The Democratic Convention Week That Was….


I was elected a member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the Democrats Abroad Global Convention in Berlin in May and was honored and lucky to be a part of the Democrats Abroad delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Whew!

I invite you to be a part of this with me by following my DNC Member page on Facebook where you can see pictures and videos from the convention as well as information I receive from the DNC.

Democratic Convention Week That Way
Democrats Abroad DNC Members with Interim Chair Donna Brazile.

If you’re an American living outside of the United States this Presidential election is one you cannot afford to miss. There are other crucial elections happening in your home state in November too. Register to vote and/or request your absentee ballot today (to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines) from


Read a Field Update then Join our Kiva Team

Join the Black Women in Europe Kiva Team today!


Thank you for supporting an entrepreneur in Senegal.

Dear Kiva Lender, Hello from Senegal!


Thank you so much for making a loan to a borrower in Senegal. As a Kiva Fellow who has spent the past four months meeting with borrowers and helping to advance Kiva‘s mission here in Senegal, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the recipients of your loans, who are some of the most hard-working, welcoming people I’ve ever met.


Through my visits, I’ve heard about many difficulties that borrowers in this country face, and I’ve also heard many success stories.


I met with Anna, the representative for a group of borrowers who raise livestock in a small village. She said that her Kiva loan offers her and her fellow borrowers a longer loan term than most other loans she could get, which makes a huge difference when your business takes some time to mature – literally!


I met with Mbeye, a fisherman who usually starts his day at 5 or 6 in the morning, and finishes as late as 8 or 9 in the evening. He’s using his Kiva loan to build a second fishing boat in his spare time, and he will use it to expand his fishing business.


Many borrowers I met with, including Aissatou, Bineta and Maimouna work in “petit commerce,” for which there’s not a great English equivalent, but retail comes close. They sell various goods in their neighborhood markets, but they frequently change what they’re selling to adapt to changes in demand. So, someone might sell carbon for cook stoves one week and then vegetables the next, but also sell breakfasts outside her home on weekday mornings. Many of these women work at the local market all morning, return home around midday to make lunch for their families, and go right back to the market afterward. I can’t possibly imagine cooking a meal for a family of 8 on my lunch break, so I was in awe.


I met with a group of women, including Awa and Fatou (featured above), who live in a seaside village and make their livelihood from smoking and drying fish. As a lover of smoked fish, I asked to see their work and they took me on a tour of the town’s fish smoking operations. From the area where they buy fresh fish to the grills where they cook it to racks where they leave it to dry for several days in the sun to the smokers, it was so interesting to learn about all the different steps in the process. Afterward, they invited me to join them for a lunch that included fish they had smoked – it was delicious!


I hope this update gives you a taste of the stories and successes of the borrowers you’ve lent to. It was a pleasure to meet all of them, and I thank you, on their behalf, for the loans that have helped to make their successes possible.


If you wish to keep contributing to the growth of Senegalese borrowers, join the Black Women in Europe Kiva Team today!


Best, Anneka Nelson Kiva Fellow Class 29

Andrea Adams

Andrea Adams: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Andrea Adams, Traveller: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary

Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:

I chose Andrea Adams to be a Black Women in Europe Blog 10th Anniversary Shero because she makes traveling look good. She exemplifies one of the best reasons there is to travel: to immerse ones self in the local culture and let the locals get to know you in the process.  I first blogged about Andrea in April 2011 and she made our Power List that same year.  With her Travelista TV Show she and her colleague are defacto African American Ambassadors with (figuratively) more passport stamps than many people will even dream about collecting. To help us celebrate Andrea shares her Top 5 European Destinations as a gift to those of us who live here as well as those planning to visit.

Thank you Andrea and Bon Voyage.

Andrea Adams
Andrea Adams

Andrea Adams is the Cultural Enthusiast and co-founder of Travelista TV, an online travel channel. With her travel partner, she executive produces travel segments in exotic locales and hosts entertainment/red carpet interviews for AOL, and TVOne online. She is the creator of The Velvet Circle, a lifestyle media and event company focused on art, style, and hotspots in Italy.

Meet all of our Anniversary Sheroes.

