Actress Viola Davis One Of First Members On U.S. African Diaspora Council

Actress Viola Davis has entered a new role under United States President Joe Biden.

On Tuesday, President Biden announced the 12 inaugural President’s Advisory Council members on African Diaspora Engagement. Among the members chosen by the Secretary of State include The Woman King actress. According to a press release from The White House, council members will provide invaluable guidance to reinforce cultural, social, political, and economic ties between the U.S. and Africa, and promote trade, investment, and educational exchanges between the United States and Africa.”

The White House named Davis in the press release and described her as “a critically revered artist, activist, producer, philanthropist, and New York Times best-selling author.” The EGOT winner dedicated her artistry to her and her husband’s production company, JuVee Productions. They launched their company in 2012 to create innovative and socially relevant content for global audiences. The Julliard graduate’s commitment to social justice landed her the Public Counsel’s William O. Douglas Award in 2022.

Along with Davis, the council’s members include 11 other individuals of the African Diaspora across the U.S., Africa, and the Caribbean, who have been leaders in government, sports, creative industries, business, academia, social work, and faith-based activities.

Inaugural members of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement include

  • Mimi E. Alemayehou, Washington, D.C.
  • Rosalind Brewer, Georgia
  • Viola Davis, Rhode Island
  • Helene D. Gayle, Georgia
  • Patrick Hubert Gaspard, New York
  • C.D. Glin, Connecticut
  • Osagie Imasogie, Pennsylvania
  • Almaz Negash, California
  • Chinenye Joy Ogwumike, Texas
  • Ham K. Serunjogi, California
  • Kevin Young, Washington, D.C.

The appointed leaders have been selected for the 2023–2025 term under Rev. Dr. Silvester Scott Beaman, who will serve as Chair of the Council.

Plans to establish the council were announced in December 2022 during President Biden’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which Vice President Kamala Harris announced on behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration. As previously reported by BLACK ENTERPRISE, the summit included a private meeting hosted by Africa House where Black mayors, business leaders, and investors from the U.S. gathered with African ministers, organization heads, and executives.

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