In the ever-evolving landscape of international diplomacy, diverse voices and perspectives are essential for shaping a more equitable and inclusive world. The Black Diplomats Academy, a pioneering institution committed to amplifying the voices of Black diplomats and professionals, recently hosted a groundbreaking Global Summit that brought together a diverse array of thought leaders, policymakers, and advocates from around the world. This summit served as a platform for dialogue, collaboration, and innovation, fostering a renewed sense of hope and opportunity in the field of diplomacy. In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through the highlights of the Black Diplomacy Global Summit, showcasing the transformative ideas and discussions that are paving the way for a brighter, more inclusive future on the global stage.
About The Black Diplomats Academy
The Black Diplomats Academy (BDA) is a program created by DYLOTT that is aimed to administer access for specialised training and experiential learning opportunities to Black youth and young skilled individuals from the ages of 18-35 to complement their educational achievements and advance their careers prospects within the international diplomacy and public service. Moreover, the goal of the program is to also push legislative and economic justice with the use of relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This free program runs for 10 months, 4 months being that of module delivery, 12 weeks of 1:1 mentorship and 12 weeks of internship opportunities.
(Bethlehem Zebib - 2023 Black Diplomats Academy Fellows)
What is the Global Diplomacy Summit?
At the end of each year, the Academy celebrates the cohort successes by organizing the Black Global Diplomacy Summit! Diplomacy experts within different work sectors, young black delegates, individuals that advocate for the community, and Diplomacy Alumni gather together for 4 days to discuss different topics pertaining issues such as multilateralism, human rights, justice and development. Such topics all connect to the main focus, which is working towards the achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals within black communities, as well as expanding the presence of black individuals in diplomacy within a multilateral area.
(Che Latchford: DYLOTT Board Chair | Vibya Natana, Bruce Ruzima, Tolorunlogo Akinrinola - 2023 Black Diplomats Academy Fellows)
Why is the summit important?
As many may see today, black individuals, or minorities in general, are not as present in sectors within the government. According to 2019 Treasury Board Statistics, “Black workers represent the largest group of racialized workers in the federal government at 3.2 percent”, which is less than a quarter of black individuals working in the government as a whole(Brown, 2021). Within this summit, the focus is to have conversations focused on the Sustainable Development Goals surrounding the theme of People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership, and how it can serve as an advantage to black individuals, whilst also focusing on the invoking the United Nations International Decade on People of African Descent (IDPAD). Moreover, such could lead to a door of connections and opportunities for black individuals, especially black youth, within a diplomatic path and practising diplomacy through a multitude of sectors.
(Candies Kotchapaw: Executive Director, Moy Fung: Moderator)
Key Learnings and Takeaways from the Summit
During the summit, a wide range of topics were discussed, which includes the implementation of UNPFPAD, overcoming inequalities with women and youth, Inclusion, Climate Change, and much more! The following testimonials from individuals discuss how the summit has made a positive impact on their lives!
Secretary General Yves Gerard Mehou Loko takeaway: “Throughout the summit, I saw a lot of engagement from youth… Youth is not the future, it is the present!!”
Vibya-Natana (Black Diplomats Academy 2023 Fellow) key takeaway: “With learnings from elders and peers, I am able to see that some of the different solutions to the challenges I am facing are right there in the community”.
Emina Tudakovic, High Commissioner for Canada in Jamaica key takeaway: “You’re seeing a lot of different faces [within diplomacy], and that's what they need to move the world forward in terms of advancing the SDGs, human rights, etc. In addition, Make sure the voices continue to be heard and continue to be advanced. [We need for people interested in the BDA to advocate/speak up so people don’t forget the importance of diplomacy]!”
Zanelle Chisholm (Toronto Metropolitan University Student) key takeaway: “From the summit, I found that] there is already incredible work being done, and that there are people to connect with, and to lean on, to learn from and to build with. Moreover, nothing needs to happen on your own, and there’s a community here that is ready and willing to support and share your knowledge, and it's really just about having the stamina and the courage enough to reach out and participate, be a part of spaces, and engage.”
The Black Diplomats Academy's Global Summit stands as a testament to the power of diversity, inclusivity, and collaboration in shaping the future of diplomacy. It provided a unique platform for Black diplomats and professionals to share their experiences, insights, and innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges. As we reflect on the summit's discussions and achievements, it becomes evident that by amplifying underrepresented voices and fostering cross-cultural understanding, we can create a more just and equitable world. The impact of this summit extends far beyond its duration, as it has ignited a spark of inspiration that will continue to guide the efforts of diplomats and advocates in forging a path towards a brighter, more inclusive global future. The Black Diplomats Academy has set a remarkable precedent, reminding us all that the world becomes richer, more resilient, and more compassionate when we embrace the diversity of voices in the diplomatic arena.
Here’s what you can expect from DYLOTT programs in the last few months of 2023!
Conclusion of the Co-op To Careers in Cybersecurity (C3) Summer Tech Camp
Want to make a difference within your community? #Leadlikeagirl applications are open for the 4th cohort in September! -> https://tally.so/r/nGxVPk
Interested in becoming a part of the BDA? The Black Diplomats Academy applications open in November!
2023 Cohort graduation in December
Annual General Meeting in December
How can you get involved?
Stay Informed: One of the first steps to getting involved is to stay informed about the initiatives and events organized by the Black Diplomats Academy. Follow our social media accounts, subscribe to our newsletters, and regularly check our website for updates on upcoming events, workshops, and opportunities to engage.
Attend Events: Whenever there is a seminar, workshop, or summit organized by the Black Diplomats Academy, consider attending. These events provide a unique platform to learn from experts, network with like-minded individuals, and gain valuable insights into the world of diplomacy.
Advocate for Inclusivity: In your own professional and social circles, advocate for inclusivity and diversity in diplomacy. Encourage open discussions on the importance of different voices in shaping international relations and promote awareness about the work of the Black Diplomats Academy.
Collaborate: If you have ideas, projects, or partnerships that align with the mission of the Black Diplomats Academy, reach out to them. Collaboration can take various forms, from joint initiatives to co-hosting events, and your contributions can have a significant impact.
Share Your Story: If you have personal experiences or insights related to diplomacy, diversity, or international relations, consider sharing your story through guest blog posts, speaking at events, or participating in panel discussions. Your unique perspective can inspire and educate others.
Stay Engaged: Keep the conversation going. Engage with others who are passionate about diplomacy and inclusivity, both within and outside the Black Diplomats Academy's community. Share your knowledge and insights on social media, participate in discussions, and encourage others to join the cause.
Participate: Ready to make your voice heard? Participate in the survey now: (https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/funding/exchanges-canada/exchanges-canada-review.html) By joining this survey, you gain a unique opportunity to express your perspective and directly influence the program's future trajectory. Your insights matter – help us create a more impactful Exchanges Canada Program together!"
Remember that promoting diversity and inclusivity in diplomacy is an ongoing effort that requires collective action. By getting involved with the Black Diplomats Academy, you can play a vital role in shaping a more equitable and inclusive future on the global stage. Your contributions, no matter how small, can make a meaningful difference.