DJ Candice McKenzie

Lyota Swainson by Odou John Andrews 150x150 Ellen Kountz: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Holistic hair care specialist Lyota Swainson

Ellen Kountz

Financial guru Ellen Kountz

Lola_Akerstrom_Headshot_2015 - 300px

Photographer Lola Akerstrom

Lesley-Ann Brown

Poet Lesley-Anne Brown


Sharon Dodua Otoo wins 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann prize

Dodua Otoo wins 2016 Ingeborg Bachmann prize

I first blogged about Sharon in 2007 and it is thrilling that 9 years later I can share her wonderful news.

Sharon Dodua Otoo
The winner: Sharon Dodua Otoo. Photo: dba

Sharon Dodua Otoo, born in London, received the 25,000 Euro Ingeborg Bachmann prize for the text “Mr Gröttrup sits down”. She lives and works in Berlin.  The prize is donated by the city of Klagenfurt.

Sharon is a prolific writer and editor and you can just a sampling of her work here:


Kendra in the kitchen

Kendra Valentine: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Kendra Valentine, Recipe whisperer: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary

Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary notes:

I picked Kendra Valentine to be a Black Women in Europe Blog™ 10th Anniversary Shero because of her sheer and complete love of food. Beyond her love of food she’s obsessed with creating unique flavor combinations and inventive spice delivery techniques. All the while enhancing the experience of fellowship with friends and family and nourishing the body and mind. I first blogged about Kendra in July 2011. I’ve certainly enjoyed several meals with Kendra some that were homemade and others that we were served. Each were mindfully enjoyed and that’s what Kendra’s anniversary gift brings to us: her mindful creation of a recipe meant to be shared with those we love.

Bon appetite Kendra! Your recipe has me licking my lips in anticipation. Yum.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Cannelleni Beans & Kale on Spicy Polenta Cake

Serves 3-4
Meal type Main Dish
Region European
By author Kendra Valentine
Black Women in Europe 10th Anniversary Recipe Created y Kendra Valentine "I wanted to develop a dish that expressed the underlying culinary roots shared by black women throughout the African diaspora. While at the same time highlighting common cooking techniques shared with Europe, as well as by using ingredients more readily available in Europe. Thus, collards have become kale, red beans are traded for cannellini, and coarse cornmeal for refined polenta: to create a dish that is equal parts comfort and celebration to honor the 10th Anniversary of BWIE".



  • 6 chicken thighs (bone-in and skin-on)
  • 1 can cannelleni beans
  • 2 cups chopped kale (packed)
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (diced)
  • 1 leaf bay
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 can cherry tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups red wine (or just chicken broth)
  • 1 splash red wine vinegar
  • 0.5 teaspoon thyme
  • 0.5 teaspoon oregano
  • sprinkle salt
  • sprinkle black pepper

Chicken (Optional)

  • parsley or fresh herbs for plating

Polenta Cakes

  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 Small red chili (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water (boiling)
  • oil (for frying)


I wanted to develop a dish that expressed the underlying culinary roots shared by black women throughout the African diaspora. While at the same time highlighting common cooking techniques shared with Europe, as well as by using ingredients more readily available in Europe. Thus, collards have become kale, red beans are traded for cannellini, and coarse cornmeal for refined polenta: to create a dish that is equal parts comfort and celebration to honor the 10th Anniversary of BWIE.

--Kendra Valentine

Vegetarian substitute for chicken: eggplant & chickpeas.


