It’s Deeper Than Travel Bridges The Gap Between Worlds Within The African Diaspora
The inaugural Pan African “Party with a Purpose” event took place Wednesday, September 20, at Ambrosia’s Kitchen, located in Old City, Philadelphia where the themes of bridging the gap” of understanding and leadership between Pan
The inaugural Pan African “Party with a Purpose” event took place Wednesday, September 20, at Ambrosia’s Kitchen, located in Old City, Philadelphia where the themes of bridging the gap” of understanding and leadership between Pan African cultures within the African Diaspora blossomed.
This cultivated a sense of oneness and African pride as it promoted business and social awareness for local, national and international endeavors related to people of color. It also unified and connected entrepreneurs, leaders, and professionals. Everyone was there to learn about and support entrepreneur, Inez A. Nelson, as she launched her brand, It’s Deeper Than Travel (IDTT).
The mission of IDTT, according to the website is to “create experiences that bring about understanding, friendships, and partnerships through celebration, co-working, and Cultural Immersion in an effort to form a team of leaders who are passionate about uniting to create positive impact across varying Pan African cultures”. Traveling with a Purpose is a brand that will inevitably evolve into a business. The focal point of IDTT will be to spread positive perceptions, images and ideologies of Africa and Pan African countries by way of visiting various cultures within the African Diaspora and lending a hand of support and partnership to businesses or social ventures.
It’s no secret that media has always been a vital tool in shaping the minds and molding the perceptions of how people view ethnic groups and the world around them. In America, typically images on television have unfortunately, often times depicted countries in Africa and other Pan African countries as poor and destitute. Films and music have portrayed particularly African Americans as criminals, overly sexualized, uneducated and uncivilized citizens. This has proven to be divisive, and as a result ultimately led to the demise of working together as a unit.
Nelson is looking to end the disconnect between people of color.
“I take brown people to brown countries, and we go and we experience the culture, we experience the community, we experience the cuisine, and we really go deeper,” said Nelson explaining the basis of her mission. “We go deeper than the pictures online, we go deeper than the things you see in the movies that stereotype us a brown people throughout the world.”
Nelson’s background in volunteer travel, which combines both acts of volunteering and traveling services, inspired the birth of IDTT.
“I really started Its Deeper Than Travel because I really wanted to bring us together,” said Nelson as she spoke to the audience with enthusiasm and purpose about bringing life to her brand.
“I think a lot of the visions we have as Pan-African people are in alignment, but sometimes we don’t know we are working on similar things, and we don’t know that we are going in similar directions because we don’t talk to each other sometimes,” she said. “We do service as well as give back to the communities that our ancestors came from.”
Melinda Brown, Site Director and Business Connector of Urban Philly Professional Network, spoke on the importance of unifying all brown people across the diaspora. She passionately stated that IDTT helps to “knock out the ignorance between Africans and African Americans.”
She added that whether you are from the Caribbean, Africa, or African Americans, “we cannot win until we come together.”
This eventful night of Party with a Purpose was a fundraiser mixer that Nelson kicked off with celebrating and showcasing two partnerships–The African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF) and The Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative. The ABCF and The Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative have joined forces with Nelson’s IDTT where people can specifically volunteer services and allocate partnerships. The African Bicycle Contribution Foundation, according to an information pamphlet given to attendees, is nonprofit corporation “whose mission is to generate funding to underwrite distribution of bicycles to under-resourced students, families and transport-dependent farmers and small business owners on the African Continent.”
Patricia Marshall Harris, Executive Director of The African Bicycle Contribution Foundation, shared similar views as Brown and Nelson of how uniting as one is imperative to any kind of social and economic success.
“We have to support one another across the diaspora,” she said. “It doesn’t matter whether you are African or African Americans we are still brothers and sisters and we have to support one another.”
The Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiatives, according to its website, is a “social enterprise that addresses climate change, poverty, rural-urban migration and youth unemployment by creating jobs for young people, especially women, through the building of high quality bamboo bicycles.”
The ABCF has a partnership with The Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiatives which helps to raise funds and help provide bikes in Ghana. Bernice Dapaah, of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative, reflected on her struggle as an adolescence having to walk three to four miles to school.
Her gratitude for the contributions to her organization and the overall cause drove home the mission Nelson is setting out to do.
“I alone cannot do it, but you have really shown me that I really have brothers and sisters here,” said Dapaah.
For more information on It’s Deeper Than Travel visit www.itsdeeperthantravel.com