3rd and final part of Al Jazeera’s Black France documentary

The last episode of this series focuses on the extreme racism and discrimination black immigrants faced during times of economic hardship and through political shifts in post-World War II France.

The 1973 oil crisis quadrupled the price of oil. The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) embargoed oil exports to countries that supported Israel in the War of Yom Kippur. France, like many other western nations, was hit hard by the price increase and plummeted into a recession.

Immigrants became the band-aid solution to France’s economic problems. The government set a goal to encourage 500,000 foreigners to return to their countries. African immigrants who stayed were forced from slums into hostels where they were further segregated and ghettoised.

Opposition to immigrants festered and, by 1977, more than half of France’s citizens said they wanted to see immigration numbers decrease.

But Africans joined workers of other nationalities in protest. A four-year rent strike spread across the country’s hostels. And then in 1981, the newly elected President Francois Mitterrand promised to regularise 130,000 undocumented workers. The government shifted its focus from mass migration of unskilled labour to skills training in the former colonies.

But many questioned France’s paternalistic attitude towards the independent African nations. And despite some change, racism and hate crimes against black people escalated.

From protests and marches to music and dance, this is the story of how black people born in France fought for equality in the face of discrimination and how they used culture as a tool to empower generations.

Practice Dinner spécial “USA/Michelle Obama” avec Ellen Kountz

Black Roses Network a le plaisir de vous annoncer que le premier practice dinner de la rentrée se fera le 2 novembre prochain à 19h à Paris. Le lieu exact vous sera communiqué très prochainement.

Attention : la conférence démarrera à 19h30 précises

Ce practice dinner est dans l’actualité car il sera pour nous, l’occasion de nous pencher sur les élections présidentielles américaines. Un focus sur le cas Michelle Obama les femmes faisant actuellement partie de l’administration Obama à Washington.

Madame Ellen Kountz, Senior Executive Manager dans le secteur de la finance (NYSE EURONEXT, NATIXIS, HARVARD…) et membre exécutif du bureau de “Democrats Abroad” (cellule française du parti democrate américain) sera notre notre invitée. Après avoir commenté le 2ème et le dernier débat Obama/Romney du 16 et du 23 octobre sur la chaine de télévision itélé (groupe canal+), elle nous fera l’honneur de mener la conférence débat de Black Roses Network.

Editor’s Note: Watch Ellen participate in the US electoral process.

Vous recevrez une mini bio la concernant dans les prochains jours.

Vous aurez la possibilité de l’interpeller lors de la seconde partie de soirée dédiée aux questions-réponses, et de faire du networking avec les participants lors du cocktail dînatoire qui suivra.

Restez connecté(e) : une invitée “surprise”… se joindra à nous pour cet évènement et sera annoncée dans les jours qui suivent.

Nous vous conseillons vivement de réserver votre place avant le 26 octobre prochain car le nombre de places est limité.

Tarif membre 30€

Tarif non membre 35€ (early bird / réservez avant le 26 /10  = 30€)

Get your ticket(s).

Aldridge Hansberry Jazz Trio ” Saturday night in the cosmos”

From Paris, the jazz trio is playing ” Saturday night in the cosmos ” (George Adams Don Pullen).

Concert Exercpt august the 31th 2012 at the BAB -ILO (Paris). U. Aldridge Hansberry (drums & flûtes). Sebastien Buchholz (sax & contre alto clarinet). Jobic Le Masson (piano).

Editor’s note: I met U. Aldridge Hansberry for lunch in Paris last week. She took me to the most delicious Algerian restaurant were we ate, talked and drank mint tea for hours. She is fascinating, super intelligent and quite funny. I hope to see her perform live the next time I am in Paris.

Meet Ellen Kountz – An American who grabbed Paris with both hands

Source: Ellen Kountz

Credit: ellenzountz.com

Ellen was born at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, California. In 1973 she moved with her parents and two older brothers to the North Shore of Long Island. Upon graduation from Great Neck North High School in 1988 she attended the undergraduate business program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania,in Philadelphia. At the end of her junior year, the Dean warned
her that she needed at least one liberal arts class to graduate. She went to Paris on a study abroad program to perfect her French while fulfilling the requirement and has lived there ever since.

