Africa Now Conference [Virtual]

Project Size: Large, >$1,000
Estimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $25,000

Letter of Intent:

Summary 

The Africa Now Association exists to educate, organize, and mobilize youth to imagine and create a sustainable future for the global African community. Our association focuses on enriching global perspectives, supporting grassroots efforts across the African diaspora, and providing individuals with the network and resources to tackle problems facing the African continent and its diaspora.  

Africa Now is seeking $25,000 from the Campus Sustainability Fund to aid in funding our third annual conference, focused on inspiring young Black students and professionals to join the movement for sustainable African development.

Within our 2nd year of operating, we created the Africa Now Association - a non profit organization that hosts the Africa Now Conference and aides community projects with volunteers and funding for sustainable projects that benefit the African community. CSF has been instrumental in helping us achieve this milestone. As we aim to build our community and collaborators on the UW’s campus we’re also working hard to create local and global alliances that will help sustain Africa Now’s mission and funding. This year’s funds will not only be used to plan the conference but to also jumpstart our efforts to establish long term funding, alliances, and start community projects that align with our theme - “Progress Through Sustainability”.

From the start, our hope was to help foster relationships between attendees from diverse academic disciplines leading to new foundations, entrepreneurial ventures, group sponsored initiatives and ideas that will translate into action, not only in Seattle but across the world. Today we’ve met up with several individuals and organizations that have been inspired by the Africa Now Conference. This year we plan on hosting activities that will allow students to learn and take action with us. Along with inspiring and educating our community through our annual conference we plan to be a resource that also takes action in our community - leading by example.

Sustainable Impact 

Our primary goal for the 2020 Africa Now conference is for attendees to have a forum to explore strategies for developing sustainable solutions in their communities throughout the African Diaspora and in Africa. Africa Now defines sustainability as addressing the environmental, economic, social, and political aspects of Africa’s continued growth. This year, our theme is centered around environmental sustainability. We want to analyze and identify practical solutions for environmental sustainability through the lens of  politics, business, education, media and technology. Our holistic approach to environmental sustainability also takes into account that black and African communities bear the brunt of climate change. From the scorching temperatures along the African equator to rising sea levels throughout the carribean, the global African community needs to properly equip themselves with the knowledge and the skills to adapt to these extreme changes in the climate.   

The conference will provide attendees learning opportunities, discussion forums, tools and resources that will allow them to leave the conference with actionable solutions they can implement so as to contribute to environmental sustainability in their communities. One of our main ways of sharing this information throughout our conference will be through our breakout sessions which will provide opportunities for learning and discussion. This year, we plan on incorporating seven separate breakout sessions throughout the conference in order to allow our attendees to learn from individuals who are experts within their fields but also tap into their existing knowledge as a collaborative group. We want to provide new interactive ways for our attendees learn, network, and take action with those who are in these fields and those who are interested in the development of the African continent. 

Leadership and Student Involvement 

Following the tradition of the past two years, the Africa Now conference is organized entirely by students, most of whom are current UW students in the Seattle Area and supported by two UW alumni who are founding members. This year’s conference planning committee is comprised of students from a variety of departments and student organizations on the UW campus and they each offer unique experiences and talents that will enhance the group dedicated to organizing this conference. In addition, each member of the team brings their own set of networks that will allow us to expand out impact not only on the UW campus, but throughout the Seattle Area. Our goal is to bring together the communities each of our committee members represents and build solidarity within these communities. 

 

Education, Outreach, Behavior Change 

Each year, the Africa Now conference continues to expand and collaborate with Black and African organizations within the Seattle community and continues to connect with organizations back on the African continent. Our goal is to expand our network of connections in order to increase the number and diversity of our attendees. On campus, we collaborate with many of the other black organizations such as Black Student Union, African Student Association and the African Studies Department for lead up events in order to stimulate interest around the campus community and encourage attendance. We also collaborate with non-UW organizations, such as Mother Africa, in order to target the young black professional community within Seattle. The purpose of targeting both groups, is to create connections and bridges within our communities that will foster continued conversations and promote tangible actions to be taken even after the conference is long over.  

 

Feasibility and Accountability
The feasibility of this project is best demonstrated by the past two annual Africa Now conferences, which conference attendees rated as a success. The first, which was held in May of 2018 had over 100 registered attendees. In our 2019 conference, we accommodated for over 180 attendees. This year’s planning committee will leverage and build on the experiences of these past two conferences, as well as the feedback from the surveys that our conference attendees completed. For our 2020 conference, we will spotlight the work that has been continued since our last annual conference. We want to showcase those who have taken what they have learned at our previous annual conferences and applied it to real life actions that promote sustainability here in the diaspora and back on the continent. 

These past few years we have been supported by mentors such as Professor Brukab Sisay in the American Ethnic Studies, Emile Petri of the OMAD department and king county Judge LeRoy McCallough. Along with the professional expertise of these individuals we’re also heavily supported by the two founders of Africa Now - Wole Akinlosotu and Jeanne Dore.

 

Preliminary Budget

 

Plates and Utensils  $150
Conference decor $650
Physical Promo $400
Digital Promo (Website) $1500
225 Reusable Water Bottles  $3000
Program Booklets  $200
Name Tags  $100
Media - 2 Photographers & 1 Videographer $2000
Speakers (7 x ~$1400) $10,000
Live Entertainment $800
Featured Artists $2200
Bus Vouchers for Students  $250 
Giveaways  $300
Venue $2000
Total  $25,000

 

Outside of the CSF, we will be seeking funding from the ECC Student Event Fund, as well as other community organizations and businesses (e.g. African Chamber of Commerce, Africans at Microsoft, Africans at Boeing, Africans at T-Mobile, etc) 

 

 

 

 

Agenda:

 

    9:30 - 10:00      Registration / Gallery Walk
 

    10:00 - 10:05       Introductions
 

    10:05 - 10:45      Case Comp
 

    10:45 - 10:55       Transition
 

    10:55 - 11:55       Workshop 1
 

    11:55 - 12:05        Transition
 

    12:05 - 12:35    Case Comp
 

    12:35 - 12:45    Transition
 

    12:45 - 1:30        Lunch
 

    1:30 - 1:40       Transition
 

    1:40 - 2:50       Workshop 2
 

    2:50 - 3:00      Transition
 

    3:00 - 3:30       Case Comp
 

    3:30 - 4:00       Resource Fair
 

    4:00 - 4:30       Closing Remarks //  Raffle

        

Primary Contact First & Last Name: Michelle Mvundura