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Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 11:35AM
Today is a very special day for a number of reasons. I'll try not to be extra mushy about it, but it's my last day on The Stream. Over the last year I've had an incredible opportunity to speak to people around the world about things that they care about. From the challenges facing youth in Bosnia, to the revolutionary change happening in the Arab World, and the rise of Private Prisons in the US. I've been able to catch a glimpse of what moves people to stand up and be counted.
I've had the opportunity to work with an amazing team, who daily put heart and soul into highlighting the untold stories of those who are too often forgotten by global society - to literally give voice to the voiceless and to do so with dignity and honesty and somehow manage to have a good time doing it. In the past year we've challenged the prevailing notions of what broadcast media should be and dived headfirst into the possibilities of what it could be. We've taken heat for doing so, and we've received kudos. I can't tell you how wonderful the feeling is to work with a group of people so fully committed to giving people across the planet a chance to speak their own truth. I want to take this moment to speak a bit of mine.
Something that's been particularly moving for me in working on The Stream has been the chance to highlight amazing stories from Africa. Whether the continent's connection to the global Maker Movement, the rise of #OccupyNigeria, or the innovation happening across the continent. This has been meaningful for me not only because I'm Ghanaian, but because for many years I was frustrated at the limited, skewed and often lazy depictions of who "we are" as Africans. Long before I joined The Stream I decided to make my own statement on that very point, through a music video showing a "day-in-the-life" of my hometown Accra:
The African continent has a wealth of material, cultural and human resources and I believe we are at a crucial juncture in our history where we have a real opportunity to see our great potential become manifest. In a few weeks I'll be making a visit to Accra to give a farewell send off to my dear sweet Grandma, who helped instill in me the love of my homeland, her people and all we have to offer (if you watch the video carefully you will see her). It was through her legacy and that of all my forebears that I learned the value of knowing when to speak and when to listen - so that others might also be heard.
In leaving The Stream I feel proudest that I was a part of helping so many people be heard. So I want to dedicate this special day to two very special women - my dear Mmaa whom I will never forget so long as I live, and the woman she gave birth to, who would grow to teach me the value of living for something greater than myself. Today I honor you my Sweet Mothers. I could never have come so far without you.