When people ask Ellen why she stayed in Paris, she reminds them that she was hired as a capital markets intern in the trading room at JP Morgan bank’s Paris office, located at place Vendôme. As a finance major, was there a better first job in the world? Over the years, she went on to positions of increasing responsibility in other financial services institutions in Paris. She most recently worked at the Bourse de Paris, rebranded NYSE Euronext. Currently, she is a candidate for certification as an independent corporate director at the Institut Français des Administrateurs, on the campus of Sciences Po.

Ellen lives in the Left Bank with her husband and daughter.

Visit her website for her 2012 election coverage of President Obama and her Black History Month project.

Sandrine Joseph among the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders for 2012

My friend, mentor, 2010 Black Women in Europe™ Power Lister and super cool French chick Sandrine Joseph has another honor to add to her impressive list. This month she was named one of the World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders for 2012. To put this in perspective she is joined by the likes of David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Larry Page, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA, both previous winners.

This is one side of Sandrine and how I imagine she looked when she received the good news. At least it is how I looked!


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  • The Forum has honoured 192 young leaders from 59 countries for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society
  • Of the selected young leaders, 46 are from Europe
  • Young Global Leaders are selected from a variety of sectors such as business, government, academia, media, non-profit organizations and arts and culture, and from all regions of the world
  • Young Global Leaders engage in initiatives that address specific challenges of public interest with the objective of shaping a better future

Geneva, Switzerland, March 2012 – The World Economic Forum has announced its Young Global Leaders (YGLs) for 2012.

The honour, bestowed each year by the Forum, recognizes up to 200 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world. Past YGLs include Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, Closing Bell, and Anchor and Managing Editor, Wall Street Journal Report, CNBC, USA; David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; Esther Duflo, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA; Larry Page, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Google, USA; Zhang Xin, Chief Executive Officer, SOHO China, People’s Republic of China.

For 2012, the Forum has selected 192 YGLs from 59 countries and all sectors of society (including business, civil society, social entrepreneurs, politics and government, arts and culture, and opinion and media). The new class originates from East Asia (38), South Asia (19), Europe (46), Middle East and North Africa (15), sub-Saharan Africa (18), North America (37) and Latin America (19).

“In the last few years, the world has seen the biggest recession in almost a century and we now face daunting global challenges,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. “Recovery and innovation will require new, unique ideas and an environment where the best minds, ideas and leadership can thrive. The most important determinant of this will be how we use human talent. Within the World Economic Forum community, the Young Global Leaders represent the voice for the future and the hopes of the next generation. I am particularly proud of this year’s honourees, who I believe will address the challenges we face in a meaningful way through fresh thinking and true multistakeholder engagement.”

Drawn from a pool of several thousand candidates, the 2012 YGLs were chosen by a selection committee, chaired by H.M. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and they comprise respected international leaders from business, government and media.

The 2012 YGLs reflect different types of leadership in different parts of the world and society. Those from Europe include: Brendan Cox, Director of Advocacy and Policy, Save the Children International, United Kingdom; Franz Koch, Chief Executive Officer, PUMA, Germany; Maggie Berry, Founder and Director, Women in Technology, United Kingdom, Birgitta Ohlsson, Minister for European Union Affairs of Sweden;, Alvaro Fernandez, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, SharpBrains, Spain; Michal Krupinski, Head of Global Banking and Markets Unit, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Poland; Danny Cohen, Controller, BBC One, United Kingdom.

“The next era of human evolution will be defined by the problem solving power of networks. All around us we see people getting organized and committing themselves with heart, body and mind to work at the scale of the problems we all face,” said Niall Dunne, Chief Sustainability Officer, BT, United Kingdom. “The YGL community is one such network. Becoming part of it is humbling yet thrilling as it is networks like this and our innate ability to get organised and innovate that will create the systemic change necessary to sustain and empower every man woman and child on the planet.”

