EBK gets Honoured in Washington DC on September 17
= SPECIAL FEATURE =
September 17th 2013 will see Ernest Bai Koroma, the Empowerer of Sierra Leone Women, get Honoured in Washington DC
In honour of the accomplishments of His Excellency the President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Smithsonian Institution in the United States of America will be hosting a grand dinner for him and his delegation on September 17th 2013. This will be after President Koroma would have delivered the Keynote Address as the distinguished Guest of Honour of an auspicious event on Africa at the WORLD BANK that same day.
Is it a coincidence that such a Double Honour is happening on the anniversary (September 17th) of President Koroma’s first coming into office back in 2007 or are the stars well aligned with Ancestral African spirits being quite pleased with this worthy son of Sierra Leone?
The hostess for the planned night is no less a person but one of the greatest African American women of contemporary times, Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, the current Director of the National Museum of African Art which is the only national museum in the United States dedicated to the collection, exhibition, conservation and study of the arts of Africa. (www.si.edu)
Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, in her written correspondence inviting H.E. President Koroma, stated: “It is with great respect that I invite you and your delegation to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC in September 17, 2013. We wish to honor you and your accomplishments as the President of Sierra Leone with a dinner in your honor”.
Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole is one of the most respected black American women today. She is the grand daughter of Florida’s first black millionaire Abraham Lincoln Lewis and Mary Kingsley Sammis, the great-granddaughter of Zephaniah Kingsley, a slave trader and slave owner, and his wife Anna M. Njai, a former slave originally captured from current Senegal.
Dr. Cole is the first woman elected to the Board of Coca Cola and has been on the Board of the famous pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co for almost twenty years now. She has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of United Way of America.
In the field of academia, Dr. Cole is the first African-American female President of the famous Spelman College; her appointment generated a $20 million gift from Bill and Camille Cosby and she went on to raise $113million. She also was the President of Bennett College for Women where she ran a $50million campaign and initiated programs in Africana women’s studies. Dr. Cole is currently the Chair of a Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute. Cole directed Black Studies program and played a pivotal role in developing W.E.B. Du Bois Dept. of African-American Studies at Washington State University at Pullman. Dr. Cole also taught at Emory University where she’s Presidential Distinguished Professor Emerita.
Cole has conducted research in Africa, the Caribbean & USA and has authored several books and scholarly articles. She has been awarded 54 honorary degrees from colleges and universities, including Princeton, Yale, Fisk, Smith and Columbia, and won numerous awards. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Anthropological Association.
Dr. Cole served on U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s Committee on Transformational Diplomacy and on President Bill Clinton’s Transition Team for Education, Labor, the Arts and Humanities.
Earlier this year, Dr. Cole who is 76 years of age, received the highest possible citation of the International Civil Rights Center when she was awarded the Alston-Jones International Civil and Human Rights Award. She has been described as a distinguished academic, cultural anthropologist, and humanitarian per excellence.
Meanwhile, this great African-American lady, whose Smithsonian Institution will be honouring H.E. President of Republic of Sierra Leone for his accomplishments; which include universal free health care for pregnant & lactating women and young children, appointing Sierra Leone’s first female Chief Justice and West Africa’s first female Military General amongst a string of unprecedented empowerment of women in Sierra Leone, respectfully asserts to His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma in her correspondence, thus:- “I look forward to welcoming you to the Smithsonian and the National Museum of African Art”.