Beatrice Acheleke Honored with The 2009 World Diversity Leadership Summit “Freedom and Justice” Award

Beatrice headshot

Beatrice Acheleke, founder and leader of the Black European Women’s Council was honored at the 2009 World Diversity Leadership Summit this month in Washington, DC. Ms. Acheleke is a mother, executive director of AFRA, a non-profit, non governmental self-organisation and NGO of Black Women with headquarters in Vienna, Austria, and an inspiration to Black women everywhere.

Previous honorees include Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic and leader of the Czech Velvet Revolution against Communist Rule.

The World Diversity Leadership Summit conference is the world’s leading gathering of senior corporate executives, leading experts and policymakers focused on global and local diversity best practices. Conference partners included some of the largest and most respected companies and media outlets n the world.

The Black Women in Europe Blog and Social Network, and Women of the African Diaspora website and social network is proud to know Beatrice and have her as a member of our community! We salute you and congratulate you!

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Black European Women’s Council Elects its Management Board



Beatrice Achaleke, President elect of the Black European Women’s Council (BEWC)
BEWC Secretariat details:
Telephone ++43 1 9660 425

Black European Women’s Council Elects its Management Board

Vienna, Austria, 14 April 2009

The third Europe-wide meeting of the Black European Women’s Council – BEWC took place in
Soesterberg/Utrecht, The Netherlands, from 9th-11th of April 2009.

This meeting brought together 31 member organisations of the BEWC from 12 EU Member States. The opening session of the meeting focused on a Capacity Building Conference for BEWC Member Organisations coming from Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The conference started with the development of the BEWC Mission Statement.

“BEWC was defined as a vehicle for the recognition and the visibility of Black Women in Europe, through which they can reach their optimum potential.”

During BEWC General Assembly, participants jointly developed a BEWC strategic plan consisting of a BEWC “elevator pitch” (a focused message concise enough to get across in the length of an elevator ride); funding proposals for a BEWC implementation programme; specific commitments of the working groups; a schedule for the adoption of proposals, resolutions and the election of the Management Board.

On the second day of the BEWC General Assembly, participants and delegates elected the Management Board of BEWC, their alternates. 9 EU Member States are represented on the Management Board of the BEWC.

The first Management Board meeting that followed the elections appointed the Executive team as follows:

President: Beatrice Achaleke (Austria), Vice President: Yvette Jarvis (Greece), Treasurer: Hellen Felter (The Netherlands) and the Secretary: Sandrine Joseph (France).

In her first speech as the newly-elected president, Beatrice Achaleke, reminded BEWC members of the distance the organization had come since the first Black European Women’s Congress in Vienna in 2007, organized in the framework of the EU Year of Equal Opportunities for All. In 2008 during the EU Year Intercultural Dialog, the strategic meeting of the BEWC was also hosted in Vienna, focusing on developing goals and establishing a constitution. That same year, the group officially launched the BEWC in Brussels in cooperation with the European Economic and Social Committee.

“Today,” Achaleke said, “we have shown our determination and capacity to stand up for the rights of, the recognition and full inclusion of Black Women in their diversity in European debates. The journey within the European Union framework and/or European Commission institutions is still very long, but I am more than convinced, we are ready for the challenge.”

The General Assembly came to a close with a priority plan of action focusing on institutionalising the BEWC in Brussels and defining areas of work for the next few years.

The priorities include:
• Setting up its headquarters equipped with the needed staff in Brussels;
• Capacity building;
• Female empowerment;
• Youth leadership/empowerment strategies;
• Women’s health issues.

Annual reports and data on the situation of Black Women and Communities in Europe. The BEWC intends to achieve these priorities within existing EU and national legal frameworks and programs combined with effective networking, lobbying and partnership with EU institutions and other European and international networks.

The BEWC General Assembly furthermore passed a Resolution with regards to the ongoing European Women’s Lobby’s 50/50 campaign, urging the campaign to take into consideration the diversity of Europe, with particular reference on visible minorities.

Also inline with the Vienna Declaration of Black European Women, a letter of support was drafted to the main opposition political party Fine Gael in Ireland. The BEWC letter of support is in favour of Ms. Benedicta Attoh’s candidate to the upcoming municipal elections in Ireland.

The Black European Women’s Council, BEWC, is a European-wide Umbrella Organisation of Black European Women. Initiated by AFRA and co-organised by TIYE International, the 1st Black European Women’s Congress took in the Framework of the European Year of Equal Opportunities 2007.

The founding partners are:
AFRA – International Center for Black Women’s Perspectives in Austria
TIYE International, the platform umbrella NGO of National organisations of Black, Migrant and Refugee Women in The Netherlands.

For additional information on the BEWC contact:
Ms. Beatrice Achaleke
BEWC President elect

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Call for Nominations Black European Women in Leadership and the Black European Leadership Award 2009

Dear All!

The need to highlight, raise awareness on and to celebrate achievements and successes of Black European Women from a self-empowerment perspective has been repaeted on several occasions. It is fact that there are many Black European Women in decisionmaking and leadership positions in different Member States of the European Union.

However their contributions and achievements still remain largely invisible. Therefore AFRA and its partners think that it is high time to pick up this challenge from a self empowerment perspective and adress it within the framework of the European Year on Innovation and Creativity 2009.

For this reason we are currently working on our next book with the title: “100 Black European Women in Leadership”. This project aims at gathering data on 100 Black European Women in leadership and decision-making positions in Europe under categories like Politics, Entrepreneurship, Academics and Research, Arts and Culture, Sports, Media, etc. and publishing a book on these black European role models in all their rich diversity.

With this we would very much need your support and would appreciate it if you could recommend us any women you know operating in the above mentioned categories. May be you yourself are one of them.
The deadline for recommendations will be the 20th of 27th if Febraury 2009. Later on a jury is going to decide upon the 100 Black European Women to be considered in the book.

In October 2009 AFRA and its partners intend to organise the “European Diversity, Innovation and Creativity Week 2009” in Brussels within the framework of the European Year 2009 on Innovation and Creativity. In the context of this event the book will be presented and combined with the “Black European Leadership Award (BELA)”- and the “Global Diversity Award Europe 2009 (GDA-EU)” – Gala Evening during which selected personalities and institutions will be honoured for their contributions.

For further information we gladly will be at your service and are looking forward to getting in personal contact with you.

Let´s make a change.

With best greetings from Vienna,

Beatrice Achaleke – Executive Director
– AFRA — International Center for Black Women’s Perspectives
– Initiator Black European Women’s Council-BEWC
– Trägerin des österreichischen Bundesehrenzeichen 2008

Graumanngasse 7/D/1, 1150 Wien
Tel/Fax: +43 1 9660 425
ZVR-Zahl: 488597767

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the
ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
(Barack Obama)

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Read and Listen to the Voices of Black European Women

“„Voices of Black European Women V1: Reflections, Challenges and Strategies from first black european women congress” is a collection of reflections and strategies from the participants of the Bruxelles Congress …

What makes this book so unique is that it is a book from Black Women, about Black Women from their very own perspectives. As you read the different contributions and biographies of each author, you realise how diverse and unique each one of them is, even though they are all black and talk about Black Women.

98 pages
Black European Publishers
Vienna, Austria, September 2008

Want a copy? Click here

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