Step 1
First, go ahead and brown the chicken thighs in a little oil… you’re not cooking them through just browning the outside… then set aside. Turn on the oven to heat up (200 C or 350 F)
Step 2
Into the same roasting pot or Dutch oven (be sure you have oil left) we are going to start the braise with softening the onion and garlic. Also, add your bay leaves and go ahead and cook that down on medium heat until the onion is soft.
Step 3
Next, add in a splash of vinegar… it will sizzle and release all the nice brown bits stuck to the pan… that helps get more delicious into the chicken!
Step 4
Add in a nob of tomato paste and your herbs and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper (I like to salt in stages.)
Step 5
Next, add in the chicken broth and red wine… it helps to break down the meat and gives great flavor. You could just use water or chicken broth as well. Also add in the canned cherry tomatoes and another sprinkle of salt.
Step 6
Finally, add the chicken back to the pot, skin side up, and let that heat up to a nice simmer, then turn the heat down to medium low simmer and cover. All but the very tops of the chicken thighs should be covered in liquid.
Step 7
Transfer to the oven, and after 30 min or so it will soften up…
Step 8
Next, add in the chopped kale and beans. Try to get in beneath the chicken thighs, so it can cook in the liquid. Add a splash of water if needed. Salt to taste. Return to oven.
Step 9
After 15 min., to finish off the thighs, open the pot and let the dish broil under high top heat for a few minutes until golden.
Polenta Cake
Step 10
For the spicy polenta cakes:
(Tip: Get your mix done while the chicken is braising. When you are browning the thighs at the last step, start frying your cakes.)
Step 11
Heat enough oil in a skillet or heavy bottom skillet on high heat. Oil should come up 1/3 up the side of the pan.
Step 12
In a bowl, mix together polenta, salt, and diced chilies. Stir in enough boiling hot water so that the mixture comes together into a smooth batter. Creamy yet firm enough to form into a small patty.
Step 13
Once the oil in the skillet is hot, spoon mixture into hands to form patty then gently place in the hot oil. Fry on each side until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Step 14
To plate:
Place a polenta cake on the plate and then top with the braised kale & cannelleni and juices (that polenta cake will sop it up!). Place a chicken thigh directly on top, and finish with a sprinkle of olive oil and chopped parsley or other fresh herb you have on hand. Enjoy with a bold red wine!
Kendra in the kitchen
Kendra in the kitchen

Kendra Valentine is an American expat living in Berlin and Stockholm. A Boston College Alumni, she currently works freelance with business strategy for start-ups, content development and copywriting. Combining her love of food, and background in film she created the food blog/YouTube channel:, which was a finalist in the SAVEUR Blog Awards for “Best Use of Video” 2015. She has also kept busy with illustrating digital children’s books on important topics such as tacos. Her next steps are looking for even more food related assignments as a writer, producer or talent.

About the blog:

Americulinariska: Promoting cooking it for yourself and pushing big flavors is the back bone… fried chicken and tacos complicitly involved. The blog videos are fun, straightforward, and based on exploring the diversity of American food heritage within an international context. The food focuses on cooking good eats no matter where you call home: using creativity and whole food.

Meet all of our Anniversary Sheroes.

DJ Candice McKenzie

Lyota Swainson by Odou John Andrews 150x150 Ellen Kountz: B.W.I.E 10th Anniversary Shero

Holistic hair care specialist Lyota Swainson

Ellen Kountz

Financial guru Ellen Kountz

Lola_Akerstrom_Headshot_2015 - 300px

Photographer Lola Akerstrom

Lesley-Ann Brown

Poet Lesley-Anne Brown


Exclusive discount on Yoga retreat for Women of Colour in the UK

Special offer:  The inaugural retreat for women of color is just under a week away. Join the OYA team for yoga, grounded movement and meditation. Vegan cuisine with Ghanaian flair, pool, sisterhood and more await you. If you use the promo code “blackwomeneurope” you’ll receive a 10% discount on the July retreat if you book by Thursday July 7th.


OYA Retreats are dedicated to delivering an holistic movement and mindfulness practice to Black women and women of colour. On exclusive retreats in the United Kingdom and abroad, guests are offered room to explore, reflect, release, and renew.

Yoga retreat

Recalling the Elements: Fire & Wind

Join Nikita, Shiggi and Stacie for their first weekend yoga and mindfulness retreat together at Poundon House, a beautifully exclusive house and grounds located just 60 miles northwest of London. The retreat will include yoga, mindfulness, movement, vegetarian meals, as well as free time to explore the area, swim, rest, read, and relax.


The elements are expressive and reflected in our own moods. We move between emotions of hot and cold, happy and angry, sometimes without even recognising or understanding why. At this weekend retreat we will explore the seemingly opposite poles that both fire and wind represent and how, in conversation with one another, transformation becomes possible.

