The African Leadership Group recently concluded its eighth public speaking course, and marked the occasion with a wonderful graduation ceremony over Zoom and Facebook Live.
Well over 140 people participated, from across the country and overseas, silently observing, and supporting the graduates, many of whom they had never met. It was a great success.
The public speaking class has become an important part of ALG’s programming. There are many people to thank for its success.
First and most important, I would like to thank the Honorable Cheikh Niang, Senegal’s ambassador to the United Nations, for his gracious and heartfelt opening remarks, which you can read and listen to here. Ambassador, for you, with your busy schedule, to attend and not only celebrate with us but to offer a very impactful message, fills us with gratitude. Humble thanks to you, sir.
Next, I must thank the professor, Madiama Mbaye, who has dedicated so many hours to leading this program over the past five years. Professor, you have always expressed so much joy in this work. No matter how busy you might be, you have never seemed tired, and for your work in this class, which transforms lives, only God can reward you.
To Dr. Anne Keke and Ousman Ba, who acted as co-facilitators, many thanks as well.
And of course, thanks most of all to the students, who make this class what it is. Any current or former public speaking student will tell you that the name of the class does not begin to capture its content or its live-changing nature. It is more of an empowerment class than a public speaking class. It changes lives. Sometimes it feels more like being in a mosque or church than in a class, with someone preaching to you and praying for and with you.
I also want to emphasize that this class is not only for members of the African immigrant community. Our students have been very diverse. Yes, there have been many immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. But there have also been North Africans, African Americans, and Caucasians participating. And this diversity has enriched the program immeasurably.
Our next public speaking classes begins soon, and I urge everyone reading this to register and participate.