By Dennis Kabatto – For the third consecutive year, AfrobeatRadio, a weekly public affairs program on Pacifica Network Station WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York will present four Panels at the Left Forum, an annual gathering of intellectuals and organizers whose political positions support social equality and egalitarianism.
The discussions are part of AfrobeatRadio ongoing series of events to create awareness, foster dialogue and engagement held on Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31 respectively at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Midtown Manhattan, New York.
Four moderators and thirteen panelists will address three documentary films and a call to action workshop.
The first panel on Saturday will explore “Slave Routes: A Global Vision,” a documentary film about the diverse histories and heritages stemming from the global tragedy of the slave trade and slavery.
“The spatial, economic, health and educational inequalities found within our states rests on an infrastructure of slavery, colonialism and resulting, Afrophobia,” laments Dowoti Desir, Founder and President of the DDPA, an international coalition of activists who works to combat structural racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, Afrophobia and the enforced invisibility of African descendants, Indigenous and other people of color.
Adding “The Slave Routes,” panel at the Left Forum not only allows us to celebrate 20 years of UNESCO’s extraordinary work acknowledging this cultural patrimony but because of that recognition, and the nodes of justice these labours have opened,” Ms Desir said.
Alice Backer, founder of AfroCrowd, a project that seeks to include people of African descent in actively participating in the Wikipedia, free knowledge, culture and software movements will facilitate Saturday’ second panel discussion: AfroCrowd, A Call to Action from 5:10 pm 7:00 pm.
Nana-Ama Kyerematen, Founder and Managing Editor of Afridiaspora.com, a webzine dedicated to showcasing and promoting African Literature and Ololade Siyonbola of the Yoruba Cultural Institute will talk about chronicling and owning our history.
AfrobeatRadio’s presentations conclude on Sunday with two panels: “Concerning Violence” a discussion contextualizing Frantz Fanon’s essay, from his seminal book The Wretched of the Earth – an important insight into understanding police brutality against black bodies and continued suppression and the incarceration of masses of young black people in the United States of America today. This panel features Omowale Clay of the December 12th Movement; Bruce Dixon – The Black Agenda Report; Benjamin Bowser, PhD – California State University East Bay and Kymone Tecumseh Freeman – We Act Radio.
In addition, “Seeking Truth in the Balkans & Africa,” a conversation based on film that focuses on the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. What are its implications for Africa?
“The UN General Assembly proclaimed 2015-2024 as the International Decade of people of African Descent. We aim to mobilize the public to address the question of historical and continued violence against people of African descent globally both from within the community and from without, and to challenge the place of Africa and Africans within global economic and political systems,” said Wuyi Jacobs, AfrobeatRadio’s executive producer and host.
Held each year in New York City, The Left Forum this year broadens its scope encompassing a thousand more speakers compared to last year’s 1200. The annual three-day conference ends Sunday after 400 events including art, music, films and comedy.