Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 9:30am

On September 9, Mercy’s Bronx Campus was the scene of a joyous and affirming celebration of a watershed event known as African Union Day. The Campus provided a space for the African Union Day Foundation (AUDF) to host the day’s festivities, which brought awareness of the African diaspora contribution to the local communities in which they serve.

The AUDF was founded by a group of Africans and Americans of African descent who prompted the New York City Council to officially recognize African Union Day beginning in 2007. Annual celebrations throughout the country illuminate the purpose of African Union Day, which is to demonstrate that Africans in the United States are a cohesive body and collective unit with one voice, deserving of recognition in the community, educational institutions and the political process.

During the event, the AUDF presented a declaration to honor the exemplary leadership and supreme sacrifices of Captain Mbaye Diagne of Senegal and US soldier Private Emmanuel Mensah. The tribute demonstrated gratitude for their contributions to the African journey and African accomplishments in the United States.

In partnership with AUDF, Mercy invited a roster of community influencers, ranging from African diplomats to local politicians and business leaders, to give remarks. All spoke of the incredible sacrifices and progress made by Africans in America, and of the hopefulness they have for future generations to continue their legacy.

Sheikh Musa Drammeh, Chairman of the AUDF and a prominent leader in the Bronx community, was a standout speaker during the program. He is grateful for the partnership with Mercy, and reflected on the day by saying, “Some of the top African and Muslim leaders in New York attended the African Union Day celebration and saw the synergy between our organization and Mercy. African and Muslim immigrants are among the fastest growing families in the city, particularly in the Bronx, and we are happy to help make Mercy College a household name in our communities.”

Dr. Cecil D. Wright, Executive Director of Recruitment for Mercy’s Bronx and Manhattan Campuses, also participated in the program, and emphasized Mercy’s dedication to meeting the educational needs of AUDF constituents.

“The community in which the Bronx Campus is situated is one of the fastest growing segments of the African diaspora,” Wright said. “Mercy is committed to making college affordable and accessible to this community, which has made so many sacrifices. Mercy recognizes and appreciates these contributions.”

Several Bronx city council members and other local politicians attended the celebration. They, along with local business owners who are making great improvements to provide employment opportunities and support services for the African community, were acknowledged for their efforts. “These leaders are helping the African community find a place where their voices can be heard, and where they can continue making their extraordinary contributions to American society,” said Wright.

Mercy President Tim Hall shared Wright’s sentiments. “Mercy has long been committed to providing pathways to success for individuals from all backgrounds,” he said. “Education is the most powerful social mobility tool, and Mercy is proud to provide the African community access to inclusive educational resources and opportunities so that they continue to make great strides.”

African Union Day

African Union Day II