MISS AFRICA USA FIFI SOUMAH: Attends The Leon H Sullivan Foundation’s Presidential Banquet in Atlanta

“I make no excuses about it, I am like Robin Hood. I take from the rich and give to the poor. It is high time at last for the world to wake up and do more for Africa.” ( Leon H Sullivan)

The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation empowers underprivileged people worldwide by promoting the principles of self-help and social responsibility.  These goals are the articulation of the vision of the Reverend Leon Howard Sullivan.

Leon H Sullivan Foundation Africa Policy Forum  ‘ A Vision For the 21st Century’

President Olusegun Obasanjo and Ambassador Andrew Young having an interactive discussion with guests at the Africa Policy Forum in Atlanta.

The City of Atlanta played host to biggest Africa Diaspora Event last September. For the first time, the Leon H Sullivan Foundation’s Africa Summit was held outside of Africa and it was no doubt and by no surprise that Atlanta was selected as the host city.  Home of the grand father of the Civil Rights Movement Rev. Martin Luther King, Atlanta is not only diverse, the city is also blessed with plenty of Southern Hospitality.  The Sullivan Summit 2010 themed as ‘The Africa Policy Forum’ pulled together some power houses from the likes of President Olusegun Obasanjo and Ambassador Andrew Young to the Mayor of the City of Atlanta to the everyday African or African American eager to make that connection with the homeland, leverage the network for development and connect with the past.

The City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed learns of his ancestral origin after DNA Testing.

An event which saw a huge number of African-American leaders and members of the public take a DNA testing to trace their roots to the Motherland. Results were announced at the Presidential Gala for Mayor Kasim Reed and other leaders.  The Nigerian Consul General His Excellency Okafor was there to welcome them home. It was quite an awesome experience to witness the leaders receive their results and the excitement in the air, something very unique indeed.

Meet the President and CEO of the Leon H Sullivan Foundation, Hope Sullivan Masters, daughter of the great humanitarian and  activist Leon H Sullivan who is of Late.  Miss Africa USA Fifi Soumah like many women was very inspired by Hope Sullivan Masters, role model for young women of our generation.  Hope’s commitment to continue with the work that her father started with great energy and dedication makes her a very special person.  The impact of the Foundation is felt in the lives of the communities they serve, the lives they uplift and the hope they bring to millions of Africans and Africa diaspora and people around the world.

“This year, and for the first time ever, the Sullivan Foundation organized The Africa Policy Forum: A Vision for the 21st Century, held in Atlanta, GA, intended to bridge the gap between Africa, the U.S. and citizens of both in an event which featured:

  • High level policy forum on the Obama Administration’s policy to Africa
  • Exclusive networking opportunities
  • Exciting entertainment
  • Critical education, health and economic opportunities
  • Celebrities and live cultural events
  • Sports events and much more for four full days in the international tourism capital of Atlanta, Georgia” (courtesy of  Leon H Sullivan Foundation Website”)

Miss Africa USA Fatoumata (Fifi) Soumah attends the Presidential Gala.

The Presidential Gala kicked off with an elegant banquet at the beautiful Marriott Marquee in Downtown Atlanta. The Decor was a splendid display of African ornaments combined with a beautiful layout of  of exotic African fruits and foods as well as Art.  Miss Africa USA 2010 Fifi Soumah from Guinea represented very well, a face of Africa that guests were happy to meet and talk to and learn one or two things about Africa as well as share her platform and project.  Miss Soumah is the first African Queen to address a women’s rights issue plaguing Africa today ‘Female Genital Mutilation’  She was very happy to share her passion with others.

The Miss Africa USA team represented at the Presidential banquet: L _ R, Pageant Manager, Miss Linda Arrey, CEO and Founder of Miss Africa USA and President of African Women’s Development Foundation USA, Lady Kate Njeuma,  a fellow guest and Queen Fifi Soumah, Miss Africa USA, all having a great time at the banquet.

Miss Linda Arrey the Pageant Manager and Miss Africa USA Fifi   Soumah

share a moment with Ambassador Andrew Young

The Banquet was not only entertaining but very informative as well.  An opportunity to hear from the Chairman of the Leon H Sullivan Foundation,  Ambassador Andrew Young,  The Founder and President of the Foundation Hope Sullivan Masters who talked about the work and commitment of her father to bridge the gap between Africa and the United States and how much her vision lives to ensure that her father’s legacy never dies. She is herself a legend for exerting so much energy to ensure that the cause is strengthen day after day and year after year.  The elegantly dressed Hope Sullivan’s speech paid tribute to all sponsors and supporters and the entire team of the Leon H Sullivan Foundation, who are making things happen for the Foundation and world at large, from Coca Cola to Chevron and more.

