On Saturday, July 24, 2010 in Charleston, South Carolina at the Community Center of the International Longshoreman’s Union, a magnificent step forward for African descendants was taken within a memorable historical context: the Pan African Diaspora Union (PADU) was born. Standing on the shoulders of Pan African giants who have cut through the forest of false entanglements, confusion and lethargy to show the way  forward, this grouping of 21st century Pan Africanists met as the PADU International Diaspora Council to help organize the African Diaspora, educate the African descendant masses about the importance of African re-engagement and to do its part to help achieve the United States of Africa/Union of African States—out of 54, one.

            This was a modern achievement of unity without uniformity, a phrase many of us have used often but not carried out. The AAPRP/AAWRU (All African Peoples Revolutionary Party/All African Women’s Revolutionary Union), Honorable Marcus Garvey’s UNIA-ACL (Universal Negro Improvement Association-African Communities League, the SRDC (Sixth Region Diaspora Caucus), PerAnkh University/PerAnkh em Smai Tawi  (V.I.), AUH (Afrikan Unity of Harlem), CABO (Central American Black Organization), CBPM (Collective Black People Movement) and the UNIA-LDF (Legal Defense Fund) met as partners who have agreed to a common set of Pan African principles without losing any of their own sovereignty or status. Each group has one vote on all issues, there is a collective of talents, resources and network associations, and the huge coalition is founded on mutual respect and mutual civility for all member organizations and for African people. There are fourteen member organizations in all thus far, including NBLC, PANASTRAG, MIR (Martinique, Paris), CIPN (Guadeloupe/Antilles) and AUADS-Europe, among others.

            PADU’s primary objective is to assist greatly in organizing the 300 million-plus African descendants now living in the African Diaspora, spread over 90 countries and 70,000 miles. To do that, PADU members will focus jointly and individually on nation building (African unification), capacity building (working to expand the African Diaspora’s collaborative resources so together we can help each other as opposed to waiting for others to help us), sustainability (cooperative economics, trade, food production, healthcare, ethical decision-making, etc.), and the constant advocacy for increased integration of African women’s leadership and empowerment. On its website, PADU will maintain an up-to-date calendar of Diasporan events relevant to these aims.

            This is 21st century Pan Africanism at a higher ground, and it is part of the Decade of the Diaspora (January, 2010—December, 2020) within which the African Diaspora as a whole has to step up and take its rightful place inside the African Union and as a valued decision-maker in Africa’s future.  The African Diaspora has been invited to the table, and we must organize ourselves in order to accept it.

            For those Pan African organizations quite serious about their mission forward to help Africa unify and who are interested in working in partnership with others on the same path, we will see you in the whirlwind. Forward ever, backwards never.                                                                                                                                                                                   A Luta Continua

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