Ellenore's Note!


My visit to DC earlier this month combined two passions – empowering people who want to increase diversity and inclusion and empowering kids in Ethiopia – my daughter’s birth-country.  I spoke at a Women in Influence, Power and Law conference on the former which took me back to my suit wearing, court appearing days.  But my message to the attendees were routed in my research and experimentation in more recent years as I struggled to make sense of the research that shows diversity and inclusion lead to better results on all levels and yet, many still remain underrepresented decades after efforts to increase began. 

Then I met with a couple DC based OHBD Volunteers at a local Ethiopian Restaurant.  We discussed how best to move forward our ambitious plans to increase literacy rates, access to technology for problem solving and valuing art as a learning tool.   And I enjoyed the wonderful communal experience of some of my favorite Ethiopian foods eaten family style with no utensils – injera does the trick.  The topics ranged from local engagement, to bridging the American Diaspora and Ethiopian experience, and the amazing power of opportunity and freedom of expression combined with innovation.

I believe hard problems like diversity and inclusions and the inequity of opportunity for kids in different parts of the world, require the same fundamentals to address.

1.       Dogged optimism – the problems are solvable but need extreme experimentation – don’t keep trying the same if the results are inadequate,

2.       Radical collaboration – across generations, races, disciplines and countries – use the best of everyone who wants to be a part of the solutions, and

3.       Inspiring story telling – elevate and amplify the voices and choices that are improving our world to create a power ripple of positive change.

The journey continues and there is more to come. Until Then…

                                                                                                                   ~ Ellenore

EthioGirl Dance Group Performing at “Adventure’s in Literacy” Gala…


The EthioGirl dance group is a project that works to grow the leadership and life skills of Ethiopian American youth. The group, young women aged 14-17, formed three years ago as a part of the Ethiopian Community Center of Seattle's (ECS) Cultural Immersion program. In addition to event-specific practices they've studied Ethiopian cooking, identity, leadership and entrepreneurship. 


Over the years they have built strong personal, organizational as well as technical skills, they organize their own practices, choreograph most of their own dances and coordinate with ECS staff to plan their bookings.  The EthioGirls have performed and led children's dance workshops all over the Seattle Area. Highlights include performances at the Moore Theater, the 2017 Ethiopian Community Center Fundraising Gala and were featured in the Opening Ceremony of the 2017 ESFNA  (Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America) Soccer & Cultural Festival.


We are excited to have them back!

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 A Note From Jazmil of SEEDS of Africa, Our Collaborative Partner…

Developing stories in people’s native language is of paramount importance, as people learn to read best in their mother tongue. Our students and teachers at Seeds of Africa were thrilled when they received the ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ books. This enthusiasm stemmed from finally having cultural stories they can connect and relate to written in Amharic combined with the English translation to help reinforce their language skill. Our students loved reading these stories as they describe characters and settings they recognize; motivating them to engage more.

The ‘Ready, Set, Go!’ book series has been helping our students expand their vocabulary and improve their communication skills in both Amharic and English through very engaging and relatable content. 

SEED'S mission is to educate and nurture children and their families through education and community development programs. They are a New York based not for profit led by Atti Worku, one of our Advisory Board Members.

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Great News From Grantee Partner, Multimedia Resources and Training Institute (MMRTI)!
OHBD Board Member Assaye Abunie and Executive Director of MMRTI just got some good news from the US Embassy that they will receive an award for their proposal: 'Ethical Digital Media & Cultural Exchange (EDMCE), to do a workshop at four locations (Addis Ababa, Jimma, Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa, and Gondar) in Ethiopia
. Assaye was grateful to receive a letter from OHBD in support of MMRTI’s grant.

While MMRTI was in Gondar on the OHBD Storytelling Grant efforts, they signed a letter of intent with the Mayor of Gondar, the University of Gondar, and Dept of Tourism and culture to open a Beyan- Robinson Digital Media and Innovation center for youth at the Main library of Gondar. Assaye felt it was a big accomplishment in such a short time in Gondar. Assaye felt that timing was everything! It is also a great opportunity for OHBD and Ethiopia Reads to partner with the library system in the north region. 

Assaye notes that the “the two projects are making MMRTI’s board and staff very excited and gives many thanks to OHBD and others who are working together to make a difference in children and young people's lives in Ethiopia.
Learn About our Collaborating Partners and How YOU Can Get Involved!
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