Black History Month: Commemorating Black Men and Women

By Jaly Marquez


Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, more commonly known as Akon, is more than a popular RnB singer, he is an American-Senegalese producer and entrepreneur. He has dedicated and has spent most of his life, as well as career, advocating and helping people in Africa. Akon not only helped to bring solar power to millions of Africans but also provided jobs to over 5,500 people. As of 2017, his organization Akon Lighting Africa has been implemented in 11 African countries. This program has raised over 1 billion dollars and installed over 100,000 solar street lamps as well as over 1,200 solar micro-grids. He has helped instill a sense of security in many African neighborhoods simply by providing them with electricity. His fame has allowed his program to partner with many well-known companies or businesses one of which includes the NBA. You can find out more by visiting the link to his website:

Opal Tometi

Opal Tometi is the co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement. She is also a human rights activist, and community organizer. Tometi is a Nigerian-American woman, who is driven and committed to helping others. Opal works tirelessly as the executive director of BAJI (Black Alliance for Just Immigration). She takes this role very seriously as her team works to fight for human rights and racial equality. Opal and her team provide training and technical assistance to partner organizations to develop leadership skills and to allow them to develop new skills. In 2016 she was recognized for her work by Glamour and received the award for Justice Seekers along with Alicia Garza and Patrice Cullors.