In the Press


Ms. Tanya Blount Joins UNESCO Center for Peace First Ladies Youth Infusion Summit

UNESCO Center for Peace hosts The First Ladies Youth Infusion Summit in Annapolis.

Annapolis MD, June 9, 2012. Today UNESCO Center for Peace announced that Ms. Tanya Blount (Trotter) who will perform and attend the Kick-Off Dinner for Summit. She will sing the National Anthem and be an interactive part of the Summit with the young leaders.

Tanya Blount is originally from Maryland. After graduating from high school, she attended Morgan State University, where she majored in psychology. She toured with the MSU choir and even sang for Stevie Wonder in California. She released her first CD Natural Thing which topped the Billboard Music charts at #20. She later went on to star in the blockbuster hit Sister Act 2 featuring Whoopi Goldberg. She is best known for her duet singing His Eyes on the Sparrow with Lauryn Hill. Tanya is songwriter as well and most recently wrote for Tyler Perry’s -Family that Preys.

The Summit will take place over two days, June 29-30, 2012 and is an “Invitation Only” event. Six First Ladies from African countries will dialogue and interact with some of the greatest young leaders from around the world. The First Ladies represent the countries of Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Gabon and Ethiopia. This Summit will address issues of how young leaders might assist an African country in any one or multiple areas of the following: Health; Poverty and Development; Agriculture; Energy; Water Resources; Media; Arts & Entertainment; Education. This involves ideas, technologies, and/or services that the youth can personally support or implement as a business idea in a country in Africa given the opportunity. Log onto



Cheick Hamala Diabate to Perform for UNESCO Center for Peace.

Cheick Hamala Diabate at First Lady Youth Infusion SummitThe UNESCO Center for Peace will host The First Ladies Youth Infusion Summit in Annapolis on June 29-30, 2012. Cheick Hamala will perform at the Gala. Cheick Hamala rocks the n’goni, the West African plucked lute covered with animal skin. He advises presidents and the World Bank. He’s played for everyone from a struggling couple trying to save their marriage, to the U.S. Congress. He’s hobnobbed with American string and Blues legends—from Bela Fleck to Corey Harris—and along the way reunited his beloved instrument with its long-lost grandchild, America’s banjo.

“The music we griots play is not just about making nice sounds for dancing, it’s about giving a lesson to people about their lives. You tell them about what their grandfathers did, and what they should do now,” explains Diabate, whose griot roots run deep as first cousin to kora master Toumani Diabate, and nephew to legendary Super Rail Band guitarist, Djelimady Tounkara. “People trust the griot more than anyone else.”
Though Diabate may stick to the old-school roles of the griot, his music embraces the panoply of sound he discovered in America, taking him beyond the traditional trio of griot instruments: the n’goni, kora (gourd harp), andbalafon (wooden xylophone). He has long explored the connection between America’s traditions and his own griot roots. Like many American string players, including Bela Fleck with whom Diabate has collaborated and performed, Diabate noticed the eerie resemblance of his trusty n’goni and the banjo. In 2007, Diabate’s collaboration with banjo player Bob Carlin, “From Mali to America” (5-String Productions), led to a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional World Music Album.