In a press conference convened by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) at Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Dr. Ron Daniels, president of IBW and convenor of the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), announced that the State of the Black World Conference V is scheduled for April 19-23 at the Baltimore Convention Center and Hilton Inner Harbor Hotel.
This year’s conference will celebrate IBW’s 20th anniversary and feature international members of the African diaspora and leaders from civil society and the public and private sectors. With the theme Global Africans Rising, Empowerment, Reparations and Healing, the five-day conference seeks to strengthen the rising U.S. and global reparations movements and to explore strategies to address social, political and economic issues negatively affecting the African diaspora.
“All roads lead to Baltimore for the State of the Black World Conference V. This great gathering will feature the participation of leaders from around the world who are engaged in the reparations movement and addressing the myriad issues of concern to the Pan African world,” Dr. Daniels said.
Goals of the conference include reassessing the implications of the 2022 midterm election for Black America and African diaspora, expanding reparations movements to empower and heal Black families, communities, and nations, and advancing strategies and models to improve political and economic conditions for the diaspora. The convening will include working sessions on issues such as environmental justice, displacement and gentrification, the ongoing situation in Haiti, socially responsible economic development, combating gun violence and public safety, and law enforcement reformation and more.
“At this time of international crises and transformation of global hegemonic systems of dominance, it is important that African civilization norms and prescriptions for sustainable development be formalized and structured as we repair the damage caused by the last 500 years of European materialism, industrialization and oppressive dehumanization,” Dr. Julius Garvey, the conference chairman and son of the late Pan-African leader, Marcus Garvey, said in the invitation letter.
Other aspects of the five-day assembly include a Global Black Women’s Leadership Summit and a Global Black Mayors and Elected Officials Roundtable. The conference will also feature a Hip Hop Summit, an African marketplace with cultural exhibits and trade booths, and an award ceremony to recognize outstanding Pan African leaders from the global diaspora.
Dr. Daniels and the conference’s organizers expect leaders from human rights, faith, labor, and political spheres around the world to attend. He said Hon. P.J. Patterson, the longest serving Prime Minister of Jamaica, has already confirmed. He has extended invitations to Hon. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, Hon. Francia Marquez, Vice-President of Colombia, and Hon. Dikon Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada–all of whom he expects to confirm attendance.
The origins of the State of the Black World Conference date back to 1994 in Baltimore, when the African American Progressive Action Network (AAPAN), which included a national group of activists, organizers and scholars, convened the State of the Race Conference at Sojourner Douglass College. During the convening, attendees deliberated about the need for an African-centered resource center for Black empowerment. The second State of the Race Conference took place in 1997 and was also held at Sojourner Douglass College.
Later in 2001, while convening for the third time, AAPAN organized the first State of the Black World Conference in Atlanta. In 2002, several participants returned to Atlanta for the second conference and formally launched IBW. The third State of the Black World Conference took place at Howard University in 2012, and the fourth conference was held in Newark, NJ in 2016.
Dr. Daniels is a veteran social and political activist who was an independent candidate for President of the United States in 1992. Daniels served as executive director of the National Rainbow Coalition in 1987 and as Southern Regional Coordinator and Deputy Campaign Manager for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign.
Interested attendees can also register for the upcoming conference and find the preliminary agenda and list of facilitators, speakers, and invited guests here.
Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett