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Pan-African Youth Empowerment Conference

Conference Schedule at a Glance:

Friday, April 7th

4pm - Registration
Pforzheimer House
56 Linnaean St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

5-7pm - SMT Banquet Reception
Keynote speakerr, Ms. Angela Peabody
Pforzheimer House
56 Linnaean St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
$40/non Harvard students
FREE for Harvard students with ID - please contact kelley@sweetmother.org to sign up

8pm - SMT Film Festival, Co-Sponsored by the W.E.B DuBois Institute at Harvard University
Featuring a screening of Inventos: Hip Hop Cubano
Director, Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

Brattle Street Theater
40 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
$10/non conference registrants
FREE for conference registrants
more on the Brattle Theater

***After the film, join the A-Group, Nubian Professionals Network, and Upper Echelon Events for "First Fridays/Friendly Takeover" - drinks, networking, and dancing at Whiskey Park, 64 Arlington St., Boston*********

Saturday, April 8th

All Saturday events will take place at the Harvard University Science Center
At the corner of Oxford and Kirkland Streets
Cambridge, MA 02138
Get to Harvard
Day Passes Available

7:45-8:30am - Registration and Breakfast

8:30-10am - Presentation of the SMT

10:05-11:30am - Morning Session - PANELS*

A Woman's Worth: The Image and Impact of African Women in the Media

What IS the image of black women in the media- What is its impact on individuals and society and what can we do about it- How do we empower African women to represent ourselves- What are some success stories- What does Sweet Mother mean to you-

Bridging the Digital Divide:- The Promise of Cell Phones, Wi-Fi, and New Communications Technologies

This panel will explore the impact of the new "digital divide" and the promise of cell phones, wi-fi, fiber optics, and new communications technologies. It will examine the impact of ICTs on business development in Africa. Are the success stories for real- What does the advance of technology mean for the future of life & work on the continent-

The Rise of African Hip-Hop: An underground phenomenon
Panel will feature international participants via video-conference

What is real and who is "gangsta-" African hip-hop is slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with. But are African artists developing a distinctive voice or simply mimicking their peers in the West- What will it take for the voice of African Hip-Hop have an impact beyond the continent-

11:30-12:30pm - Lunch break pay here

12:35-2:05pm - Afternoon session I - WORKSHOPS II
  • Tools for a New Age - Digital Distribution, Social Networking and the Democratization of Culture
  • The Impact of Mass Media and Culture in Combating HIV/AIDS Among African Youth
  • Inspiring Economic Representation for Women Shea Butter Producers in West Africa
  • Sustainable Development & ICT Technologies
2:30-4pm - Afternoon session II - PANELS*

HIV attacks Industry and Society - Who will Fight Back-

This panel will examine the effects of HIV/AIDS on business and society in general. What does research reveal about the social and economic impact of HIV- Is this a disease of the poor or the promiscuous- How can the business community contribute to the protection of its most valuable asset - people -

Taking Ownership of the African Image

How would one describe the "African" image- How can we be empowered to balance the picture painted by big media corporations and take more ownership of our image- What tools are available today to build a more authentic understanding of Africa- Where have we seen successes-

Music : Africa's Greatest Export!

If Africans are a musical people, then is music not our most abundant natural resource- How can African music be a tool of political and economic empowerment for African peoples-

4:05-5:35pm - Afternoon session III - WO WORKSHOPS II
  • “Culture Is A Weapon” - Using Hip Hop to Change Our World
  • “Do not call the forest that shelters you a jungle” - Bringing Development, Democracy, and Environmental Justice to the Pan-African Renaissance
  • “I Am Strong If You Are Strong”: Building a Generation For Others
  • Starting a Youth-Based Development Project in Africa
  • Global Woman - Re-Introducing Mother Afrika to the World

9pm-1am - SMT Benefit Concert featuring the Diaspora Fuunk Movement!!
Soulfège, The Foundation Movement, Iyeoka, GlobeSonic Sound System's DJ Fabian Alsultany and DJ Derek Beres , and more!

Jorge Hernandez Cultural Center (directions)

85 West Newton St.
Boston, MA 02118
$12 advance/$15 door ($10 for students) $5 for all conference registrants
pay in advance here

Proceeds will benefit:
The Selula Sandla AME Village (Swaziland)
Liberty Hall (Jamaica)

"It's more than just music, it's a movement."

