MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

15 May 2017

Historic Slavery Site to Host Africans Rising Launch

Dakar, Senegal – A site internationally renown as a symbol of enslavement will host the launch of an emerging Pan-African movement determined to build a new future for the peoples of Africa.

As part of its continent-wide launch on 25 May 2017, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity will hold a programme of activities on Gorée Island, off the coast of Senegal. This will be one of scores of activities in more than 32 countries, comprising the launch.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Gorée Island is known as an infamous symbol of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. It was from this point of no return, that millions of enslaved Africans were forced onto European ships, bound for plantations in the Americas in the 18th century. Gorée represents horrific crimes against humanity stemming from an economic model based on extreme exploitation and systemic oppression.

But the site also symbolizes the resilience of a people that rise in spite of structural repression. And it is a pivotal place to confront the modern day forced migration of Africans to distant lands.

Gorée Island is a sacred space where Africans Rising will bring together leaders from the continent and the diaspora to launch a movement for justice, peace and dignity. This Pan-African movement is intentionally forging alliances that unite the continent and engage the diaspora.

Said Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan, Africans Rising Coordinator: “Africans from the continent and the diaspora, it is significant that we gather at a site that is a symbol of our brutal past in order to affirm our commitment to peace, justice and dignity and to build the future we want.”

Africans Rising is a de-centralized, self-selecting people’s movement committed to a citizen-led future that builds support and solidarity for local struggles, empowers local leadership and bolsters activists in the grassroots work of building and sustaining movements for change.

The movement was formally validated in August 2016 by hundreds of representatives of civil society, trade unions, women, young people, men, people living with disabilities, parliamentarians, media organizations and faith-based groups from across Africa and the African diaspora gathered at a conference in Arusha, Tanzania.

A broad range of participants from the continent and its diaspora are expected to participate in the launch on Gorée, including government officials, civil society representatives, women leaders and rights activists as well as members of the Black Lives Matter movement, Dream Defenders, the Hip Hop Caucus, the UN Decade on People of African Descent and African Diaspora personalities.

The #AfricansRising Gorée Launch event begins on the Island at 11am UTC on #25May2017. The programme will include music, slam poetry, and the dedication of a commemorative mural, which will remain a permanent symbol of Africans Rising.

Said Africans rising Ambassador Coumba Toure: “Gorée has also become a symbol of resilience of people of African descent, where, despite the crimes of humanity across the centuries, we return, not to mourn but to celebrate ourselves, our history and the survival of our people.”

Mireille Fanon-Mendes -France, with the UN Working Group on People of African Descent, affirmed Africans Rising stating that, “the Kilimanjaro Declaration is in congruence with the programme of activities of the UN Decade for People of African descent and to be linked with the declaration of the African Union concerning the diaspora as the 6th region…it is the work to be done.”

To join the movement, click here and sign The Kilimanjaro Declaration.

To participate in the launch of Africans Rising on #25May2017, we ask that you:

  • Wear an item of RED clothing or clothing accessory to signify the blood that was shed for African liberation, the bleeding of the continent’s resources and wealth and that no matter where we come from we all have the same red blood in our veins.
  • Gather in a group between 12 noon and 2pm, read out the Kilimanjaro Declaration and a list of demands for changes you would like to see happen.
  • Turn off your lights between 8pm and 9pm in solidarity with the millions of Africans with no access to electricity and light a candle to light the way for brighter leadership and governance.

#AfricansRisingGoree #25May2017 #AfricansRising #AfricaWeWant

Ends.

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For more information, contact:

Grant Clark

+27 63 567 9719

[email protected]

 

Emira Woods

+1 301 523-2979

[email protected]

 

Muhammed Lamin Saidykhan

+220 988 4761 / +220 688 4761

[email protected]

 

Kumi Naidoo

[email protected]

Skype: kumi-naidoo

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