by Herb Boyd
One of the most promising gatherings of Pan-African world leaders in recent memory was announced last week at the Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore. “I am delighted to be in Baltimore to announce that the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) is poised to convene one of the great global gatherings of Black people of the century in this city,” said Dr. Ron Daniels, IBW president, during a press conference at the church.
The five-day event, April 19–23, will be the fifth State of the Black World Conference, will take place in Baltimore, marking a return to the roots and origins of IBW in 1994.
Before discussing the remarkable history of IBW, Daniels read a statement from Dr. Julius Garvey, the event’s honorary chair and the son of the renowned Marcus Garvey.
“It is important that African civilization norms and prescriptions for sustainable development be formalized and structured as we repair the damage caused by the last 500 years of European materialism, industrialization and oppressive dehumanization,” Garvey said in the statement. “Topics to be discussed include the unification of the continent via rail, road, airways, language and customs union to facilitate the African continental free trade agreement.”
Also on the expansive agenda, Garvey noted, is “Climate change, environmental pollution and reparations for the ravages caused by the slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, and the Bretton Woods consensus. Invited guests include many heads of state of African and Caribbean countries, political leaders, civil rights and human rights activists.”
Daniels said that a veritable who’s who of leaders and activists have already committed to participate in the conference, including the Hon. Nana Addo Danka Akufo-Addo, president, Republic of Ghana; Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, prime minister of Barbados; and Hon. P. J. Patterson, the longest serving prime minister of Jamaica and the Caribbean.
The Hon. Francia Marquez, vice president of Colombia, and Hon. Dickon Mitchell, prime minister of Grenada, have been invited and are expected to confirm.
Daniels was especially effusive about the attendance of Marquez: “She is the first
Afro-Colombian vice president in the country’s history.”
Another highlight of the conference will be a tribute to the late Maurice Bishop and the New Jewel Movement, featuring commentary from Mitchell.
Other notables listed as panelists or presenters include actor/activist Danny Glover; Sir Hilary Beckles, chair of the CARICOM Reparations Committee; Marc Morial, president/CEO, National Urban League; Dr. George Fraser, president and CEO, FraserNET; Kamm Howard, founder/director, Reparations United.
Among the invited guests are Bakari Kitwana, executive director of Rap Sessions, and Jasiri X, co-founder/CEO, IHood Media, to provide insight on the current developments in hip hop and the Black Liberation Movement.
Joining Daniels at the press conference were public relations standout Carolyn McClair, IBW board member Kareem A. Aziz, author and film promoter Haki Ammi, Wayne Stokely, and Rev. Dr. Robert R.A. Turner, pastor of the church hosting the press conference. “I am excited about this conference and I hope that many of you attend what I believe is a pivotal moment in our history. I can’t wait to see the success of this five-day
“All roads lead to Baltimore for the State of the Black World Conference V,” Daniels repeated. The event will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center and Hilton Inner Harbor Hotel. For conference updates, information, registration and a schedule of events, go to IBW21.org. Early registration ends April 1, 2023.