9 Reasons to Attend This Year’s ADA
A united nations leader. A best-selling author. A technology-disruptor. An Ivory Coast craftsman. An African arts education advocate. A stereotype-bending actor. A fashion model and environmentalist. An American African community activist. An army for women’s
A united nations leader. A best-selling author. A technology-disruptor. An Ivory Coast craftsman. An African arts education advocate. A stereotype-bending actor. A fashion model and environmentalist. An American African community activist. An army for women’s reproductive rights. Each has genuinely excelled in their own sphere of life and has contributed to the advancement of Africans in the Diaspora and Africa as a whole.
This year’s African Diaspora Award honorees were submitted by a world-wide nomination process online and selected by a Board of Judges including former ADA Honorees Chinedu Echeruo, Lola Ogunnaike, Thione Niang, and Yolanda Sangweni.
Applause Africa has secured some of the African Diaspora’s most noted musicians (including Ghanaian hip-hop artist Sarkodie and Nigerian-German singer Ayo), HBO Def Poet Shanelle Gabriel, and extraordinary Yoruba comedian Dulo to come and celebrate these honorees.
Here’s why you should, too:
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Osotimehin, a national of Nigeria, was appointed on 19 November 2010 as the new Executive Director of UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) for a four-year term. He was reappointed to this position on 21 August 2014. He assumed the position on 1 January 2011 and became the organization’s fourth Executive Director. He holds the rank of Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Previously, he was Nigeria’s Minister of Health. He left this office in March 2010 when Acting President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved his cabinet.
PERSON OF THE YEAR
Ifeoluwa “Luvvie” Ajayi
Ajayi is a New York Times best-selling author, speaker and digital strategist who thrives at the intersection of comedy, technology and activism. A 13-year blogging veteran, she’s the voice behind the widely respected blog AwesomelyLuvvie.com, where she covers all things pop culture with razor sharp commentary and wit. Her blog inspired her debut book, titled I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do Better Manual, which was released in September 2016, and was an instant best-seller, landing on the New York Times list it’s first week out. Luvvie also founded The Red Pump Project, created in 2009 to raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls. Red Pump has earned a Congressional Record from the U.S. House of Representatives and Resolutions by the Illinois State Senate as well as the City Council of Chicago. Luvvie was selected to Oprah Winfrey’s inaugural Supersoul 100 list and is also a past winner of the Women’s Media Center’s Social Media Award for using her voice for pop culture critique and gender and racial justice.
ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Jessica O. Matthews, Founder & CEO, Uncharted Play
At the age of 19, Matthews invented the SOCCKET ball, an energy generating soccer ball that provides off-grid power for the developing world. At the age of 22, she founded Uncharted Play, a renewable energy company specializing in motion-based miniaturized power systems. Jessica’s research and career centers around the intersection of disruptive technology, human behavior, and the psychology of self-actualization. A dual citizen of Nigeria & the U.S., Jessica has a degree in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
Born in Brazil and raised between Abidjan and Washington DC, Maléombho graduated with a bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation at the University of Arts in Philadelphia before moving to in New York in 2008. She worked at ZARA , Diesel then Bloomingdale’s 59th st. while interning part-time with designers Jill Stuart, Yigal Azrouël and Cynthia Rowley. She followed this course in order to acquire experience in sales, clothing design and production.
In 2009 Loza Maléombho launched her eponymous ready-to-wear and accessories brand for women with the aim of introducing traditional craftsmanship techniques of Côte d’Ivoire to the modern world of fashion. In 2012 she won the award for emerging designer of the year at Arise Magazine fashion week. Since then, Loza has relocated her Atelier and workshop to Abidjan with a mission to provide local sustainable development and promote women empowerment.
COMMUNITY AWARDS OF THE YEAR
14+ Foundation, Inc. (Joseph Mizzi and Nchimunya Wulf )
14+ Foundation, Inc. is a NYC-based 501(c)(3) non- profit established in 2012 by Mizzi and Wulf to develop, build and operate schools and orphanages in rural African communities. The Chipakata Children’s Academy in Zambia, Africa, provides a comprehensive primary school education (grades 1-6) for the children of the Chipakata Village community, who previously had to walk more than 7 km (4.3 miles) each way to the nearest school. The school’s curriculum incorporates arts-based education programs, which are central to its mission. The school will also serve orphans and children of need from the local community, who will be provided with necessary full-time housing and care.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Essandoh is a Ghanaian American television and film actor. Essandoh, who was born in Schenectady, New York, graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1990. He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from Cornell University. He is also a playwright, and authored Black Thangwhich is published in the anthology Plays and Playwrights 2003. He is an actor, known for the box-office hit films Django Unchained (2012), Blood Diamond (2006) and Jason Bourne (2016). Essandoh is a consistent African face in Hollywood and an actor who consistently breaks stereotypes by playing a wide range of personalities among his roles.
FACE OF CHANGE
Badiel is from Burkina Faso. She was named Miss Burkina Faso 2003 and Miss Africa 2004. She is the co-author of The Water Princess and has always been a true citizen of the world. As a model she loves working in fashion; as an activist, the Georgie Badiel Foundation is her passion. As a small and focused charity, the Foundation is dedicated to helping the people of Burkina Faso gain access to clean water and a healthier life. The Georgie Badiel Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides access to clean drinking water in Burkina Faso/Africa. The organization also builds sanitation facilities and plants trees.
PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD
Samba is one of the strongest African leaders, advocating for over 18,000 African residents in Washington DC to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. He successful led the advocacy efforts for grant funding for African nonprofit organization in DC who now receive over $100,000 for their programs and services, now impacting over 8,000 Africans. He also continues to be a leader in language access advocacy, which ensures that non English speaking immigrants receive support. His accomplishments include: The creation of the
African community public safety task force which led to the creation of the first ever, African Community Liaison Unit established within the DC Police Department to address public safety challenges in the African community stemming from fear of law enforcement, lack of understanding, language and cultural barriers.
United Nations Population Fund
UNFPA believes in delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. Therefore, it expands the possibilities for women and young people to lead healthy and productive lives. Since UNFPA started working in 1969, the number – and rate – of women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth has been halved. UNFPA advocates for the rights of young people, including the right to accurate information and services related to sexuality and reproductive health. By having most of its offices located in the Western, Eastern, and Southern regions of the African continent, the agency has proven its commitment to the African continent.
The Sixth Annual African Diaspora Awards (ADA) will be held at New York’s Florence Gould Hall, December 3, 7pm with tickets available for purchase on Eventbrite. The evening is sponsored by Transfast, Brussel Airlines and the United Nations Population Fund.
Will you be there?