Undertaking the Daughters’ Mission

from Rosetta E. Ross

When The Daughters of the African Atlantic Fund Corporation organized in 2013 it set before itself a broad agenda of connecting the academic community in which most of the founders were situated with the vision that women descended from Africa might live into a future of safety, creativity, freedom, and boldness without penalty. Deliberation over the organization’s name and settling on the importance of “African Atlantic” reflects our understanding that realities impacting the bodies and minds of Africa’s global daughters has everything to do with the intersection of gender, the invented category race, and the mercantile passages of people between the African continent and elsewhere, by way of the Atlantic Ocean.

Whether it is the never resolved kidnapping of school girls from Chibok town in Borno State, Nigeria; or the abusive handling of a teenager (Shakara) at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina; or the tenure, promotion, and salary games in our various institutions; or verbally attacking the First Lady for mentioning “racial disparities”; or the reality of human trafficking and disproportionate representation of black girls in this tragedy – intersectionality affects the bodies and minds of Africa’s daughters.

At the same time, we are well aware of the awfully privileged position we hold as persons whose lived realities allow us to choose whether we will give our time and energy to creating and developing an organization such as this one. Our vision, while broad enough to include ourselves, arises from recognizing the discursive relationship of scholarship and learning to realities we sometimes write about, sometimes think about, and sometimes ignore.

To begin responding to these realities, The Daughters will award two to three small scholarships this fiscal year.

We invite you to join us in envisioning and realizing partnerships that connect our critical and creative thinking to organizations providing micro-grants and micro-loans to enable self-sufficiency; scholarships that make acquiring an education a reality; relief support that makes leaving abusive homes possible; conferences that allow conversation and learning across African Atlantic geographies; and more.

Lift Off! Daughters of the African Atlantic Fund Launch

We envision that African descended women and girls are fully protected
to live freely, work creatively, and dream boldly.

Lift Off: It had been an exciting time of “visioning and planning” for well over a year as the Daughters of the African Atlantic Fund (The Daughters) welcomed over seventy faculty colleagues, graduate students, administrators and friends to its launch breakfast at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting in San Diego on November 22, 2014. We marked this time together with a welcome litany written by board director Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon who challenged us to “do the work that makes the best within us better in our time….”

Sharing Our Work in Community: Founded in 2013, The Daughters organized to enhance the life of continental and diasporan African Women and girls through partnerships with religious and theological agencies and institutions. At the launch breakfast, Chair of the Board, Dr. Rosetta E. Ross was able to announce the first project, a fundraising campaign to complete one residence/dorm wing at the Talitha Qumi Center (TQC) of the Trinity Theological Seminary in Legon, Accra, Ghana. Many present at the launch were quite familiar with the work of Professor Mercy Oduyoye who organized the TQC to provide a wide range of gender programming to enhance women’s lives. Professor Oduyoye has developed a network across the religious spectrum including Christian, Muslim and Indigenous women (and men) who participate in and support her work at TQC and beyond. In addition, the TQC hosts national and international women’s meetings as well as scholars traveling from around the world to complete research in Ghana. A slide deck of the TQC site was prepared by Dr. Angela Sims and shown during the launch breakfast – the slide deck and pictures were a site of memory for many present who had attended consultations or conducted research at TQC in the past.

Stay Tuned: The breakfast launch was an opportunity for The Daughters to offer food and fellowship as a practice of hospitality. In doing so, we gained so much – we enjoyed laughter, community, and the sharing of new ideas as we move toward our project fundraising goal of $50,000. Our efforts to reach this goal will ensure completion of the dorm’s construction and other enhancements including furnishings.

Our website has recently been updated and refreshed; we invite you to visit us at www.africanatlanticdaughters.com regularly for updates and ways to make electronic contributions in the future.