The 2008 election was the first time in U.S. history that an African-American was elected president. Tuesday, November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Hussein Obama, the junior United States Senator from Illinois, won decisively, beating Republican Party nominee, John McCain, the senior United States Senator from Arizona.
The Obama victory has brought about the dawn of a new era, not only to Americans and Africans, but to people all over the world. On the 20th January 2009 he will be inaugurated as the world watches. The Bristol-based African Voices Forum is marking this historic ocassion with a big dance party at the Colston Hall on Saturday January 24 2009 starting . The party will climax with the launch of the IDEA of the Obama Education Fund as a moral high ground in commemorating this amazing achievement. The scholarship fund, which is due to be officially launched later in the year, will recognise and award funds towards the educational needs of deserving young people of African descent.
Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw(photo) is the Secretary General of th African Voices Forum: “ This is no doubt a positive role-modelling event especially for people of African descent and other ethnic minorities. Americans have led the way in bringing into reality the thinking that no matter where you come from, or the pigmentation of your skin, the sky would be your limit as long as you work hard; it is indeed a victory for global justice and a huge moral lesson for the rest of the world”.
The event is a combination of cultural performances and dance party that will kick off with commemorative speeches from the leader and deputy leader of the Bristol City Council, the Kenyan High Commissioner and a representative from the US embassy in London.
African Voices Forum (AVF) is a Bristol-based network of African and African-Caribbean community associations/organizations, other community organizations working to empower Africans and African-Caribbeans to take an active part in initiatives that concern them, as well as those organizations which share and support the forum’s values, principles, and objectives.
The AVF was registered in the UK on August 13 2008 as a company limited by guarantee with charitable objectives. The forum, run for and by African community associations/ organizations, provides their members a powerful voice on issues that directly concern them. It has successfully initiated dialogue within the diverse African and African-Caribbean community in Bristol, and it is prepared to lead the way in engaging at a higher level with the various bodies/organizations/community groups etc in a way that is beneficial to all involved; amongst its priorities in 2009 is the promotion of education as a vehicle for empowerment and consciousness. “The Obama Inauguration and launch of the idea of the Obama Education Fund event is set to be a curtain raiser for a series of activities and projects lined up by the fo rum for 2009”, said Dr Shaw, also a Research Fellow in the School of Politics at the University of the West of England.