Who will be The Dutch Black Business Female Entrepreneur or The Dutch Black Business Female Manager of the year 2008?

The answer to that question will be given on October 4th 2008, during the annually Awards Gala of the Zwarte Zaken Vrouwen Nederland (The Dutch Black Business Woman). For the second time the event is organised in cooperation with the city of Rotterdam. The event will take place on Saturday, October 4th 2008 , at The World Trade Centre in Rotterdam.

The event is attended by many well – known celebrities from the political world as well as by several ambassadors. Many top Dutch businesses, that have diversity as a priority, are also represented. Besides a packed programme full of entertainment with top artists and an extensive dinner, you will have the opportunity to network and to establish contacts with many distinguished professionals from the United States, Great Britain and France.

The last three years ZZVN has grown to be the platform of the black female entrepreneurs and the expert on diversity to the government and the business world in the Netherlands. With the cooperation of several European female network organisations, with a common membership of more than 5,000 women, the organisation tries to create greater accessibility for all black women in business across the world, enabling even more positive social and economic contributions to the GDP of their respective countries. In order to improve, stimulate and support the importance of woman’s networking, another aim of the ZZVN is to connect Black Women Business Networks globally through a virtual network platform.

Tickets for the awards dinner are € 165,-- per person and tables are sold for € 2.500,--. For members of the ZZVN we have special arrangements. Should you require further information on the nominations, the nominations process, or be interested in branding opportunities, buying tables or tickets please do not hesitate to get in touch with the zzvn as below or contact us direct.
The programme and directions to the location will be sent once we receive your affirmative reply.

We are looking forward to welcome you at the awards gala of the ZZVN.

ZZVN tel: 00-31-102857722
Email: info@zzvn.nl
Web: www.zzvn.nl

Official Launching of the Black European Women’s Council in Brussels

The Official Launching of the Black European Women’s Council (BEWC) took place on Tuesday 9th September at the premisses of the European Economic and Social Committee, Rue Van Maerlant 2, 1040 Brussels. It was organised by AFRA – International Center Black Women’s Perspectives, Wien, Austria (in the framework of the European Year of Equal Opportunities for ALL,Vienna, September 2007) and Tiye International (Holland) under the leadership of Beatrice Achakele (AFRA) and Hellen Felter (TIYE) and facilitated by Brenda King, President of the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citizenship of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).www.blackwoncenter.org, www.bewnet.eu

For the first time in EU history black women, the majority coming from ACP countries and living all over Europe (Austria, Sweden, Ireland, Greece, Holland, Belgium, Italy, the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland) united and launched the black European Women's Council in Brussels to become visible and take on the responsability to be active as European citizens in politic, economic and social life.

The stories were similar: about discrimination, racism, unequality, invisibility, struggle to survive and to be recognized. In some countries it is even worse than in others, like in Greece where black people can not be appointed in public jobs; in Switzerland where there is structural violence against women and courts refuse to recognize racism; in Italy where there is a terrifying women traffic; in Ireland where descendants from Africa who want to buy a house have to do a HIV-test before they can get a mortgage. But also in France, the UK, Austria, Germany and especially in Belgium and Brussels, the capital of Europe and the heart of the EU institutions, where black people and migrants are invisible and underrepresented everywhere. The BEWC stated that black women do not want to be victims anymore but actors who participate in all EU structures.

The EU commissioner Vladimir Spidla attended the launching and gave his support to this initiative. The multiple discrimination against black women has to be tackled by implementing existing rules and sanctions. Members of Parliament speeched and support the Black European Women's Council.

18 million black people in the EU, many descendants from ACP countries, are struggling for equal opportunties and economic, social and human rights. This is a serious and urgent issue. 'Reaffirming Human Rights for All' that was the theme of the conference that was held from 3-5 September 2008 in Paris UNESCO Headquarters at the occasion of 60 years Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The conclusion was that human rights are at stake because of the international trading system and economic situation today with its energy and foodcrisis.

Human rights have to come first, they concern the integrity of each human being. Economic and social situations may never be an excuse to exploit people. 1400 representatives from 74 countries attended the 61 annual United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI)/Non- Governmental Organisations (NGO) in Paris. They discussed the situation of the human rights in the world today 60 years after the Universal Declaration was concluded.

The final conclusion was that there is not enough awareness and knowledge about the meaning of human rights, that there has to be more education, information and capacity building, especially among lawyers to safeguard the implementation of the Human Rights.