Miss Africa USA Fifi Soumah was also very happy to meet and chat with the City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.  In his speech at the Presidential Gala, Mayor Reed emphasized the fact that Atlanta remains and International City with great diversity and a rich culture, very hospitable and he welcomes all visitors from around the world who visit Atlanta or who make Atlanta their home.  UP ATL!!!!!!

Pictured above, Ms Engrid Saunders Jones of Coca Cola and Miss Africa USA Fifi Soumah at the Leon H Sullivan Presidential gala in Atlanta GA. Coca Cola is a proud sponsor of the Leon H Sullivan Foundation and Coca Cola Africa Foundation is also doing a lot of humanitarian work in Africa from Clean Water Supply to health care programs and more.  At the Presidential Gala, Ambassador Andrew Young also mentioned that Coca Cola is one of the biggest employers in the Continent of Africa. So Big Up to Coca Cola Africa.

Talking about Coca Cola, pictured above with Miss Africa USA is Dr. Vuvu Manseka also from the Coca Cola Head Quarters. He was introduced at the Banquet by Ms Engrid Saunders Jones as the Chair of the Coca Cola Africa Diaspora Team.  Each year Vuvu organizes the Coca Cola Africa Day at the Coke headquarters in Atlanta, a great networking luncheon event that brings together top management of Coca Cola, African Employees at Coca Cola and leaders in the African Community in Atlanta.  Coca Cola certainly had a strong representation at the Leon H Sullivan ‘Africa Policy Forum.

T. J Holmes CNN Anchor and Miss Africa USA chat at the Leon H Sullivan Foundation’s Presidential Gala.

Actor and Celebrity Host, Isaiah Washington was also in very involved in the 2010 Africa Policy Forum. He is not only a Board member of the Leon H Sullivan Foundation, he is also actively promoting the right to Dual Citizenship for Africa diaspora. Isaiah Washington Made history by being the first African American to have a dual citizenship after DNA testing traced his roots to the beautiful West African Country of Sierra Leone. He is a citizen of Sierra Leone and is doing some amazing humanitarian work, uplifting communities in Sierra Leone.  His presence at the Forum was certainly very inspiring as he shared his story and experience with the guests. The Award winning Actor who starred in ABC’s Greys Anatomy is seen above with Miss Africa USA Fifi Soumah at the Presidential Gala. Queen Fifi was also able to share her platform project with him as well.

Miss Africa USA Fifi Soumah was very happy to meet the staff of Leon H Sullivan Foundation. Pictured above: Ms Angela Chester-Johnson, the Vice President of Strategic Outreach. Ms Angela and her team worked very hard to put together a such a great event.

Also present at the Leon H Sullivan Foundation 2010 Presidential Gala were representatives from the African-American LifeStyle Magazine, a major sponsor of the Miss Africa USA Pageant. The Magazine also covered the event for publication.

It was also great catching up with Ms Lauren Thompson, Assistant to the President of the Leon H Sullivan Foundation pictured above. L-R  Miss Africa USA Pageant Manager Miss Linda Arrey, Ms Lauren Thompson, Mr. Ben Kalala from DRC (Presidential Candidate for DRC upcoming Presidential Elections) and Lady Kate Njeuma, CEO and Founder of Miss Africa USA Scholarship Pageant.

Miss Africa USA Finalists: Miss Kenya , Angela Wambui and Miss Gabon, Coretha Antchouey,  who had ran for the pageant this year were also in attendance at the Presidential Gala. A nice little Miss Africa re-union indeed.

Miss Africa USA Fifi Soumah enjoyed networking with representatives of various non-profit organizations present. Pictured above with Ms Kadiatou Sidibe, the CEO and Founder of A Child For All Incorporated and organization focused on raising an educating orphans in Mali.

Three happy and smiling faces saying CONGRATULATIONS to the Leon H Sullivan Foundation for such a great event: from Left to Right:  Queen Fatoumata (Fifi) Soumah the reigning Miss Africa USA,  My Cameroonian brother Mr. Sam Nyambi from the Coca Cola Headquarters in Atlanta and Lady Kate Njeuma, CEO Miss Africa USA Pageant.

The Presidential Gala night was another successful event in a series of events that translated into the “Africa Policy Forum”  ( A Vision For the 21st Century) drawing thousands of people to network, share, inspire and connect with the motherland.