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“I Can’t, I Have to Work Doubles”: Debunking the Top 10 Excuses to Miss the It Takes a Village Conference and Gala

Imagine a gathering where the energy is as vibrant as a bustling market in Lagos, as inspiring as a quiet sunrise over the Serengeti, and as innovative as a tech startup in Nairobi. This is what you can expect at the inaugural It Takes a Village Youth & Family Conference + Gala. Let’s delve into why this event is unmissable, especially for those who feel on the fence about attending.

1. “I don’t have the time.”

Ah, time—the forever scarce commodity. Yet, isn’t it curious how we can binge a season of our latest Netflix obsession but can’t spare a weekend for potentially life-changing experiences? Consider the case of Nia, an aspiring businesswoman who juggled a nursing job and a toddler. She made time for a conference in another State and met her now business partner by accident during a coffee break. This partner has enabled Nia to leap from her drenching nursing home job to exporting goods to Africa. Sometimes, the best investments aren’t in how many shifts you can secure or even stocks and bonds —they’re in ourselves.

2. “It’s too expensive.”

Cost is a valid concern, but look at it as an investment in your professional and personal development. Think about Kwame, a freelance graphic designer who attended a similar event and connected with a non-profit organization looking for someone with his exact skill set. This connection not only led to a lucrative contract but also significantly expanded his network within the diaspora community. We offer scholarships, payment plans, and discounted rates to make the conference more accessible for everyone. Get in contact with us to discuss a payment plan today! 

3. “I won’t fit in.”

The fear of not fitting in can be daunting. It happens to all of us. Yet, these conferences are designed to foster inclusivity across various backgrounds within the diaspora. Our purpose is to create a Village we all belong to. One of our favorite stories that inspired us to do this was from Leyla, a second-generation immigrant who felt disconnected from her extended family and African roots in general. By attending a African festival, she engaged with cultural workshops and dialogues that not only deepened her connection to her heritage but also left her feeling that she needed more to empower her identity in new and meaningful ways.

4. “I can find the same information online.”

While the internet is brimming with resources, it doesn’t match the transformative experience of face-to-face interactions at a conference. Imagine the case of a Ivorian family, who were facing deportation. They attended a conference session led by a prominent immigration lawyer discussing lesser-known yet effective legal strategies for fighting deportation. During the session, they realized the advice they had been receiving from their current lawyer was not only outdated but also less aggressive in leveraging new legal precedents.

This revelation was a turning point. Motivated by the insights gained at the conference, they sought a second opinion from another attorney who specialized in these newly discussed approaches. This change in legal strategy significantly improved their chances in court, ultimately leading to the halting of their deportation proceedings. The conference not only provided them with crucial information but also empowered them to make informed decisions about their future, demonstrating the irreplaceable value of direct, expert guidance that is often absent online.

5. “I have to ask my employer, but I don’t think they will understand the benefit.”

Employers often appreciate employees who take initiative in their professional and personal development. After attending a conference, Jordan, an engineer, brought back industry insights that he shared with his team, leading to improved practices at his company. He not only received recognition from his superiors but also positioned himself as a thought leader in his department. Not sure how this applies to you? Reach out to us and we will guide you through this topic and discussion with your employer if you want to use this route.

6. “There’s no one I want to see speak.”

Conferences often bring together thought leaders whose ideas are on the cutting edge, even if they’re not yet household names. Attending can expose you to innovative perspectives that could reshape your understanding or approach to your field. Michaela Coel, before becoming a celebrated writer and actress, was an unknown speaker at a small theatre conference in Ghana, where she shared transformative storytelling techniques.

7. “I’m just one person; it won’t make a difference if I attend.”

Every individual brings something unique to the table. Imagine if Tunde, who proposed the idea of a community-focused startup accelerator during a workshop, had decided not to attend because he felt he wouldn’t make a difference. The accelerator has since supported over 50 businesses, driving innovation and employment in his community.

8. “I don’t know how to network.”

Networking is a skill that can be learned and practiced. Conferences often offer structured networking opportunities that make it easier to connect. For instance, Sarah, who dreaded networking, found structured speed networking sessions at a conference incredibly productive, leading her to meet several potential collaborators in a friendly, low-pressure setting. We will have opportunities to network that will be shared with you once you attend the conference. You will never  be alone!

9. “I’m not sure how to get the most out of it.”

To maximize your experience, plan your agenda strategically. Identify sessions that align with your interests or career goals, and set objectives for what you want to achieve. Following up on connections made at the conference can also turn brief interactions into lasting relationships. Reflecting on her experience, Lila, a documentary filmmaker, made sure to connect on LinkedIn with everyone she met at a conference, which later helped her crowdsource a major project. We are also making sure that attendee’s keep in contact and in touch long after the conference. We are building community around the conference and we want you to be part of it!

10. “It’s all just talk; nothing really changes.”

The impact of a conference can be profound and far-reaching, catalyzing significant change and innovation. Consider the real-world example of the “Green Belt Movement,” initiated by Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmental activist. Although this movement started locally, it can be likened to the conversations that begin at impactful conferences. Maathai initially shared her vision at various gatherings and seminars, similar to a conference setting, sparking interest and support among attendees. This eventually led to a nationwide movement in Kenya that combated deforestation, poverty, and promoted environmental conservation, fundamentally transforming the country’s landscape and influencing environmental policy worldwide.

Attending the inaugural Diaspora Youth, Family, and Young Professionals Conference and Gala offers the same potential for attendees to spark a new initiative or amplify a cause that could have a lasting impact on communities and even globally. Just like Maathai’s discussions blossomed into a transformative movement, the ideas and collaborations born at this conference might grow beyond the event, driving real change and fostering a better future.

Let’s make history together. See you there?

Register for the It Takes a Village Conference + GALA and secure your spot today! Let’s build a brighter future for African diaspora families together!



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ABOUT THE ORGANIZER
AfriThrive Inc.

"It Takes a Village African Diaspora Family & Youth Conference" is designed to celebrate the rich heritage of the African diaspora while empowering families and youth. Hosted by AfriThrive Inc., the conference draws inspiration from the African proverb "It takes a village to raise a child." It fosters a sense of community, provides opportunities for networking and learning, and champions the successes of individuals within the diaspora.