Joyce van Genderen-Naar

Teaching Abroad With Obama


Barack Obama's March speech on race

By Helen Solterer (with Jean Delabroy)

Among the thousands of students beginning classes this week, a surprising few gained admission to their university by analyzing a speech of Barack Obama. They are students at the flagship public institution for engineering and the sciences in France, the Polytechnique. Entrance requires passing nine examinations, including an oral on general culture. In this competitive research environment akin to that of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this exam often proves decisive, opening or closing the door for applicants to the Parisian school. This time around, they were tested on the Philadelphia speech of an American presidential candidate, in French.

The oral is a defining ritual in French education. Students must demonstrate in the moment not only their sharp thinking, but their eloquence. Typically they are given the work of statesmen — Victor Hugo speaking in favor of Italian independence or Jean Jaurès, the fiery socialist who spoke on behalf of striking workers. Or they square off with that of intellectuals who are not French — Victor Klemperer writing against totalitarian language in Hitler's Germany. Yet no matter the culture or the historical period of the text on the table, the challenge remains the same. In less than 30 minutes, improvise an argument about a work that they are receiving for the first time, and field questions about it with aplomb. For the class of 2008, why choose Obama's political writing?

One of the Polytechnique examiners from the University of Paris system, Jean Delabroy, had heard a singular voice when Obama was introduced on French radio some 18 months ago. Like many, he was intrigued by the senator of African descent, and in the heat of the primaries, began reading his speeches that appeared in translation as well as in their original in the major newspapers. Long before Obama became a European jet-setter in Maureen Dowd's jargon, he represented, in the view of the French press, an orator standing in the line of a classical tradition. While Democrats clamored for him to substantiate his call for change, Delabroy decided that the American's language, rich and complex, merited explication.

Choosing Obama for this year's oral was good pedagogy to my colleague, who directs the department of literature, arts, and film at the University of Paris-Diderot. But to me, and I imagined, to many colleagues outside of France, it was an unusual move, and thought-provoking. When he told me about the long days of questioning the students, I wanted to find out why Obama could serve as a model speaker for them.

The choice had everything to do with the strategic force of his public speaking, Delabroy explained. He's a reflective thinker, an example for Polytechnique candidates of articulating a political position persuasively. The opaque tones of a young voice made his text an even more interesting case.

What exactly did these students discover speaking about Obama's speech: "Two hundred and twenty one years ago in a hall that still stands across the street"?

Class entwined with race in the day-to-day bargaining of life in America. They thought about Obama describing in one breath the working and middle class, black, brown, and white. They examined the ways he outlined their similar dilemmas: keeping a well-paying job, educating their children, staying healthy. One student was moved to think further about social class, as a mirror blinding many Americans of different racial backgrounds to what they have in common: poverty. In a piece that was quickly named in America "the race speech," the students in France found Obama puncturing the illusion of a class-free society, confronting the taboo subject of economic inequalities.

In the process, Delabroy their examiner, recognized a public figure who was critical of his own and loyal. He heard someone who did not silence the contradictions that filled the statements of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but on the contrary sought to understand them even while he judged them severely. Obama spoke, Delabroy discovered, in order to reckon with the conflicted experience of black activists who spoke out in the 60s and 70s, and he did so on behalf of his generation — of all backgrounds — and of the next. Obama's openness was telling: He took on his personal quandary over his former pastor so as to deepen the analysis of the legacies of slavery and immigration. And he spelled out the record to give the electorate choices: how will you respond now to divisions that are so deep-seated?

Delabroy's understanding was tinged with longing. Today in France, the Left is made up of an old guard called in mock affection, the elephants, and a new one still searching for its voice. It is hard to identify a well-spoken public figure who is grappling with all the repercussions of race.

The surprise of the Polytechnique oral for many outside France is, precisely, the minor importance given race. There is no more current cliché about the French than their difficulty in working through the tangle of race relations. With the rioting of thousands of young men and women of African and Arab descent in over one hundred urban areas during the fall of 2005, the malaise intensified. The official government commemoration of French slaves the following January 2006 could hardly begin to answer the need for a full debate on the question. And the trompe l'oeil of a rainbow coalition in the present government of Nicolas Sarkozy has something perverse about it. The Polytechnique candidates are coming of age in a political era when their minister of justice is a woman of Moroccan and Algerian descent, and the foreign affairs secretary with the human rights portfolio, a Senegalese woman; but it is also a time when the Right has yet to articulate fully a cogent argument about institutionalized barriers limiting the development of young people of color from Martinique to the neighborhoods of Toulouse.

