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Celebrating International Women's Day 2020

Dear Friends,

African Diaspora Network celebrates International Women's Day 2020 by recognizing young women who have dedicated their life's work to making a global impact. Each of them have unique and distinctive characteristics of leadership and represent various regions of the world. Though they come from different parts of the globe, they have something in common — they are brilliant and care about the work they do and the communities in which they live. 

To celebrate International Women's Day, we invite you to join us for the 2020 Women of Color Conference, taking place on Saturday, March 7. ADN is partnering with The One Degree of Separation Synergy Services (ODOS) Entrepreneur Conference that empowers diverse women of color to succeed as entrepreneurs.

Read more to learn about these incredible young women and to RSVP for the event.

Thank you,

Almaz Negash
Founder & Executive Director, African Diaspora Network
Executive in Residence, School of Global Innovation & Leadership, SJSU
Member of the United Nations Economic Council for Africa – HLPM
Register for the 2020 Women of Color Conference

Spotlight on Women Leaders Across the Globe

African Diaspora Network recognizes young women leaders who are making an impact across the globe. We are delighted to share their unique stories and insights with you:

Debra Pacio, Freelance Writer, African Diaspora Network

"As a member of the Philippine diaspora, I am continuously inspired by African Diaspora Network. There are common themes among the challenges faced on the continent and the Philippines, and I feel a strong sense of camaraderie between our diasporic communities. We have a lot to learn from one another with vast potential for collaboration. I am grateful to support this work." - Debra Pacio
Debra Tisoy Pacio is an artist of language, composing crisp messaging and vivid storytelling for an array of audiences. She has supported marketing, communications, and content development for ADN since 2015, and currently serves as a communications writer at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. Prior to that, she taught English and Journalism as a high school teacher in the Bay Area. Debra holds an MA in Education and BA Honors in English Literature from Stanford University, and studied Narratives of Diaspora at the University of Oxford. 
Q: What moves you? What wakes you up every day as a young woman leader?

A: As a young professional, I am motivated each day by possibility. I often play dual roles, being center stage as a high school English teacher, but also operating behind-the-scenes as a communications writer. Juggling these two worlds of words, both local and global in essence, has been a complicated journey. The common thread, however, has been a commitment to public service. I choose to work with organizations whose missions I strongly believe in, and whose work makes a difference in the community.

Rachel Onamusi, CEO, VN Sync

"I genuinely, utterly love what I do for a living. I’ve held management positions in corporate banking, retail and food industries, but working in PR and digital marketing really feels like home. Finding the human story in every field – even those as technical as ICT products and services – selling hope and solutions to problems give me a feeling of satisfaction." - Rachel Onamusi
A digital strategist and facilitator with expertise in media and publicity consulting, Rachel is committed to creating the right image, message, and reputation for great brands that mean business. Her work encompasses website construction, content creation, brand management and positioning, and social media and digital influence that adds a local flavor to international enterprises. She is the CEO of VN Sync and Editor-in-Chief of Viva Naija, a vibrant online platform dedicated to bringing news and trending topics about Nigeria and Nigerians to the world. 
Q: What moves you? What wakes you up every day as a young woman leader?

A: The opportunity to do something different, something new. I love being a part of any initiative that can impact the next generation: be that politics (when I headed the  development and implementation of the media and engagement strategy for a Nigerian presidential campaign candidate), the GAIN initiative (a non-profit organisation with several projects including one which leverages technology to deliver world-class healthcare to vulnerable people in war-torn areas through a telemed mobile app), or partnering with tech corporations such as VMware in rolling out training for globally recognised certifications – essential for upskilling and human capital development in Africa.

 Stéphan-Eloïse Gras, Executive Director, Digital Africa

"What wakes me up every morning is : learn, learn, learn... and love! We need a lot of that to build a more sustainable and inclusive world, more respectful of people and diversity. This is a collective strive, in which women are change-players." - Stéphan-Eloïse Gras

An entrepreneur and a researcher, Stéphan-Eloïse Gras, is the executive director of Digital Africa, a not for-profit initiative and 65M€  fund launched by the French president Emmanuel Macron to support African entrepreneurial ecosystems. Until February 2020, she was the director of Strategic Partnerships in Africa for OpenClassrooms, an EdTech company specialized in lifelong learning and currently the leading online education platform in EMEA.

