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Now… I don’t normally believe in love at first sight… What I do believe is that sometimes we can have connections to other people and things and not fully understand why. After all, my mama did say that we are spiritual beings on natural journeys.
With that said, I fell in SUPER LIKE (for lack of a better word) DAWN (Diaspora African Women’s Network) at first sight (well, first read… Thanks Heather!). And the more I read about the work and purpose of the organization, the more I valued it and LOVED it. Celebrating and supporting Africa, a rich yet ill-treated continent and women of the diaspora, also a beautiful and ill-treated population many times, grabbed my heart.
DAWN’s website is quite encompassing, so be sure to give it a look when you have time. It took me and a few others a while to read about all of the work that the members have accomplished since its creation; the reading was both inspiring and reflective. Some of my favorite sections of interest were the backgrounds of some of the members, the testimonials and the org’s core principles, which they call SEEDS.
Pictures: Last week, DAWN celebrated five years of existence at the Ansel Adams Art Gallery in NW DC and the theme was ‘Celebrating a Journey of Discovery: One Woman at a Time.” I think that’s beautiful. They gave honor to outstanding members and supporters and the program closed with a performance from Grammy-nominated and “self-described ‘Afropean’ hip hop/rhythm and blues duo” Les Nubians. #beautiful
In addition to attending the event and reading on the positive work that’s being done, I was able to ask their team two of my very favorite questions. Here are the responses:
Why should the community become with DAWN; what makes it important to the average person?
“Within DAWN lie two key interest groups: 1. women and, 2. More specifically, African women. For those, who are looking to be involved in the progress and betterment of Africa, supporting DAWN is a great place to start. Within our walls we have women who support Africa in broad capacities, ranging from policy to health, and even media, all with the goal of moving the continent forward. We, ourselves, are examples of progression of those in the African Diaspora. Washington, D.C. is filled with people wanting to “work on the field” and DAWN is a great avenue to get insight on our various cultures and issues facing Africa. We are a group truly representing the Diaspora and all its intricacies and unique qualities. Lastly, to address the person who wants to “give back,” what better way than through DAWN? We are the picture of effective mentorship; women in each sector literally “paying it forward” for those coming up alongside them.”
In what ways can the community support DAWN’s efforts?
“We currently have our fall membership drive ongoing through December 1st. We welcome any woman who would like to be more involved with the progression and betterment of the African Diaspora to apply and get active. We will also have another membership drive in the spring. Non members can participate in our DIGs (DAWN Interest Groups), and with #tltAfrica (Thought Leader Thursdays – Africa). More information on both can be found at dawners.org. We also welcome non members to join us in our quarterly community service projects here in D.C., and information on these projects can also be found on our website. To keep up with DAWN’s activities, you can sign up for our newsletter via our webpage and follow us on twitter @DAWNInc.”
One last bit of info! DAWN’s founder Semhar Araia (who’s absolutely gorgeous) is a 2012 White House Champion of Change. That’s a great way to spread the word about the work of your organization, if I ever knew one! I urge you to connect with DAWN today to find out how YOU and/or your organization and partner together to continue blessing lives.
Today, I’m thankful for those who refuse to sit on their gifts and purposes, but chose to share them and operate in them fully. God bless.