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By Aswad Walker, Defender —

The esteemed Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century and convener of the National African American Reparations Commission recently visited Houston to provide a report on the State of the Black World Conference V held April 19–23 in Baltimore.

The theme of the conference was “Global Africans Rising, Empowerment, Reparations and Healing.”

SHAPE Community Center, led by Executive Director Deloyd Parker, hosted the “Roundtable Conversation” led by Daniels and including invited guests, including a mix of activists, academics and media.

The State of the Black World Conferences are held every four years, on the year following the U.S. Presidential Election. Daniels said though this year’s gathering had its challenges, there was much good that came out of the April event which focused on multiple topics, including the global reparations movement, Haiti, the state of the U.S., the need for honest dialogue between American-born Blacks and Blacks from the broader Pan-African world, creating a culture of collaboration and more.

“The event was like the convening of the Black United Nations, but without the paralysis of the United Nations, because sometimes they get stuck,” Daniels said. “But we are going to produce a Baltimore Declaration which will be a bold agenda of Pan-Africanism in the 21st century. So, it was an incredibly inspiring success. But the essence of it was the bringing together of the global Black community in a way that some people felt was like having our own United Nations and producing an agenda for moving forward.

Organizers of the gathering at SHAPE included Baba Mtangulizi Sanyika, Assata Richards, Omowale Luthuli-Allen and Parker.

Dr. Ron Daniels and Mtangulizi Sanyika

Dr. Ron Daniels (l), Mtangulizi Sanyika (r). Credit: Aswad Walker

Daniels is a veteran social and political activist who has been at the forefront of Pan-African movements for liberation and empowerment across the globe. Daniel was also an independent candidate for President of the United States in 1992. Before that, he served as executive director of the National Rainbow Coalition in 1987 and as Southern Regional Coordinator and Deputy Campaign Manager for Rev. Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign.

The origins of the State of the Black World Conference date back to Baltimore in 1994, when the African American Progressive Action Network, which included a national group of activists, organizers and scholars, convened the State of the Race Conference at Sojourner Douglass College.

“The IBW model that Dr. Daniels has developed and helped grow to maturity, is one that sought to connect various people from various organizations and various communities doing differing kinds of work,” Sanyika said. “He has always said there’s a lot that we’re doing as Black people but we’re not connected to each other. We’re disconnected. We’re like a bunch of atoms running around trying to find their way to becoming a molecule; that we are in our silos, not talking and sharing with one another. What IBW was trying to do was help people develop the capacity to build community, to build institutions, to strengthen neighborhoods, strengthen families and ultimately strengthen nations.”

Sanyika said that model showed itself very well in Baltimore during the State of the Black World Conference.

Daniels, who recently turned 81-years-old, but possesses the energy and fight of a young man, offered encouraging words about the state of young leadership in the Pan-African world, particularly in Africa with the movement to fight against entrenched, “President-for-life” corrupt leadership.

“On the African continent, you have these young sisters and brothers. Thank God for these young sisters and brothers … And those of us who fought in the Free South Africa Movement and the Africa Liberation Movement, we did not fight those struggles to create some self-aggrandizing Negroes who are stealing Africa’s resources; corruption all over the place. Then somebody told me the other day, ‘But Ron, you’re talking about their corruption, but what about the corruption of them white folks? They’re corrupt and they’re stealing much more.’ I’m against stealing, period. And those of us who believe in Ma’at believe that that’s the fundamental principle,” Daniels shared.

Daniels also said predicted that reparations will become the top human rights issue of the 21st century, and lauded the leadership of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on that front. Daniels also shared words offered at the Baltimore event by the son of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

“What Dr. Julius Garvey was saying was, ‘We are they who hold the key to what the new world order should look like,’ and the new world order comes out of our experience of extrapolating from our world view the humanistic values to create a different kind of world where all human beings are respected, can thrive and live in sustainable communities.”

Source: The Defender

Featured image: Dr. Ron Daniels (center) shares State of the Black World report with attendees at SHAPE on June 1, 2023. Credit: Aswad Walker


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.