Birthright AFRICA is on a mission to reconnect Africa and the diaspora. The same way Taglit-Birthright offers trips to Israel for young American Jews, the Birthright AFRICA, In partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), offers a program for people of the African diaspora.
How the journey began
In 2005, Walla Elsheikh, former banker, who grew up in Uganda, Sudan, and Sweden, heard about a Taglit trip, and this gaver her the idea to register the domain Birthright AFRICA. She then connected with Ashley Johnson, an artist from Chicago, through social media, and they came together to bring the idea to life. The two travelled to Ghana in 2016, met local entrepreneurs and saw relevant sights. They were then able to launch the program in 2017, and financed a trip to Ghana for seven young scholars.
The 2017 pilot group
“In partnership with the City University of New York (CUNY), and the CUNY Black Male Initiative (BMI) which increases the educational success of underrepresented young men and women of color, Birthright AFRICA selected 7 Scholars of African descent. They explored their cultural roots and legacy of innovation in NYC and DC in June and July before the 10 day trip to Ghana in August 2017.
An important part of Birthright AFRICA’s mission is working to counter stereotypes and oversimplified narratives about African countries and allowing for its descendants to reconnect to their roots.
10 Scholars will be selected from CUNY BMI to participate in the Summer 2018 program and receive the free birthright opportunity to explore their cultural roots and legacy of innovation. Learn more about Birthright Africa via their website.