The 7th annual Pan-African Weekend rocks NYC, celebrates black culture through dialogue, empowerment, networking & more

Francis Akhalbey July 18, 2018
IAAPA Networking Mixer and Business/ Career Expo

The premier Pan-African voice Face2Face Africa hosted its much anticipated  7th annual Pan-African Weekend in New York City from Thursday, July 12, to Sunday, July 15.

Sponsored by Prudential and Toyota USA, the four-day weekend-long event which consummated with the theme “Can anything good come out of Africa?” saw thousands of attendees as well as influential personalities within the pan-African community attending the various events.

The kickoff event of the Pan-African Weekend, the Pan-African Women Forum held on Thursday, July 12, brought together influential, trailblazing female professionals of African descent who spoke about their life experiences, journeys and how they were changing the global narrative on women.

The 2018 Pan-African Women Forum Speakers. From left: Tamika Stembridge, Millen Happiness Magese, Dr Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede, Tiffaney Malott, Sherrexcia “Rexy” Rolle and Yodit Tewolde

The forum also provided the platform for attendees to engage and network with the speakers. This year’s speakers were Sherrexcia “Rexy” Rolle (Vice President, Western Air Limited – Bahamas), Yodit Tewolde (TV Commentator, Legal Analyst, Attorney), Tiffaney Malott (Entrepreneur & Transformational Speaker), Dr Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede (Educator & Author), Millen Happiness Magese (Model & Humanitarian)andTamika Stembridge, Esq. (Executive Director of the dfree® Global Foundation).

The Day-2 event of the Pan-African Weekend, the IAAPA Networking Mixer and Business/ Career Expo, was held the next day (Friday, July 13). Hosted by renowned Nigerian-American Professor, TV Commentator and Democratic Strategist Dr Wendy Osefo, the mixer and expo provided the platform for pan-African professionals and local businesses to connect through networking, exhibitions and interactive breakout sessions.

The event also featured guest speakers who took turns to provide career tools and resources to attendees. The speakers were Tiffaney Malott and YACE Honoree and Founder of DNASimple Dr Olivier Noel. 

Tiffaney Malott speaking to attendees at the IAAPA Networking Mixer and Business/ Career Expo

The flagship event of the weekend, the star-studded FACE List Awards also took place at the Capitale on Saturday, July 13. A very purposeful night, the awards gala honored minister, author and public advocate, Reverend Dr DeForest B. Soaries Jr with the Pioneer Award for Impact in Advocacy and Communication Development; the Managing Director and Chief Anti-Bribery Officer at Citigroup Inc. Chinwe Esimai with the Corporate Leadership Award; renowned Kenyan scientist Dr George Njoroge with the Pioneer Award in Science and Medicine; renowned international model and humanitarian Millen Magese with the Global Ambassador Award; and Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Gregg Bishop with the Community Development Award.

The YACE honorees were Ghanaian-American Olympic athlete Maame Biney and founder of DNASimple Dr Olivier Noel.

2018 FACE List and YACE honorees. From left: Chinwe Esimai, Reverend Dr DeForest B. Soaries Jr, Gregg Bishop, Maame Biney, Dr George Njoroge, Millen Magese and Dr Olivier Noel

The gala also featured thrilling performances from Ghanaian highlife sensation Kumi Guitar, Samira Gibson and Alyson Cambridge.

Kumi Guitar performing at the FACE List Awards

The closing event of the unforgettable and historic weekend, the Jazz Brunch, took place on Sunday, July 14 with Kumi Guitar, Samira Gibson among others serenading guests with some melodious tunes.

Guests at the Ankara Jazz Brunch

Samira Gibson performing at the Ankara Jazz Brunch

Guests at the Ankara Jazz BrunchAbout this year’s Pan-African Weekend and the FACE List Awards, the CEO of FaceFace Africa Sandra Appiah Babu-Boateng said, “At Face2face Africa, our mission is to change the pan-African narrative and establish innovate platforms to help foster a more unified and empowered black diaspora community.”

Face2Face Africa CEO Sandra Appiah Babu-Boateng

She added, “The FACE List Awards gala is just one of the ways we do this each year. We highlight the contributions of people of African descent by celebrating and honoring modern-day pioneers and trailblazers who are making an impact in the world.”


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