Another recently selected YGL from Italy, Angela Morelli, Graphic and Information Designer, commented: “Change does not happen in one day. It is a slow process made of thousand of individual actions, energies, minds, souls. Sometimes, if we are to turn potential into reality, our task is to connect them. My hope is that being part of the Young Global Leaders community will bring me the precious opportunity to do just that.”

The 2012 honourees will become part of the broader Forum of Young Global Leaders community that currently comprises 713 outstanding individuals. The YGLs convene at an Annual Summit, which will be held this year in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on 14-18 April. YGLs are actively engaged in the community, are integrated into events organized by the World Economic Forum, and organize events of their own, as well as launch and lead their own innovative initiatives and task forces. These activities enable YGLs to learn from and with each other; build knowledge and engender a better understanding of global challenges and trends, risks and opportunities; and further enhance their unique role as leaders within their own organizations, the World Economic Forum and the broader global community.

“The Young Global Leaders are a truly global network. They are passionate, open-minded and hands-on. Being part of this unique community is a great privilege, but also an obligation to make a positive impact on the world,” said Gregor Hackmack (2010 YGL), Co-Founder, ParliamentWatch, Germany.

“One of the unique aspects of the YGL Community is that it is the first generation of leaders who are truly global citizens: they have all lived, studied and worked in different countries throughout their careers,” said David Aikman, Head of The Forum of Young Global Leaders. “They see themselves as being fundamentally interconnected and have the cross-cultural leadership skills to be successful in a globalized world. Thanks to the incredible diversity of the group, they are able to collaborate across complex systems and build informal coalitions to facilitate action on the biggest challenges facing the world today. This entrepreneurial approach to public good is the best way to move the world forward. We look forward to integrating the 2012 YGLs into our discussions and initiatives.”

Read more about Sandrine Joseph on her website.

Prissy Mag Editor & Founder Launches Black Hair in Paris Blog



Beth Thomas



Prissy Mag Editor & Founder Launches Black Hair in Paris Blog

February 26, 2012 Paris, France

Priscilla Lalisse-Jespersen, Editor and Founder of webzine Prissy Mag, today announced the launch of a new blog called “Black Hair in Paris.”  The blog aims to provide readers with much-needed practical information and resources such as, salon contacts and locally-accessible production recommendations.

Priscilla Lalisse-Jespersen
Priscilla Lalisse-Jespersen

“At Prissy Mag we receive hundreds of emails from expats and visitors who need even more hair information,” says Lalisse-Jespersen whose webzine gives readers a unique view of Parisian life as seen through the eyes of Anglophones.  “I wrote a list of what we call ‘good’ salons, but people always wanted to know more.”  Lalisse-Jespersen also reports on new products and where they can be purchased; as well as other happenings in the Parisian hair care industry. Because readers seem to be interested in Lalisse-Jespersen’s personal experiences, she even keeps them current on her own hair care journey.  “I’m willing to play guinea pig if I think it will help others women solve their hair care issue!”

According to Lalisse-Jespersen, she started the blog because she couldn’t find any good hair salons upon her arrival in the “City of Light” in 1999.  She recalls the experience as being “painful” and led to her writing Prissy Mag’s most shared article entitled “Combing for a Black Hair Salon in Paris”.  Lalisse-Jespersen says that black hair is complicated because it comes in a vast array of choices — from the kinkiest curl to silky straight and everything in between.  Because of this women of color have a particularly difficult time finding the right salon for their hair care needs.  Soon it just became obvious that she needed a new platform in which to address these issues and blogging seems to be the right format because of its instant interactivity.

For more information about Black Hair in Paris go to www.blackhairinparis. For more information about Prissy Mag, go to www.prissymag.com. For information on Priscilla Lalisse-Jespersen go to her author site www.pljbooks.com.