Daily Archives: August 10, 2010

The Luncheon Society/Bernard Muna, Candidate for President, The Republic of Cameroon/LA—Napa Valley Grille, July 23, 2010/ SF-Fior D’Italia July 31, 2010

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To understand the political despair found in the African nation of Cameroon, look at those who have left the county.  

Not only are the Best and Brightest are leaving, the brain drain is accelerating, and those who travel overseas to further their education rarely return home. Within a short period of time, they join the growing ranks of Cameroon’s Diaspora, which now numbers in the tens of thousands.  They have resettled across the globe but in the United States, most live in Boston, New York, Washington, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. They have become successful in their chosen fields and they are raising their families with one foot in the United States and one foot back home in Cameroon. 

They are wonder aloud why the political reform is succeeding in neighboring countries like Ghana but has floundered in their own homeland.

The Diaspora Outreach. That is why reform-minded Presidential Candidate Bernard Muna is traveling around the United States, reaching out to members of the Cameroonian expatriate community, as he prepares for the 2011 national elections. Muna is here to make his case why his coalition can transform Cameroon politically and economically.

It is a rare to be present as democracy stirs in the hearts of those who want change. Roughly half who joined The Luncheon Society ™ gatherings in Los Angeles and San Francisco were members of the Diaspora. They came to hear Muna, an international attorney, who is early stages of running for President. He is running against Paul Biya, whose corrosive three decade dictatorship has driven Cameroon into the ground.   Continue reading

The Luncheon Society/Fmr Ambassador Andrew Young/Co-Author,”Walk in my Shoes”/Manhattan—The Paley Center/June 23, 2010

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Those deeply involved with The Civil Rights Movement had one thing in common; they were quite young and they chose not to accept inequality because of skin color.  

Those who integrated Little Rock’s Central High School were in their teens. Those who sat with quiet dignity in Woolworth luncheonettes throughout the South or organized voters in Mississippi during Freedom Summer were college-aged.  Even Martin Luther King Jr. was only in his mid-twenties when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott before rising to national prominence. It was a young movement and their idealism buoyed them through good times and bad. 

The Luncheon Society has sat down with two members of the Little Rock Nine , Melba Beals Patillo and Terrence Roberts, to remind us of their courage and to remand their stories from being paved over by the next chapter of American history.  Taylor Branch sat down with us last year in San Francisco and Los Angeles for a conversation about Bill Clinton as well as his trilogy of the Civil Rights Movement.  

Thanks to the kindness of Christy Carpenter at The Paley Center in Manhattan, The Luncheon Society sat down with former UN Ambassador Andrew Young and his godson Kabir Sehgal for a conversation about their new book , “Walk in My Shoes: Conversations between a Civil Rights Legend and his Godson on the Journey .”  We were also thankful that our great friend, Cari Beauchamp of Vanity Fair, was able to moderate the event in my absence. Continue reading