My name is Nonie Williams. I am the Founder and President of “The New Passage Foundation”. Our organization was recently established in response to the world that we find ourselves living in today. My vision is to connect the African Diaspora by planting the seeds of friendship between communities separated by distance for generations to come. Over many years, the African Diaspora has established, and continues to establish, roots all over the world.
The African Diaspora is comprised of approximately 210 million people worldwide. Just to give you an idea of how large the African Diaspora is, here are a few population statistics. This list is not exhaustive:
Now more than ever, is the time for young minds of the African Diaspora to embark on “The New Passage” to experience, learn, and connect with each other. I myself have benefited greatly from my encounters with members of the African Diaspora when traveling, studying, working, and living abroad in Australia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Israel, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Central America, Europe, and Qatar.
On those journeys, I was often the first African-American that many people had ever encountered in their lifetime. It is my vision to help grow the number of these encounters by and between the vast African Diaspora in a meaningful way. It is our vision to build meaningful partnership and scholarship programs that are designed to provide students a passage to access, navigate, and begin their own journeys to discovering the African Diaspora. Our African roots run deep and wide across this planet and so do the opportunities for us to connect.
My professional work experience is somewhat diverse. I have acquired a unique combination of experience in U.S. domestic health, global health, business development, health informatics, and clinical research. Over the years, I have provided leadership services and support to non-profit and humanitarian organizations in the U.S. and Africa to help them establish high-impact partnerships, implement strategies to promote organizational expansion, and promote the vision of their organizations in diverse venues – from large international and United Nations conferences, to innovative sponsorships from the private sector.
I have a Master of Science from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Health Policy and Informatics and completed advanced studies in Clinical and Translational Research Investigations at Weill Cornell Medical College. I also have a Master of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, and completed language studies in Arabic, Hebrew, and Turkish from The Ohio State University. My studies in Arabic included studies at the American University in Cairo Egypt and Yarmouk University in Irbid Jordan.
I also serve as an advisor to the Esther’s Aid Board of Directors based the Kigali Rwanda establishing partnerships and programs to support education, skills training, and health and nutrition for victims of genocide and sex trafficking. I am a former Peace Corps volunteer and served in Ethiopia. I also have lived and worked abroad in Jordan, Egypt, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Qatar. This included work in West Africa during the Ebola Crisis. My unique combination of work and academic experience has provided a solid foundation for understanding international and business partnership developments.
Sarah Bobrow-Williams is a community planner, program developer, educator, and social entrepreneur. Her work with community-based organizations in northern New Mexico, the South Carolina Sea Islands, the southern Black Belt region and the Mississippi Delta has centered on cultivating cooperative economies and livelihoods that protect and advance indigenous and cultural knowledge and lifestyles rooted in the interdependence of human and ecological systems, human and civil rights, and cultural self-determination. As a university faculty member and a founder of Goddard College's MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability, and as a social entrepreneur, Sarah is engaged in creating and supporting transdisciplinary tools and collaborations that generate socially and ecologically sustainable ways of living and being in community, and, in cultivating multi-media platforms for creative expression and engagement, civic dialogue and related policy. Sarah serves on the boards of the Georgia Cooperative Development Center, 4Walls International, Social Justice Tours, the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Economic and Social Justice, Tuskegee University’s Professional Agricultural Workers Conference and on the Goddard College Union and Faculty Council. She is owner of Bobrow-Williams Group LLC community planning firm and JUSTice Pops social enterprise. You can learn more about Sarah's faculty and board appointments by clicking on the links below:
Myron Adoteye is the Founder and Principal of Aya Enterprises LLC, a capital markets firm sourcing debt & equity for middle market real estate developers. In his tenure, he has also been the Managing Partnerof Eye Street Capital, an exempt reporting advisory firm focused on multifamily and residential real estate development in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he co-founded Eye Street Investments, a firm focused on equities markets, residential real estate investment, and venture capital. He also worked for REIS (now acquired by Moody’s), consulting banks, REITS, and developers and institutional investors across the country on property and market intelligence in all sectors of commercial real estate. He is certified in REIS 2.0 Subscriber Edition Data Analysis and acquired his Life, Accident & Health, Series 7 & 66 licenses.
He also serves as a guest venture capital judge and business mentor for the Georgetown University Law School Entrepreneurship Practicum and a member of the Diversity in Commercial Real Estate Conference Host Committee which runs the largest diverse commercial real estate conference in the country. Myron received his MBA in Management & Entrepreneurship, as well as his Bachelor of Science in Marketing & Communications at Fordham University. Myron is a part of the African Diaspora with roots in Ghana.
Justus Uwayesu, Founder and Executive Director of SEVEN United (SUN)
A service-driven young man whose passion has always been to spread the light of hope to those left behind. Justus is our key partner Rwanda and will help us to expand our culture and education programs at his organization SEVEN United (SUN). His enduring courage has taken SEVEN United for the Needy from one high school to more than 10 schools in 4 different countries. He aspires to see a world in which young people take the lead in fighting poverty and in building sustainable economic and social development. His life has always been a testimony of what a person can do if he strives to, regardless of his background. Justus is a graduate of Harvard University with a B.A. in Economics with a minor in French. He also has a M.S. from Tsinghua University in China. He is Interested in efficient capital allocation and financial inclusion as essential factors in accelerating the growth. He has 8-years of experience in social enterprise management and has won many awards commitment to helping unlock human potential. Recent awards include the IDEA Award. A 2016 Cheng Fellow in the Social Innovation + Change Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. You can read more about Justus's accomplishment here.
Dr. Signaevsky is the founder of NeuroSilica Inc. Dr. Signaevsky’s research interests in neuroscience with a focus on developing an Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning platform for diagnosis and quantification of neurodegenerative disease as well as developing an interface between the brain, its neural network, and computing devices.
Dr. Signaevsky has received his medical (MD) and research (Ph.D.) training in Russia and The Netherlands and moved to North America to pursue his life-long goals of solving fundamental medical problems. His first foray into the clinical research involved exploratory projects in cancer research, which led to a series of papers and patents. Later, Dr. Signaevsky successfully completed a five-year neuropathology residency at the University of British Columbia. It was followed by a fellowship in neurodegenerative diseases, and subsequently, by a fellowship in Brain Banking at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY.
Dr. Signaevsky is also a recipient of a NIH/NIA Career Development in the Neuropathology of AD Award. He is also the founder and inventor of NeuroSilica, Inc. in 2015, to lead the R&D of brain-computer interface.