The first of several Town Halls in Nova Scotia was held during the Annual Africville Reunion on July 30th. The Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus (SRDC) and Ujaama, a community development initiative for African Nova Scotians (ANS), hosted the event. The point of these Town Halls is to organize the Diaspora in order to accept the African Union's invitation to become the 6th Region of the African Union and act as a voting member. SRDC Chapters are forming across the Western world and leaders among them will represent the 6th Region at the AU.
Over 100 people attended the Town Hall, despite a downpour all afternoon. The keynote speakers were Dr. Rocky Jones, the President of Ujaama, and longtime ANS activist, and Dr. David Horne, an international educator, strategic planner, and Pan-African activist based in Florida. They outlined the importance of becoming part of the AU as an opportunity for change. A chance for Africans and their descendants to be mutually supportive while they work towards sustainable economies, and actively work towards local community development.
The slogan "Unity not Uniformity" was used often to describe how the 250 million person Diaspora will unite as the 6th Region. Pan-Africanist ideology was a common underlying theme throughout the speeches, which is normally seen as a product of the European Slave Trade. Pan-Africanism explains that Africans of diverse backgrounds became identified as nothing but a slave, so to oppose that, African descendants put cultural differences aside in order to focus on shared experiences and foster solidarity and resistance to exploitation.
Another SRDC representative named Macoly was in from Toronto. He focused on the importance of elders in the African tradition, and specified that African Nova Scotians are the elders for the Black community in Canada. He emphasized that ANS must be represented in the SRDC, as they are a crucial part of African Canadian history.
The Town Hall concluded with a question and answer period, a period of discussion of the definition of elders for the purpose of electing a Community Council of Elders, and the election of an organizing committee to plan the next series of Town Halls in Nova Scotia.
There was another Town Hall that took place during the Annual Sydney Days of Action, August 3rd. And there will be more to come, in order to officially start the Nova Scotia SRDC Chapter.
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