On the one hand, fire is irreplaceable in its warming capabilities, for example of food or the body, and it can even illuminate one’s path. If untamed, however, it can burn and scorch everything in its way. Similarly, wind offers us a cooling system and can provide the energy we need to power up. At high speeds, however, wind becomes an indestructible force bringing chaos to anything it touches. This retreat will benefit anyone looking to find balance in the midst of the world’s extremes.

The body is the only true home that we will ever have, so it’s important that it be nourished and cherished. Over the course of the weekend, guests will be led in movement and mindfulness practice to do exactly that. Grounded movement and powerful Hatha flow sessions that invigorate will be balanced with soothing mindfulness exercises to leave guests feeling rejuvenated.

The retreat schedule is subject to change and will be released to registered guests closer to the date. Please have a look at our example schedule here.


The retreat is fully catered with dairy- and wheat-free vegetarian cuisine. On Friday evening a light dinner will be served. Saturday and Sunday morning, a warm broth will be offered before the movement session, and breakfast after the movement session. On Saturday, a filling and warm lunch will be served and a light and healthy dinner. On Sunday, guests will receive a boxed lunch, if they desire to take something with them on their journey home.


Learn about the three instructors, including Founder Stacie CC Graham on the OYA Retreats website.
Yoga retreats for Black women


How to incorporate European style in your wardrobe

Dress Like a European Woman

If you’ve been to Europe, you must have noticed one thing, just about every woman there dresses well. Yes, even when they are out to buy some milk. You will find women wearing shorts and high heels on the street with their babies in the stroller. In short, whatever be the occasion or whatever hour of the day be, women in Europe stay in style and follow the latest fashion trends.

So let’s take a sneak peek and know about the European fashion trends.

Get the right fit

European style

If you think that women in Europe have their closet filled with designer clothes, then you are wrong. But yes, they do have some high-end fashion elements. The most important thing of their dress is that they make sure to have the right fitting clothes. In case the dress they have bought is not the right fit, they get it altered to fit them well. So to match them make sure you have right fitting clothes. You may want to get your favorite clothes at some discounted rates so you can check out some latest offers with exclusive voucher codes at Dealslands women’s fashion store page.

Be simple

European style

European women keep their wardrobe simple. You will find their timeless and classic collections which are tranquil. Then the trick comes. They add that finishing touch to their attire with some bright coloured shoes, jewellery, scarf etc. Some even go for a contrasting look by adding an over-sized flowing top to a pair of skinny jeans.

Skinny jeans

European style

Jeans constitute the basic element of any European woman’s wardrobe. It is a common scene to see them wearing skinny jeans. Dark blue or say gray coloured jeans is very common. Colourful jeans like something in bright red can even be spotted.

Simple hair style

European style

European women do not mess with their hair much. Sometimes you may even feel that they just got out of bed and tousled it. Messy bun or simple ponytail is in fashion.

Shoes and shoes everywhere

European style

European women love shoes. Many of them spend a good amount of their life just in high heels. But yeah, they are well versed to walk on the city sidewalks and cobblestone streets of Europe. A pair of wedges, boots, loafers flats, ankle boots, etc. has place in the closet. Don’t mess up with the prices of the of shoes. Check first when going for any purchase. So if you too are trying to find style make sure not to end up in a pair of running shoes or something that is uncomfortable.

Show some legs

European style

European women love to show off their skin. You will see women out there wearing pantyhose, tights, skirts, stockings, etc. You can even see women showing off their legs during the winters. So get the right skirt or stockings to match your silhouette.


European style

A scarf completes the outfit of an European woman. A scarf that is either made from silk or cotton is worn during the summer, while cosy and warm scarves for the winter.

Simple makeup

European style

European women love to wear makeup. They again make sure to keep it simple. Something they are fascinated about is wearing lipstick. You will find women with bright red lipstick all over the place. You can find the shade that matches you and wear simple makeup to meet their style.


European style

European women love sunglasses. You will be stunned by the style and design of the glasses. 70’s style sunglasses are also in trend now.

So if you too are trying to blend in with the European fashion, better follow these tips to up your European style each day.