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Continuing its work with the United Nations, the NAACP participated in Peace Day at U.N. headquarters in New York on September 16. Approximately 700 young activists had the opportunity to interact with U.N. Messengers of Peace, artists and prominent members of civil society, as well as their peers at the event, which was held under the theme: "End racism. Build peace." These young people also presented projects they had worked on, which aim to help end racism.
On September 21 — building on a partnership launched in 2018 to highlight the accomplishments, achievements, and history of Africa and its Diaspora — the NAACP also served as a proud sponsor of the Africa-America Institute (AAI) 38th Annual Awards Gala, an event held annually during the U.N. General Assembly.
The theme for this year's gala was Africa in the World, and the honorees included:
- The National Achievement Award: The People of the Republic of Botswana, accepted by H.E. President Mokgweetsi Masisi on behalf of the People of the Republic of Botswana
- The Ambassador for African Cinema Award: Mahen Bonetti, Founder & Executive Director, African Film Festival, Inc.
- The Science and Technology Leadership Award: Dr. Solomon Assefa, Vice President, IBM Research
- The Distinguished Alumna Award: Betty Wambui Kibaara, Director, Food Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation
The NAACP received UN NGO status in 2003, and this status has enabled the Association to participate on the international stage in a myriad of ways including monitoring Zimbabwe's elections in 2002.
The Association's long-standing record of active participation in international affairs dates back to Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois's involvement in the Pan-Africanist Movement of the 20th century, and under the leadership of President and CEO Derrick Johnson, its global advocacy efforts continue today.
This fall, the NAACP will send a delegation to attend Geneva Peace week and a workshop to be held on Nov. 1.
This year's theme is "Peace is Possible," and the thematic conference tracks include:
- Rights, Inequalities and Peace: Navigating tensions, finding opportunities
- Moving beyond securitization: Risk management and new horizons for peacebuilding
- Digital Peace: The Power and Limits of Innovation in Peacebuilding
- Cultivating cooperation: Environmental challenges and opportunities for peace in a new age of insecurity
In 2021, as part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) held in Glasgow, Scotland, the NAACP sent a delegation to continue highlighting concerns and solutions expressed by Black and other frontline communities impacted by climate racism. The focus of this conference — which follows up on the Paris Agreement — is to address climate change and the best ways to tackle it. The NAACP will also be represented at COP 27 when the conference is held in Egypt in November.
The Association maintains an ongoing commitment to uniting all those who are Black and of African descent to help our communities gain a deeper understanding of who we are as a people. In 2019, as part of Ghana's Year of Return, the NAACP along with 300 Black Americans traveled from Jamestown, Virginia to Jamestown, Accra, retracing the footsteps of our ancestors, and this was the largest single delegation traveling to Ghana for Year of Return.
This past summer, the NAACP returned to Ghana with a delegation of 100 people, including 50 Amos C. Brown Student Fellows. From July 31- August 10, this fully funded 10-day experience, took the group of multicultural college students — between the ages of 18 and 25 — from the United States to Ghana for an experiential learning opportunity. The fellows were taken on an emotional and educational journey through the discovery of their identities, immersing in Ghanaian culture and learning about and discussing the deep ties that bind them to the land, their ancestors, and their heritage.
The fellows — current college students and graduates — were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, and hail from communities across the country from New York, Georgia, and California to Michigan, Utah, and Texas.
Moving forward, the Association will continue the critical work behind advancing racial equity globally.