Q: What is something that you want people to know about you that people don’t know?

A: I was born partially deaf and started to play the piano at 5, which helped me to overcome the disability to the point of perfect-pitch hearing and being completely fluent in 3 languages. What we learn from adapting, and failing at adapting, is most of the times painful but priceless. 

International Women's Day Celebration

African Diaspora Network is delighted to sponsor the 2020 Women of Color Conference, taking place on Saturday, March 7. We invite you to join us as we gather in celebration and recognition of International Women's Day.
Event Information:

The One Degree of Separation Synergy Services (ODOS) Entrepreneur Conference empowers diverse women of color to succeed as entrepreneurs.

In this global economy, women of color entrepreneurs need to build and prepare their businesses to be competitive locally and on a larger stage. Many of our underserved entrepreneur communities are not obtaining vital information and resources.

ODOS hosts its second annual Women of Color Conference in East Palo Alto California. We will explore and hear expert speakers and panel discussions designed to propel female entrepreneurs to the next level in this global paradigm shift. 

Almaz Negash, Founder of African Diaspora Network, will be a speaker at the event. Join us to celebrate International Women's Day!

Register for the 2020 Women of Color Entrepreneur Conference

Join African Diaspora Network Today!

Be a part of our growing organization and become a member or support African Diaspora Network in one of the following ways:
  • Be an organizational sponsor and support the African Diaspora Network to bring together diverse people from around the world to collaborate and work together. 
  • Sponsor the 2021 African Diaspora Investment Symposium 
  • Support our efforts to scale the Builders of Africa’s Future program   
  • Be a member of the African Diaspora Network, a growing community of Africans and friends of Africa
  • Be a mentor for the upcoming Builders of Africa’s Future cohort  
  • Be a volunteer and support African Diaspora Network initiatives
Support African Diaspora Network

African Diaspora Investment Symposium Summary and Next Steps

African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2020 Highlights

African Diaspora Network is pleased to share a full summary and action report that highlights key takeaways and lessons learned during African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2020. Learn more about our fifth annual symposium theme, read our day-by-day summary, check out our photo gallery, and view our video recap. 

Read the #ADIS20 Summary and Action Report
African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2020 - Important Links

African Diaspora Network on COVID-19

ADN convenes more than 750 participants annually through Impact & Innovation Forums, small private meetings, and our annual African Diaspora Investment Symposium (ADIS).  We also partner and participate in regional, national, and global convening’s to learn, share, and advance our causes. 

We appreciate the Skoll World Forum, The World Bank and IMF Spring Meeting, Facebook (F8), and VC BootCamp, where ADN partakes for the advance notice about their cancellation. 

Our organization will follow suite and refrain from large group gatherings to ensure that our community and members are safe. 

Like everything else, this shall pass. Till then, let’s all do our best to stay healthy and support each other.  For more information on COVID-19, please visit CDC.   

Thank you,
The African Diaspora Network Team

Community Partner Events

Africa's Next Act: Sustainable Solutions| April 4 | Berkeley, CA

Three of the five fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. Africa has 300+ tech hubs in 93 cities across 42 countries. Increased internet penetration, mass urbanization and growth in smartphone adoption have made Africa very attractive to investors. Innovators and entrepreneurs are utilizing new technologies to develop tailored interventions for Africa and transform industries.

African startups working in fintech received 40% of all startup investments in 2018 and Nigeria saw 3 companies raise $360M in November 2019 alone. Africa has attractive prospects, but it also faces substantial challenges that require urgent solutions. How will Africa manage climate change consequences such as drought and rising water levels? Can mobile money credibly complement or replace banks to reach two-thirds of Africans who are unbanked? How can African investors and policy makers utilize Big Data to make impactful decisions?

Join the 6th Berkeley-Haas Africa Business Forum to explore Africa’s Next Act: Sustainable Solutions and discuss challenges and opportunities in Africa with visionaries, thought leaders and game changers.

Early Bird Ticket Sales End March 7

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