Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) and chairperson for the National African American Reparations Commission (NAARC), delivered a glimpse into the upcoming State of the Black World Conference V during an exclusive interview with The Final Call.

The conference will bring together African American, African, and diasporic leaders to discuss a range of issues. The conference theme is, “Global Africans Rising: Empowerment, Reparations and Healing,” and will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center from April 19-23.

Dr. Ron Daniels, President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW21) Photo: Twitter

Dr. Daniels calls the gathering his “crown jewel and legacy project.” Attendees will have access to an impressive lineup of luminaries, activists and leaders from around the world with diverse areas of expertise who will be discussing content on various topics critical to Black people in the U.S. and abroad. “Bring your insight and engage in meaningful conversations about current affairs that matter most right now,” Dr. Daniels said.

Topics during the conference include, “The State of Democracy and Development in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and South America,” “The State of the Global Reparations Movement: The Way Forward,” and more. There are also plans for a Student and Young Leaders Caucus and various plenary sessions and workshops on socially responsible Black business and economic development, gentrification, Haiti, and a Hip-Hop summit.


“The State of the Black World Conference is more than just a space for analysis—it’s an opportunity to create tangible change. Participants come together as resource persons and leave with tools in hand.  This toolkit can be used on the ground, within their communities and organizations, towards healing, empowerment, and progress of all Black families, communities, and nation,” he emphasized.

“Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Honorable P.J. Patterson, will deliver a keynote address on the opening day. Barbados Prime Minister, the Honorable Mia Amor Mottley, will deliver a major address on Reparations.  Influential speakers Jackie Patterson from the NAACP and Baba Akili from Public Accountability will address environmental issues, plus Asada Richardson from Sankofa Institute in Houston, Texas, is facilitating an exploration into gentrification; this event is one not to be missed,” he added.

Other participants will include George Fraser, Ph.D., founder and CEO of FraserNet and author of “Success Runs in our Race,” “Race for Success,” and “Click: Connecting the Dots.”  

Pastor Michael McBride and Dr. Dorothy Johnson Speight are at the forefront of a campaign to address gun violence, an epidemic affecting many communities across America, and will be participating. 

“Working with Live Free Network and Mothers In Charge, respectively, they have dedicated themselves to turning pain into purpose to terminate this devastating issue.  Through their efforts, we can expect informative and interactive content—we all must come together as a society if there is any hope for meaningful change,” Dr. Daniels noted.

“The tragic murder of Tyre Nichols has spurred a renewed call for reimagining public safety and law enforcement. Coalition-building among activists dedicated to decreasing police presence in our daily lives is happening nationwide, spearheaded by Ron Hampton—former executive director of the National Black Police Association, an ex-police officer, and current IBW board member.  Join this passionate community as they work together towards creating meaningful change,” Dr. Daniels pointed out. 

“Our journey to reduce racial injustice begins with restructuring the criminal punishment system.  Join us in revolutionizing our current approach and ending hundreds of years of oppression against our Black community.  Together we can build a new, more equitable path forward—one that’s been long overdue since America’s founding.  Come make history with us; the potential for real change is limitless.”

Dr. Melina Abdullah

Social justice activists Dr. Melina Abdullah and Angela Austin will also be present to share information on how participants can become more involved in the movement for Black lives locally and globally. They have been integral figures in the Black Lives Matter movement for social change. “Whether you’re already involved or just learning about what it means for Black lives to matter, this session is sure not to disappoint,” said Dr. Daniels.

Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo will also be in attendance. “As one of Africa’s foremost political figures, His Excellency was invited to deliver a keynote address at this momentous gathering that seeks to elevate collective progress in the African diaspora communities worldwide,” Dr. Daniels said.

In 1994, the African American Progressive Action Network (AAPAN) brought together a national group of activists, organizers, and scholars in Baltimore for their inaugural State of the Race Conference.  This gathering ultimately led to AAPAN’s launch of IBW – Institute of The Black World 21st Century during their third convening at Sojourner Douglass College in 2001, followed by another successful conference held in Atlanta two years later.

In 1997, the State of the Race Conference was hosted by Sojourner Douglass College to discuss pressing matters. This launched a more extensive series of conferences focused on Black American issues and went international with its first State of the Black World Conference in 2001, held in Atlanta.  For two decades since then, IBW has met annually.

“All roads lead to Baltimore as the city will host one of the most significant gatherings for Black people in this century.  We invite all to join us at IBW21st Century from April 19-23 as we share ideas and create solutions devoted to making a positive impact on our communities.  This will be our largest conference yet,” said Dr. Daniels.

“Don’t miss out on an opportunity like no other. Be part of something historic by joining us in Baltimore!” he added.

For more information, visit ibw20one.org.