Based in New York, Birthright Africa sponsors free educational trips to the continent for African American youth aged 13-30. Founded in 2015 by Walla Elsheikh and Diallo Shabazz, the organisation recently turned five years old and is hosting a Gala event to celebrate the milestone.
What you need to know about the gala celebration
- The anniversary event is hosted by Tastemakers Africa CEO Cherae Robinson and Grammy-nominated recording artist Jidenna (who also serves on the Birthright Africa board).
- This year’s celebration honors H.E. Ambassador Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, Dr Gina Paige, and Bozoma St John.
- The inaugural gala also serves to launch a fundraising campaign to make it possible for the organisation to sponsor 500 educational trips to Africa for American youth of African descent.
Meet the hosts
Jidenna Mobisson, Grammy-nominated recording artist and educator
Cherae Robinson, Founder and CEO, Tastemakers Africa
Meet the honorees
Her Excellency Ambassador Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao
Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao is a medical doctor, activist and former African Union ambassador to the United States. She is the Founder, President and CEO of the African Diaspora Development Institute, which promotes unity among the African Diaspora and encourages participation in African development through education and investment opportunities.
Bozoma Saint John
Bozoma Saint John is the Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix. As one of the founders of the Essence Full Circle Festival, Bozoma’s contributions to bridging the gap for the diaspora to experience their African cultural heritage in Ghana have been felt and seen worldwide. Combining over 20 years of marketing expertise, influencer connections, and a love for her homeland, Boz (as she is affectionately called) is a global powerhouse, helping create a new narrative for the continent.
Dr Gina Paige
Dr Paige is a co-founder of African Ancestry, the first black-owned company to offer genetic ancestry to help Black people find their African countries AND tribes of origin. The company has helped many influential figures such as Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, the late Chadwick Boseman, and a host of others discover their African roots.
How Birthright Africa is transforming lives and uniting the African diaspora
The organisation offers young people free educational trips to Africa, focused on heritage and innovation. Scholars regularly describe the trips as life-changing.
As Birthright Scholar Shaina Louis writes in Teen Vogue, “my Birthright experience freed my mind and made me realize that the possibilities for me are truly limitless; that the strife of my forebears shouldn’t be and isn’t in vain because here I am today, a living representation of them.”
Scholars are immersed in meaningful interactions with a real-life network in Africa. This creates bonds that last long after the trips are over. Through these relationships, participants experience a shift in their perceptions, dispelling stereotypes held on both sides of the Atlantic. In this way, the program is helping to deepen the connection between Africa and the diaspora.
Watch a recap of the Birthright Africa 2017 scholars trip to Ghana
How to get involved and support Birthright Africa’s mission
Buy a ticket to the gala event on September 29th
You can show your support as either a sponsor or attendee. Tickets to the virtual event are on sale for $75. There are also limited tickets available at $500 each, for in-person viewing events in Los Angeles, New York and Accra.
Make a gift
You can choose to give in the amount that suits you. Look at the impact that giving makes: