Highlights from the 2017 Pan-African Weekend NYC Produced by Babu

Face2face Africa’s 2017 Pan-African Weekend took place in New York City July 13-16. Presented by Prudential and Toyota, the event brought the pan-African community closer together with a riveting four-day program that left everyone empowered, invigorated and optimistic about the future.

The festivity kicked off on Thursday, July 13th with the inaugural Pan-African Women Forum, where trailblazing women of African descent gathered to share their journeys. The event took place at the Sheraton New York Times Square and featured two powerful panel sessions, one on Business and Technology, and the other on Fashion and Entertainment.

The panelists shared their experiences on what it’s like to be a woman of African descent in today’s world, and how they’ve managed to climb up the ladders of success in their various industries, shattering glass ceilings along the way.

After the panel discussions, there was a cocktail networking session that provided the opportunity for guests to connect intimately, as well as engage with partners of the event.

The weekend festivity continued on Friday, July 14th at the Novotel Hotel Supernova Lounge with the “IAAPA” Networking Mixer, where over 300 professionals gathered for intimate networking over cocktails and music. “IAAPA” is one of Face2face Africa’s staple events, and has been held every quarter in NYC for the past 6 years. It is the longest running networking mixer series for pan-African professionals in NYC.

On Saturday, guests stepped out in their best red-carpet outfits for the FACE List Awards Gala, the biggest celebration of pan-African achievement. As the capstone event of the pan-African Weekend, the FACE List Awards was an exciting and memorable night for the pan-African community. The Rev. Dr. Al Sharpton, in his inspirational acceptance speech for the Icon Award, reminded us all that Africa is the home of mankind, regardless of the color of our skin, and we should never forget that.

Congolese NBA player Serge Ibaka, who received the Humanitarian Award, reflected on his journey and humble beginnings and encouraged us to trust and believe that with hard work and faith, anything is possible. Other honorees included Tuma Basa of Spotify, Mimi Alemayehou of Black Rhino Group, Beverly Bond of Black Girls Rock, and Adenah Bayoh of Adenah Bayoh & Co.

In addition to the inspirational honoree acceptance speeches, Grammy award-winning musician Wyclef Jean‘s performance was one of the highlights of the evening. Wyclef rocked the stage with a rendition of some of his classics such as “911”, as well as his new hit song, “What Happened to Love”. His performance was electrifying.

The weekend concluded on Sunday with an intimate Jazz Brunch at Supernova Lounge, where Acute Inflections performed for guests.

In its 6th annual edition, the Pan-African Weekend  is  truly leading the way in bridging the gap within the pan-African community and changing the narrative on Africa and people of African descent. Over 1000 people attended the events, and it was great to see representation from different states as well as other countries.

The 2017 Pan-African Weekend was sponsored by Prudential, Toyota, Guinness USA, and Brussels Airlines.  For more information on the Pan-African Weekend, visit www.panafricanweekend.com.