NEWARK—The State of the Black World Conference 2016 could be one of the great gatherings of this century, perhaps this generation’s Black Power Conference if its goals are achieved, said participants. Among those goals are Blacks coming together, planning and pooling resources to deliver themselves.
The conference was organized by the Institute for the Black World and Dr. Ron Daniels. Dr. Daniels has periodically convened activists and leaders to assess the outcome of presidential elections, confront issues, and find ways to work together. The Nov. 16-20 conference theme was “It’s Nation Time … Again! Racial Healing and Collaboration for Black Empowerment.”
It featured a who’s who of Black leaders and thinkers and was dedicated to the memory of the brilliant poet, playwright and political activist Amiri Baraka. The conference was held at the Robert Treat Hotel.
Conference participants discussed a wide range of topics, including town hall meetings on reparations, education, economic development, spirituality and healing the Black family amid the war on drugs, mobilizing and organizing hip-hop activists and cultural workers for Black empowerment and implications of the U.S. presidential election on Black America and the Pan African World.
According to conference organizers, the sessions were intentionally chosen to explore ways to draw on cultural, spiritual, historical and institutional strengths to enhance or devise collaborative strategies and models for Black empowerment.
The five-day conference also focused on the struggle for democracy and development in Africa, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. A major town hall explored developments in the U.S. and the global reparations movements.
“We need more Black folks like Ron Daniels to exhibit the amazing tenacity that kept him on focus and on fire for African American people. Too often, our focus is episodic, revolving around public incidents—who got shot today, or who got racially profiled,” said conference presenter and economist Dr. Julianne Malveaux said. “The fact is that we are all profiled, all day, every day, either frontally or subtly. Just a few are committed to rejecting the subtle profile in both domestic and foreign policy. Dr. Ron Daniels is one of the few, and his work on Haiti speaks to the ways he connects domestic and foreign policy.”