Studying Obama's Philadelphia speech makes, then, for a timely lesson. It is tempting to imagine these students in France taking his language as an incitement to consider the situations they encounter. How could his analysis of legal discrimination and the contradictions of racist behavior help to advance debate in their country? When the candidate visited Paris for a day in late July, the French-speaking Internet lit up with hopeful queries whether he could show them something more of liberty, equality, fraternity.

This generation in France is primed to analyze clearly and openly their Republic's original sin of slavery, the social and economic conflict it continues to create. Perhaps it will present a leader capable of addressing the anger over education jeopardized and jobs blocked in towns that burned across France in 2005.

In June, a few Polytechnique students were glad to have had the chance to think through Obama's speech. They thanked Professor Delabroy for making their oral such a worthwhile exercise.

For those of us on American campuses, the many possible lessons are different, but no less challenging.

As I prepare to go into the classroom again in the battleground state of North Carolina, I wonder, for one, when will we make the political writing of contemporaries abroad a part of our general culture and debate?

Helen Solterer teaches French literature and culture in the Department of Romance Studies at Duke University. Jean Delabroy teaches literature at the University of Paris-Diderot.

The original story and user comments can be viewed online at http://insidehighered.com/views/2008/08/25/solterer.

The Women of the African Diaspora Website and Social Network Celebrates 1 Year on 1 November 2008!

Dear Sisters,

Sandra Rafaela of the Afro European Sisters Network and Adrianne George of the Black Women in Europe Blog are pleased to announce that their jointly created Women of the African Diaspora (WAD) website and social network will celebrate their one year anniversary on 1 November 2008.

During the first year the WAD website has featured dozens of contributors and the network has grown to enjoy hundreds of members around the world.

Anniversary celebration plans include a new look and domain name for the website, and new featured sections to highlight more talented women of the African Diaspora.

Additionally we would like to offer our readers and users "gifts of thanks" for their support and participation. We also want to encourage buying within our community by asking for Black Female Entrepreneurs to provide WAD Anniversary Sponsorships of product and service gifts and discounts.

Appropriate examples include discount coupons to your products and services, as well as free subscriptions to your magazine or associations and free products or services.

Any and all gift sponsors will receive recognition and thanks on the WAD website and social networking that includes your logo and link to your website.

To participate as a sponsor please submit your logo, link and prize, along with directions on redemption, to Sandra Rafaela.

Thank you for helping to celebrate the Women of the African Diaspora website and social network!

Kind regards,

Adrianne George
Sandra Rafaela
Women of the African Diaspora Founders

Launching Black Women Council 9 September 2008 Brussels

High Level Roundtable discussion on
"The Role of Black Women in an all inclusive Europe,challenges faced by Black Communitie"

Welcome by

-Brenda King
President of the Section for Employment, Social Affairs and Citzenship of the European Economic and Social Comittee

-Beatrice Achaleke
Initiator Black European Women's Council, Executive Director of AFRA- International Center for Black Women's Perspective, Austria


- Lissy Groner
MEP, Committe on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, the European Parliament

- Pascale Charhon
Director of ENAR- Director ENAR-European Network Against Racism

-Myria Vassiliadou
Secretary General of European Women's Lobby

-Yvette Jarvis
City Council Athens Greece

-Anne Gaspard
Executive Director Equinet

More speakers:

-Vladimir Spidla
Commissioner responsible for Emplyament, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities

-MEP Christa Prets
MEP, Committee on Culture and Education, the European Parliament

-Peter Moore
Member of the Committee of the Regions and rapporteur for the opinion on Equal opportunitie, Member of Sheffield City Council

-Morten Kjaerum
Director of FRA- European Fundamental Rights Agency, Austria

-Hellen Felter
Co-Initiator BEWC, Tiye International, The Netherlands

-Slyvia Serbin
Writer and City Counselor, France

-Leah Sempaya
Black European Women's Council, Sweden

It was great to be there and to be part of the lauching of the Black European Women Council. Finally we have a Visible Voice in Europe!


Read Press Release Click Here

Voices of Black European Women 1

1st Black European Women's Congress

Plastic Surgery

(Bernice Angoh)

We've all seen and heard of the horror stories unfortunately, the trend still increases. So many people want to look like the celebrities. They hate themselves, they hate their noses, their chins, their butts, their eyes and everything that's about them. Some want to be different people altogether. "I want to be like Barbie" They say. So they go under the knife 30 to 40 times before they turn thirty! We have become an extremely vain society.

