. The Commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.

Introducing the 1st Annual MyAfricanDiaspora.com Writing Contest

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MyAfricanDiaspora.com is looking for fiction that is unique, stories with characters they’ll remember, plots that leave them thinking. The contest is open to anyone, any race, any country, any continent. The only caveat? The main character must be of African descent.

Rules
The contest runs from October 1 – December 31, 2009, winner announced February 1, 2010
Entries must be 1500 words or less;
The entry fee is $10 (via paypal or money order payable to DreamDeep LLC.)
Address:
DreamDeep LLC
9360 W. Flamingo Rd.
#110-117
Las Vegas, NV 89147;
Main character must be of African descent;
Story must be previously unpublished.

Submit entries to info @ myafricandiaspora.com, with the words “Short Story Contest: (input genre and name of your short story)” in the subject line. Ex. Short Story Contest: Mystery My Story. Copy & Paste into the body of the email. No attachments.

Be sure to include your contact information and word count with submissions.

There will be one overall winner and one winner from each of the following genres: Literary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery, Romance (we prefer stories without gratuitous sex or violence)

Prizes
First Place: $500 Genre Winners: $25 Borders Gift Card

Each winner will have their story and a feature article published on myafricandiaspora.com.

The winners and top three entries in each genre will have their short stories published in a short story collection (with royalties) at the end of the year.

Are you an African American expat missing your favorite American foods? I’ve got a deal for you.

My AMerican Food logo

I just found out about an online food store, My American Market for Americans craving a taste of home and anyone else across Europe that likes American food products.

Hopefully, If you’re an African American living in Europe, you are enjoying more slow food, less processed food and seasonal fruits and vegetables than you may have allowed yourself at home, and maybe don’t even miss what is so readily available in the States.

But a sister from the States in the Mediterranean mentioned to me the other day that she still has a hard time eating pancakes without maple syrup. Luckily I can find maple syrup in Stockholm. But if you need boxed cornbread mix…

Use coupon code “BEXPAT21” until the end of October to get 10% off your order shipped in France and EU+Switzerland.

Happy shopping, eating, baking, etc!

Call for submissions: Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women in the Global Diaspora.

Background:
On January 20, 2009, Michelle Obama became the 44th First Lady of the United States. Unlike previous First Lady’s she is distinguished not only as the most educated First Lady but the first African American First Lady. Her rise to this position was extraordinary. Throughout the nearly two-year presidential campaign, Michelle Obama demonstrated intelligence, grace under fire, tenacity, perseverance and indefatigable spirit.


Wanted:
Follow up letters to the book Go, Tell Michelle, African American Women Write to the New First Lady. New submissions are requested from Black women living in Africa, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin American, the Middle East, and South America addressed to Mrs. Michelle Obama.
We are especially interested in your reactions to this historic event in African American history; the public response to Michelle in your community; your perception of how Michelle has changed the image of Black Women around the world; public reaction when she visited your part of the world; your hopes and dreams for the First Lady; treatment of Michelle by the American and foreign press and your fears, cautions and hopes.

Why: Published in the upcoming book Go, Tell Michelle: African American Women in the Global Diaspora.

What: Submissions can be poems, letters, and other prose and should be between 350 -800 words.

When: Your deadline for submission is October 1, 2009. Submit to: uqi@buffalo.edu (Uncrowned Queens Institute). Send questions to pbertram@gmail.com and bnevergo@buffalo.edu

Visit: Go, Tell Michelle Sisterhood Network at GTMsisterhoodnetwork.blogspot.com on http://gtmsisterhoodnetwork.blogspot.com/

Dambisa Moyo’s Dead Aid is changing how we view aid for Africa.

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Dambisa Moyo was born and raised in Zambia, Southern Africa. She completed a PhD in Economics at Oxford University and holds a Masters from Harvard University. She completed a Bachelors degree in Chemistry and MBA in Finance at the American University in Washington D.C.. SHe is based in London, England.

She worked at Goldman Sachs for 8 years in the debt capital markets, hedge fund coverage and in global macroeconomics teams. Previously she worked at the World Bank in Washington D.C.. Dambisa is a member of the Boards of Lundin Petroleum and SAB Miller.

