From September 14th – 18th, FRJ stepped into the world of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 46th Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), aptly titled, “Defining the Moment: Building the Movement”. The ALC is the leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global black community. Every year during the ALC, thought leaders, legislators, and concerned citizens engage on economic development, civil and social justice, public health, and education issues. This year, FRJ participated and engaged as a thought leader around youth development in Africa, and how THEY define the moment and build the movement within the diaspora.
On Friday, September 16th, I attended the Africa Brain Trust, hosted by Representative Karen Bass (Democrat – California 37th District), and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. This year, the Brain Trust explored the themes, the “Future Economic Progress & Challenges on the Continent”; “Building African Health and Education Infrastructure”; and “Examining African Security and Democracy” – and the common denominator amongst each theme was youth.
Linda Thomas –Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau for African Affairs at the State Department, went through the top policy challenges for the next United States Administration in relation to Africa - and at the top of this list was a focus on the youth bulge and proper education & healthcare for youth. Assistant Secretary Thomas-Greenfield eloquently stated, “The next Administration must take care of, feed, shelter, educate, and provide jobs to give hope to youth in Africa.” She went on to say that, “The classroom is the breeding ground where young minds are developed, and where there is a lack of opportunity and options, extremism can lead. Therefore, we must find solutions for the youth bulge because young people need to have a stake in their country and be able to lead.”
FRJ is ecstatic to be policy relevant, offering its creative solution to the youth bulge through providing livelihood and life skills within the global fashion industry to adolescent orphans and vulnerable children. Through FRJ, youth in the Gambia will have an opportunity to have a stake in their country.
With the next United States presidential elections and a new Administration around the corner, please JOIN with FRJ to ensure that the continent of Africa, its global economic vitality, and its young people are a priority by:
· Placing government officials in office that will prioritize African policy
· Holding government officials accountable for African policy
· Supporting the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
· Considering an online donation to help FRJ build and deliver programming that will serve as a solution to the youth bulge in Africa
The solution starts with YOU!
By: Chanell Hasty, Founder and President, FRJ