Continuing attacks on black people have sparked outrage, protest and unrest in communities of color throughout the country and around the world. To address the root causes of these attacks, activists from across the African Diaspora will convene in Washington, D.C., on September 15th and 16th for Valuing Black Lives 2016: The Second Annual Global Emotional Emancipation Summit.
The Summit will be held at the Walter Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Room 260). Summit hours are: 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM, on Thursday, September 15th; and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, on Friday, September 16th.
Valuing Black Lives 2016 (VBLS 2016) will be presented by Community Healing Network (CHN) and the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi). The 2016 Summit theme is We Talk, We Tell, We Teach: Reclaiming Control of the Narrative Governing Our Lives. The aim of the Summit is to continue developing plans to extinguish the centuries-old anti-black mindset that says that black people are “less than”– the mindset that explains why, to so many people, black lives do not matter as much as white lives.
For the second year in a row, Representative Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Africa Subcommittee, will host Valuing Black Lives as part of the 46th Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. “I am pleased to host the Valuing Black Lives Summit again this year,” said Representative Bass, “and I am looking forward to continuing to work with Summit leaders on implementation of the strategies to be developed.”
Attendees from grassroots and national and international organizations, including Black Lives Matter and the United Nations, will come together with people from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and Latin America to focus on solutions.
VBLS 2016 will be an interactive, action-focused gathering which will build on last year’s Summit. Panelists and participants will work together to develop concrete strategies for taking control of the narrative that shapes policies and actions that affect people of African descent in the United States and around the world. Grassroots activists will engage with the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, which will be represented by confirmed panelist Mireille Fanon-Mendes, of France, member and former chair of the Working Group, and chair of the Franz Fanon Foundation.
Other confirmed VBLS 2016 panelists include:
Anthony Browder, cultural historian and leader of the first Egyptian archeological excavation funded by African Americans
Allen Kwabena Frimpong, Black Lives Matter organizer
Esther Armah, founder of Emotional Justice, creator of multi-media creative campaigns (Ghana)
Isis Amlak, Global African Congress UK, (Trinidad and the United Kingdom)
Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas
Jessica Nembhard, author of Collective Courage: Black Cooperative Economics
Rukiya Lumumba, community organizer
Wekesa Madzimoyo, AYA Educational Institute –providing educational solutions to racist oppression
CHN will also host its 10th anniversary celebration during the Summit on September 15, 6-8 pm, at Shiloh Baptist Church, 1500 9th Street, NW, Washington D.C. The Valuing Black Lives Global Summit is part of a multi-faceted set of strategies devised by CHN, founded in 2006, to build the global grassroots movement for emotional emancipation to help black people heal from, and overturn, the root causes of the devaluing of black lives: the lies of white superiority and black inferiority.
CHN forged a collaboration with ABPsi in 2011 to develop self-help support groups called Emotional Emancipation (EE) Circles. Together CHN and ABPsi have trained more than 300 local EE Circle facilitators and planted seeds for EE Circle groups in nearly 30 U.S. cities (including Ferguson, New York City, Baltimore, and New Orleans), and in the United Kingdom and Cuba. CHN and ABPsi have also forged alliances to train local activists to establish EE Circles throughout the Caribbean and in South Africa.
ABPsi Past President Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills said, “For far too long we have minimized the significance of the root causes of the devaluing of Black lives. Our children need all of us to take conscious control of the process, assert our humanity, and provide pathways for healing. This can and must be our legacy.”
“The premise of the Valuing Black Lives Summit,” said Enola Aird, CHN’s founder and president, “is that Black lives will never truly matter unless and until we destroy the anti-black narrative that has driven the profound mistreatment of black people all around the world for 500 years—and replace it with our own.”