Dambisa is a Patron for Absolute Return for Kids (ARK), a hedge fund supported children’s charity. She serves on the Boards of the Lundin for Africa Foundation and Room to Read, an educational charity.
Dambisa argues for more innovative ways for Africa to finance development including trade with China, accessing the capital markets, and microfinance.

Dambisa has also been offered a contract for another book, entitled How the West Was Lost, scheduled for publication with Penguin and Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2010. This book examines the policy errors made in the US and other Western economies which culminated in the 2008 financial crisis. And discusses why financial and economic experts missed the signs of the credit crunch. It also explores the policy decisions that have placed the emerging world- China, Russia and the Middle East, in pole position to become the dominant economic players in the 21st century.

Visit Dambis’a website.

CFP Africans in Europe in the 20th Century (deadline: 31 August 2009)

Hat tip: Zola Mumford

Africans in Europe in the long twentieth century: Transnationalism, translation and transfer University of Liverpool, 30-31 October 2009

The past few years have seen a flowering of historical research on Africans in Europe and the growth of new networks of scholarship on the subject. Most of this work acknowledges that as colonial or ex-colonial subjects, as migrants, and as members of a global population for whom a common identity and fate were increasingly claimed in terms of diaspora, Africans often moved from one mono- or plurilingual context/contact zone into another. This could be the result of physical relocations, of a transfer of administrative jurisdiction over them from one colonial power to another (as after 1918), or indeed of participation in transnational literary and political networks. But much current research remains limited to particular national metropolitan contexts, their languages and institutions, with the themes of transnationalism and translation addressed largely through triangulations between Africa, Black America and the respective country of ‘settlement’. The purpose of this conference is to bring together new research and provoke discussion around those moments where Africans found themselves at the interface between European cultures, asking about the implications for subjectivity and everyday life as well as for literary and political practice of having to deal with and through different languages and cultural practices. We invite contributions that address experiences in any (or indeed all) European territories, and particularly welcome empirically-grounded case studies which address the problems of methodology and interpretation raised by the project of studying transnational lives. Possible topics might include:

• Africans as language teachers and language learners – formal and informal institutions

• Visual culture: self-presentations

• Multilingual families and generational power

• Communication, power and identity in international organisations and networks

• International milieus within national borders (seamen’s bars and Black neighbourhoods)

• Languages of the shop floor

We anticipate that the conference papers will be published.

Please send abstracts by 31 August 2009 to Eve Rosenhaft, School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies, University of Liverpool.

Ghana Investment Expo in London

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London, UK – The Ghana Black Star Network presents the 2nd Annual Ghana Business & Investment Exhibition on Saturday 19th September 2009 at the Bernie Grants Art Centre, Tottenham, London.

Due to popular demand and a successful launch in 2008; the Ghana Black Stars Network are presenting the 2nd Annual Ghana Business & Investment Exhibition on Saturday 19th September 2009 at the Berne Grants Art Centre, Tottenham, London.

After a peaceful political transition; Oil on its way, growing exports, Gas in the pipelines, Obama’s visit and Sun City heading South…Ghana has to be the next stop for investors, entrepreneurs or anybody who is looking to relocate.

With a strong cedi against the dollar, interest rates going down, a thriving economy, a growing middle class and a pool of opportunities for the business minded, Ghana is on the international platform growing from the seeds that have been sown.

With all industries from Construction to Agriculture to any service industry open for all; The Ghana Business & Investment Exhibition will provide delegates with the opportunity to hear from key industry professionals on Ghana’s development and opportunities. The event is also a chance for business minded individuals to network and share ideas on doing business in Ghana.

This year’s event is in partnership with the Ghana High Commission UK and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre. Media partners include: African Business magazine, New African magazine, Trumpet newspaper, African Caribbean Business Network, Find-A-Job in Africa, Re-Connect Africa, African Voice newspaper and BEN TV.

To contact us and find out more information about the event or GBSN please contact:
Nadia Mensah
nadia@thegbsn.com
0788 6411 661