Sunday, April 9th

All Sunday events will take place at the Harvard University Science Center
At the corner of Oxford and Kirkland Streets
Cambridge, MA 02138
Get to Harvard
Day Passes Available

7:45-8:30am - Breakfast

8:30-9:55am - Morning Session I - PANELS

Strategic Development - Putting Africa on the Map
Panel will feature international participants via video-conference

What will it realistically take to put African nations amongst the ranks of the developed world- How do we effectively move past neo-colonial economies, warfare & corrupt governance, while preserving our heritage and environment- What incentives do individuals, organizations & nations have to embrace alternative models for development of the continent-

Africa Through our Lenses - the future of filmmaking in Africa

Explores the power of film as a medium for telling new stories and changing perceptions of Africa and of Africans. What is the status of the current African Film scene- How do we draw further investment into African Film- Who is qualified to tell an "African" story, and what makes a story African-

The Arts in Education - Harnessing the Power of Pop-Culture

Art has played a powerful role historically in many African societies. What is its place today- Are our Educational systems teaching youth to think creatively or to conform to the status quo- If pop-culture can teach African youth to call each other ni@@as, can it teach them to stop- Should it- What is the power of Art to transform the ways in which we learn...

10:00-11:30am - Morning session II - WORWORKSHOPS III
  • African Underground - Exploring African Hip-Hop Culture
  • Building the African Internet Infrastructure
  • Finding Our Folk Tour - Mobilizing Youth to Community Action
  • Love Community America - Building a Pan-African Consciousness in the Americas
11:40am-12:10pm - Keynote Speech - Cedza Dlamini

12:10-12:30pm - Closing Comments

2-5pm - SMT Film Festival (cont.), Co-Sponsored by the W.E.B DuBois Institute at Harvard University
Featuring a screening of Hip-Hop Colony
Director, Michael Wanguhu

Brattle Street Theater
40 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
$10/non conference registrants
FREE for conference registrants Register here
more on the Brattle Theater

Pan-African Youth Empowerment Conference at Harvard University

Click for larger version of this image - SMT Conference 2006Cambridge, MA ­ This April the Sweet Mother Tour (SMT), a global youth movement with a mission to use the tools of popular culture to present empowering images of Africa, will host its first annual conference at Harvard University entitled "Youth and the New Pan-African Renaissance: Rebuilding Africa for the 21st Century". In partnership with the Cultural Agents Initiative at Harvard University and chaired by Harvard PhD candidate and renowned public speaker, Derrick N. Ashong, this conference will draw together activists, entrepreneurs, scholars, artists, and other youth leaders from around the world committed to using the power of the arts for the betterment of Africa and her people worldwide.

This 3-day conference, taking place April 7-9, 2006 on Harvard University's campus, will highlight five themes of importance in African development ­ African Image and Identity, Technology, Economic Empowerment and Public Health, Education, and Arts and Culture. Established scholars and dynamic youth leaders in these various fields will present workshops and host panels addressing these topics, and will engage in dialogue about the development and future of the African continent.

Attendees will learn from and connect with like-minded youth from around the world, as well as established and pioneering experts in the non-profit and for-profit worlds, building a powerful network that will serve as the launch pad for the Pan-African Renaissance of this century.

Please contact Kelley N. Johnson at kelley@sweetmother.org or 617-492-3673 if you are interested in doing a story on the SMT or covering the conference this April. To learn more about the international impact of the SMT visit www.sweetmother.org.

******* The Sweet Mother Tour (SMT) is a project that uses elements of popular culture ­ music, television, film and literature ­ to present empowering images of people of Africa and the African Diaspora. As presented in its mission statement "The founders of the SMT recognize that no society can develop without an understanding of its own worth. We believe that cultural empowerment is a crucial ingredient in the successful political and economic development of any society". Launched in 2004 by a group of young artists, educators and entrepreneurs with roots in West and Southern Africa, North America and the Caribbean, the project has, to-date, developed multi-media products that have gained worldwide exposure via such avenues as BBC Worldservice Radio and Channel O.

-- Kelley N. Johnson
4 Brattle St., Suite 206
Cambridge, MA 02138
p 617.492.3673

See also: Pan-African Youth Empowerment Conference & Benefit Concert


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