Parents have become advocates. They are too lazy to teach their kids about self-esteem or self-image. For graduation they shower them with extravagant gifts and no, I'm not talking about a brand new car, this one is more special; a brand new pair of perfect breasts. High school kids barely even 21years old, that's what they want and that's what Mom and Dad give them. It is a perfect world!

Liposuction is the most common form of plastic surgery, with about 18-100 deaths per 100,000 performed. There are also grave risks including:

1) Infections: Like any other surgery, infections may occur is the wound is not properly cleaned. It is important for a doctor to prescribe antibiotics for his patients. Sometimes there are bacteria that start to eat up the tissue and cause infections that may be deadly. Also a toxic shock syndrome may occur, it is a bacterial infection commonly associated with surgery you may have heard this too with women who use tampons.

2) Complications with Anesthesia: Like most surgeries, anesthetic toxicity may occur. Large amounts of this when given can cause the heart to stop and consequently death.

3) Imbalance of Fluids: Your body's fat contains lots of fluids and this is what is taken or removed during surgery. Excess fluid may collect in the lungs and your kidney in trying to maintain this imbalance may fail

4) Skin Death or Necrosis: Skin around or above surgery area may 'die off' and fall. Bacteria may also grow in such areas and skin color changes occur and become infected with microorganisms.

5) Loss of Sensation: Sometimes, there may be permanent loss of 'feeling' or sensation to the area. Usually in the case of breast implants, around the nipple.

6) Perforated Organs: Organs may be wounded and perforated during procedures and this may be fatal.

7) Clots: Loosened fat may travel through broken blood vessels and cause a clot in the brain, blood vessels and in the lungs where it will cause shortness of breath or breathing difficulties. Sometimes these clots may cause permanent disabilities and/or death.

There are more complications that can occur during plastic surgery but they are too many to name. So many people try to fill the emptiness in them with things that will instead cause more like plastic surgery. Because, like most things, it becomes an addiction--you will never feel good enough and there can always be more procedures done. Plastic surgery is a multi-billion dollar industry and most surgeons will not turn down a returning patient. It means more money in their pockets and it is a business.

Some people have been termed 'Plastic Surgery Nightmares' for a good reason. Most celebrities due to public scrutiny have become addicts themselves at least they have the money to splurge. But when you see someone who's only making $10 per hour at a job and spends years saving up almost $10,000.00 to get a face lift or breast implant, you begin to wonder what is going on in their brains.

With celebrities, one day you see them this way and the next time, they look like burnt victims, or battered victims or ghosts. I remember Mickey Rouke when he used to be younger and handsome. Now he looks like a burn victim. Vivica A. Fox has probably injected more collagen into her lips than needed and even though she still looks pretty, she was prettier before. Some people have done so many face lifts they actually can not distinguish themselves from their own cats. Then the new Botox trend has left others with expressionless faces.

Everyday in the news we hear of another person who died because of plastic surgery gone bad. In 2004 we lost Olivia Goldsmith from 'The first wives' club' due to a facelift gone bad.

Just recently, rap artist, Kanye West, lost his beloved mother to plastic surgery. I understand people who need it for medical purposes but those whose only reason is vanity, baffle me. There are more kids and families out there who can be sponsored for medical procedures because they don't have the funds. Yet we have a society so selfish and so self-centered who would go through extreme lengths to change their already beautiful self to something they think is more 'ideal'.

30% of aging and 70% is lifestyle. That is a fact. So instead of going through all the risks and throwing all that money away maybe we can do the following non-quick-fixes:

1) Change your diet, eat better and make better choices to lose weight.

2) Exercise, three times a week, thirty minutes each time. Get off the couch, put off the TV and take a walk.

3) Start taking care of your skin now and don't wait till you are 'older'. A lady should start having a skin care regimen from age 12. For the number one in prestige skin care(and retail sales)try either 'Artistry' or 'Clear.now' from the following site: www.langohshops.com

For those of you who are older, there is an alternative for Botox that has everyone talking. We call it 'Notox'. Visit www.langohshops.com and look for Artistry Time Defiance Intensive Repair Serum in the search box on the site. Enjoy free shipping on most of our products.

4) Last but not the least. Love yourself as you are.

More about Bernice Angoh: