Bulletin, February/March 2007

Annual Meeting Coverage

An Evening of Merrymaking, Surprises and Doing Good 

by Duncan Omole

Duncan Omole is ICT Policy Specialist with the World Bank Group, Washington, DC. He can be reached by email at domole<at>worldbank.org  

On October 6, 2006, the ASIS&T Special Interest Group/International Information Issues (SIG/III) in collaboration with the ASIS&T Potomac Valley Chapter (PVC) hosted a colorful and festive fundraiser at the Kenya Embassy in Washington, DC. The money raised at the event will support several international ASIS&T activities, including travel assistance for attendance at future Annual Meetings.

The result of four months of planning, the evening was extraordinary – hailed by the Kenyan Ambassador as a noble and innovative idea and a celebration of the important role information science and technology play in development. Despite the chilly, damp weather, the event drew upwards of 80 people, including a surprise visit by World Bank Group President Paul Wolfowitz.

Billed as a celebration of African culture, the evening included riveting entertainment and delicious food. African arts and crafts were on display, and a continuously streamed video on African wildlife and aquatic life with drums and African music throbbing in the background provided additional atmosphere. The entertainment also included two African stories, one enacted by the dance moves of a professional performer, Nkemjika Ofodile, and the other read quietly in a reading room. Both stories dramatized the moral lessons that come from doing good.

Attendees bid generously for the silent auction items – an array of good African art – and additional money was raised from the sale of refreshments.

Funds raised by the event will pay for ASIS&T memberships for information professionals from developing countries (the SIG/III Infoshare Program) and to provide travel grants to the ASIS&T Annual Meeting in Milwaukee for the winners of the 2007 SIG/III International Paper Contest (contest deadline is March 31, 2007).

The event was organized by a committee of 12 people, largely ASIS&T members assisted by other well wishers. They were Duncan Omole (incoming SIG/III chair at the time), Dawn Pointer McCleskey (PVC chair), Denise Bedford, Greta D. Ober-Beauchesne, Jon Simons, Lucy Njuguna, Omar Akchurin, Patricia Evans, Raymond Muhula, Sue O’Neill Johnson, Trudi Bellardo Hahn and Yunfei Du.

In all, the evening was an event worth attending, and it is a testimony to the generosity and good will of all involved that it raised close to $4,000. We thank the entire committee for selflessly giving their time to support this cause.  

Dancer Nkemjika Ofodile, The dancer 


Dawn McCleskey, PVC Chair


From left, Duncan Omole, World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz and Sue Johnson


Omar Akchurin introduces committee members 


Sampling of silent auction items