The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) has brought a delegation of 40 young students on a transformative journey to Ghana as part of the Amos C. Brown Fellowship.
To commemorate the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative – a 10-year project of connecting the diaspora community to Africa – the fully funded 10-day experience will expose the delegation to Ghanaian culture, gain deep insights into their ancestral heritage, learn about the historical connections between decolonization and the Civil Rights Movement and discuss current global social justice movements. The program is the first of its kind to be powered by the NAACP and it is in collaboration with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
In an interview with a section of the delegates, they explained that the experience will prepare them to be global-minded social change agents on issues such as health equity, legal advocacy, education, and economic empowerment.
Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, the fellows, current college students and recent college graduates come from communities across the country from New York, Georgia, and California to Michigan, Utah, and Texas.
President and Chief Executive Officer of NAACP, Derrick Johnson noted that the fellowship is important for young intellectuals in the U.S.A to recognize the intellectual capacity of the continent, the connectivity of the diaspora and the possibility of the future.
“We cannot do that if we’re only in Detroit, Michigan or in New York. We must do that with a global perspective. So the goal here is to broaden the perspective to understand the diaspora community and we must be united for this to take place”, he said.
Mr. Johnson explained that there are so many activities in store including a visit to important destinations such as the Cape Coast castle/slave dungeon, WEB DuBois, The Jubilee House among others.
On her part, Black American Businesswoman and Special Envoy to the President of Ghana, Bozoma Saint John charged the participants to go all out to be inspired by their surroundings and culture. She noted that she has been very committed to working with people of the diaspora community either in the U.S or the U.K to invite them back to Ghana but most importantly, to the African continent.
“There is so much to know that can’t be done in just one visit. So my hope is that they get so inspired by what they learn, what they see and how they interact with people on a daily basis. I want them to be inspired by the things that they learn, the activities they’d be engaged in and the culture that they see so when they go back, they tell others to do same”, said Bozoma Saint John.
She added that the team is looking forward to bringing more people for this memorable experience so they’re able to connect back to their roots.
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons