A Conversation on the Politics and Realities in Ghana and the Year of Return

“Despite much celebrated economic growth, Ghana is still a difficult place economically, socially and politically for the millions who call it home.”“This year, when law students protested against the unfair legal education system, they were met with heavy-handed policing, rubber bullets and water canons. When the BBC revealed in #SexForGrades, an undercover investigation, that lecturers at universities where sexually harassing and assaulting female students, the Ghanaian media gave the perpetrators a platform to defend their actions and blame female students.

Edem Ntumy political activist & founder of ethical & political clothing line Sassy Apparel UK

“Whilst in the Diaspora, Black people continue to face racist discrimination that impacts all aspects of their lives, from housing to education and the jobs market. Black people are over-policed as citizens and there is no accountability for the violence we experience.”

These words come Edem Barbara Ntumy, a political activist and founder of ethical and political clothing line Sassy Apparel UK.`

She’s keen to take this discussion to Accra, Ghana on Saturday 28 December 2019 from 19:30 to 22.30, and is collaborating with MisBeee Writes, and Sassy Apparel UK but needs your help.

This free event is called: “A Conversation on the Politics and Realities in Ghana and the Year of Return” and will feature artists and activists living in Ghana and from the diaspora. The panellist are as follows:

Leonie Mills

Leonie Mills has a passion for politics and studied the subject alongside security studies for her first degree. She is currently studying an MSc in Security, Leadership and Society within King’s College London’s African Leadership Centre. Between her degrees, she worked in social media marketing and advertising for multinational brands and a business consultancy that specialises in gender diversity. Outside of that Leonie is a keen photographer and blogs about politics, in a bid to keep young people informed about current affairs and global issues. She also assists with The Young Politicians and Leaders Network as the women’s officer.

Abeku Adams

Abeku Adams is a ‘histoactivist’ who uses historical knowledge and ideas as instruments to transform society.  He is a farmer and a Pan-Africanist whose life purpose revolves around community development and forging a nation-building attitude in the youth. He is a life coach with a focus on attitude, leadership, volunteerism, community service and literacy.

Barbara Ntumy

Barbara Ntumy is a political activist and commentator whose work ranges from feminism, anti-racism, anti-cuts and sexual health. She’s the founder of Sassy Apparel formerly Sassy Tees, what she calls an extension of her political activism. Sassy Apparel is a lifestyle clothing brand dedicated to expressing politics, black cultural identity and celebrating pop culture. Barbara believes life is inherently political, so let your clothes do the talking.
Platform for discussion

The panellist and audience will discuss how relevant the Year of Return is to Ghanaians and what the realities are of living in Ghana and in the Diaspora. If the idea of returning is as simple as the Year of Return would like us to believe, will this damage relations between the two groups and is the Diaspora looking to return to avoid racism?

Fundraising

Edem is raising money to cover the cost of her flight, as it is particularly high due to the Year of Return demand.

She said: “This conversation is timely given that Ghana has declared 2019 as The Year of Return, for Africans in the Diaspora and Ghana too to mark 400 years since the first enslaved African arrived in Jamestown Virginia.”

Edem works with minority communities on sexual and reproductive health in the UK, who has been operating an ethical and political clothing line, called Sassy Apparel since 2015. She has experienced racism and sexism after moving from Ghana to the UK 13 years ago.

“I have spent the last seven years doing anti-racist work, strengthening Black liberation resolve and speaking out against sexism among many other things,” she said. “From leading the National Union of Students one million Black students membership, to speaking about racism and sexism on Channel 4 News.

“It has become increasingly clear to me that it is critical to build dialogue in Ghana with Ghanaians and the Diaspora that creates the conditions in which people do not feel the need to accept things as they are. This is all about empowerment and inspiration – it was events like this that got me involved as a young person! Now I want to pass on the baton!”

To support Edem’s fundraising efforts, click here.

To register for the event, click here.

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