Updated: Sep 26
In the heart of New York's bustling midtown, where the towering structures of Manhattan
intertwine with the ideals of international diplomacy, I can always depend on the events of September to deliver a window in to a world of possibilities like no other. My film and television production studio, strategically nestled amongst the world's embassies and blocks from the United Nations, provides me with a window into the global change and progress the United Nation’s General Assembly Promises.
However, it is the final week of the UN that I most look forward to. Peppered with powerful panel discussions, intentional investment forums, and social outings fit for royalty, for me, the end of the general assembly signals a new beginning as we leaders from around the world converge on our iconic streets, and New York‘s east side is transformed into an international freeway of possibilities. It is the time that leaders from diverse backgrounds, representing the mosaic of our global community, gather to share ideas, forge partnerships, and work towards a brighter, unified future.
Of the most memorable events I attended, The National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) stood as a testament to the dedication of individuals worldwide to create lasting change. In partnership with Enyo International and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Malawi, the event laid the foundation for meaningful dialogue and actionable solutions. The Africa Investment Luncheon Summit (AILS) further facilitated these conversations, bridging the gap between traditional and non-traditional investors, all with a keen eye on Africa's vast potential.
Presiding over the discussions was His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi. With him, a delegation of formidable African leaders from around the continent, including President Felipe Nyusi of Mozambique and Prime Minister Sam Matekane of Lesotho, who I had the honor of meeting. Their mission? To illuminate the myriad investment opportunities across the African continent.
The summit resonated with the voices of African American CEOs and potential investors, all
keen on molding a prosperous future for Africa in diverse sectors, from health and technology to tourism and entertainment.
It wasn't just heads of states and investors that left an indelible mark on me, however. The
impassioned voice of civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump echoed the global call for justice and equity. Advocating for the civil rights of Black Americans, Crump, affectionately known as “Black America’s Attorney General,” the importance of unity and mutual support between the African continent and its diaspora.
I am honored to be among two business leaders Mr. Crump introduced from the podium in an intentional effort to inspire collaboration between Africa and iWoman TV; a level of support I wish more of us would show one another. The other shout-out was directed at the chief of staff to Robert Smith, the richest Black man in America.
One of the week's most heartfelt moments was reconnecting with my dear friend and beacon of hope, Queen Diambi of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Queen’s unyielding efforts in advocating for women and girls and championing clean water initiatives are a testament to her dedication. A surprise visit from Wyclef Jean, who has been a staunch supporter of Queen Diambi's mission and the broader goal of global well-being, was the cherry on top of an already remarkable gathering. The Queen and I are working on a much anticipated documentary about her life’s work and aspirational journey, which I can't wait to share with the world. Fun fact: Queen Diambi is actually “King” of the DRC; a story in itself.
Sandra Wilkin, Cathleen, Queen Diambi, Elle Watson, and Rebecca Seawright at high tea
In true royal style, my week ended the way it started, on a high note; having high tea at the luxurious Baccarat Hotel with her Royal Highness and a few close friends, including New York Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright, Vice Chair of CUNY, Sandra Wilkin, and Elle Watson, Chairwoman of One Congo River, and internationally revered fine artist, Dionn Renee’ who was commissioned by Sony Pictures to create the The Woman King movie poster.
The Woman King poster art Queen Diambi of the Democratic Republic of Congo Dionn Renee
As I reflect on the powerful week, it’s not just the events and meetings that linger in my mind, but the palpable sense of responsibility. Each one of us, from world leaders to everyday citizens, carries the torch of hope and change. We're all stewards of this planet, and it's upon us to ensure that everyone, irrespective of borders or backgrounds, has the right to a life devoid of poverty, discrimination, and injustice.
Through iWoman TV, I am on a mission to make the world a better place by uniting female content creators and storytellers to help change the narrative for the underserved and underrepresented, lending a voice to the voiceless, so that we may have a more equitable, fair, and just future for all.
With gratitude for the week gone by and optimism for the future, I share this beautiful reminder of our collective mission: to heal our planet. uplift its people. and create a world founded on love, unity, and justice.