Dzikamai Bere Receives the Young Leader Award

John Grisham and his wife Renee cursive Renee by the way is a presidential precinct board member she's also a founding donor and you know John Grisham I certainly do what an honor to actually have an opportunity to meet him and okay not too many more anecdotes but he's here at a great time he's here exactly one week from the DC bar exam all of you lawyers to know what that means and I know more than one person would love to hear some of his tales from the crypt he's an attorney politician activist as books have been translated into 42 languages been made into nine feature films as well as a TV series I hear he's got another one in the works and Renee Grisham is women's advocate philanthropist board member of the presidential precinct who has been instrumental in guiding the organization so thank you both so much inspire someone to go to Renee in our honor to be here tonight to present this award to the young leader award does Zika my Betty a young men that we met a couple years ago at lunch in Charlottesville during a precinct event we live in Charlottesville and you guys have just been there and spent some time there no doubt worshipping at the altar of Thomas Jefferson where you have to if you live in Charlottesville we all do that do that's part of life there the struggle for human rights touches all of mankind no continent no country is immune from violations of human and civil rights not even here we as Americans often rather smugly gaze at the rest of the world and pen ourselves on the backs for having such strong institutions a constitution that is resilient a political system that should work a judicial system that is designed to protect the rights of all however if we spent more time inspecting ourselves perhaps we would deal with with our problems even better only fifty percent of Americans have access to civil justice the other half cannot afford a lawyer and have no protection with two and a half million people behind bars we have the highest rate of incarceration in the civilized world or maybe uncivilized somewhere between two and ten percent of these people are actually innocent but there's no government government program in place to rescue them until six years ago we were the only Western nation that sent us children to life without parole effectively ensuring that a 15 year old criminal defendant would die in prison today there are still two thousand of these serving they're draconian sentences economically the top 10% get richer while those in the bottom one-third lose ground tonight 12 million American children will go to bed in homes that are food insecure one in six deals with hunger I could go on and I will but not tonight maybe later maybe in print our problems though are not as harsh and deep as in other countries the real human rights heroes are those who work tirelessly for peace and independence against corrupt regimes and unstable governments those whose lives are not always secure those who often fear the knock on the door those who work for justice and accountability our recipient tonight seeking liability is one of those heroes in Zimbabwe he is leading advocate for basic human rights such as transitional justice fundamental freedoms the personal security of all equality non-discrimination for the protection of the environment for property rights and for access to justice Zeke Amaya has spent his entire career on the frontlines of human rights promotion and protection in Zimbabwe despite the recent change in government their leadership is still old and entrenched dangerous and violent and things are not better Zika mine continues to be an inspiration it's a longtime activists into many new and up-and-coming leaders as the leader of the national justice working group in Zimbabwe and working with other Zimbabwean Human Rights legends as he calls them Zika my Berry has and continues to lead the struggle for independence justice and equality through the young leader award the precinct honors its alumni who are promoting social cultural and political progress in the world's development democracies we cannot imagine a more deserving candidate than Zika my berry to receive this distinction [Applause] friends it is a joy and a thrill for me to accept the presidential precincts young leader award I am deeply humbled by this award tonight by this occasion and this particular gathering and I wish to thank the presidential precinct the board of directors for the presidential precinct the founders of the precinct and in a special way to Renee and john grisham for the wonderful introductions and for presenting the award I wish to change to thank Secretariat of the presidential present for the owner I check great confidence and inspiration from the realization that the little steps that we take from lands far away from here they attract your attention in your great recognition and therefore intend I also wish to thank those who lead and support me in these endeavors beginning with girls who guide me in my life in the silence of our home my wife wrote oh and there are two beautiful kids her father and Annie soon I am greatly indebted to the leadership of the super women rights NGO forum my director placing Regina who couldn't be here tonight and the chairperson of the forum Madame Justine am Coco a legendary survivor of torture in Zimbabwe I also thank the leadership of they have the National transitional justice working group who I save in the work that we do some bob was more celebrated human rights lawyer mr. alagesh Adama and it's deputy mr. Putin Bonacci a great mentor and hero of our liberation struggle the strides that we make every day and made possible because of the empowering leadership friends when all we said and done I think tonight's hour is indeed not mine but it is for all young leaders across the continent and I dedicate it to them all those who believe that the continent is jus for peace in our lifetime it is for the young women in Sudan for the masses in Malawi the human rights defenders in Zimbabwe and all those we in for restoration of their fundamental freedoms this Awad says to all of them your struggles are not invisible on behalf of myself and all those I work with in Zimbabwe and our regional and global patterns here present I say thank you to the precinct partners hello me friends to depart from the public's cry of anarchy and despair to a very personal reflection that I wish to share with the Mandela Washington fellows here present of the lessons that I have learned in this leadership journey and how the precinct has become part of it for me this award is a symbol of investments that the president has made in my leadership journey I could ask John to teach me to write a book about it but tonight let me only share three critical leadership investments which the pressings has made in my leadership journey in my career and in my life the precinct has taught me three things one is that leadership is love right so the precinct has taught me that leadership is not merely offering technical solutions to the problems that our society faces there are too many technocrats in this world but our world suffers from a deficit of compassion it is my testimony that the precinct has decided to go beyond providing technical expertise they have offered themselves for commandment for the leaders whom they work with the Nigeria day is a saying by a Nigerian author chichi a saw which says you catch a heart with a heart which is why we seen you following the fellows down to South Africa to get his hands dirty to see what they are doing there which is why true spends a lot of time documenting and curating the stories of the fellows I myself spent hours and hours with Katie and Nancy deliberating about some of the concepts on how we can solve some of our free cos most wicked problems and for me this defines leadership not just offering technical solutions and let the people go like robots and hope that this problems will be solved and of course I have learned a great lesson which I also think that the fellows II had the privilege to learn from dr. Stamp in at the University of Virginia the leadership is the art of getting things leadership is the art of getting things then I have taken this philosophy and I've made it very personal in my own leadership journey it reflects in my work I am crazy about results I want to see things done but at the same time there is a pleasurable act in the process my brothers and sisters from Zimbabwe we have participated in our last 2018 transitional justice symposium know that we had a ruthless focus on results and finally the Crescent he has taught me leadership through inspiration the fellows from the present can agree with me just take for the moment and towards yourself in this particular moment and the feeling in the room and for those way they after the business form your experience if there is a single because they take away that actually from the present which I infused in my work is that leadership is inspiration in this particular program the Mandela fellowship is rooted in the inspiration of Africa's greatest leaders of antara it matters just look around get a feel of what I mean some people by their mere presence even before they open their mouths they became to sit big changes into motion this is a principle that is influenced our current transitional justice strategy in which we have introduced to Adam they're calling transformative advocacy it transformative and through the inspiration of great experts that people who know what they're doing we catch with the heart we don't avoid we're getting forward and it's all part of the inspiration but it is not enough the one the focus in this place is where we are going in my career I've actually lens to travel across continents to search for those things of inspiration and bring it into my work just last week we never gentlemen generate the dialogue in which we had an international panel from the people in Colombia and in South Africa what am I to flow of inspiration that came into that room and because of that skill that I learned from the present I have started to transform my daily work into a spring of inspiration I don't know who said his words but for me I think they summarized everything that I've learned from the present and what the president has done to my leadership journey where there is love there is no never and if there is any level that labor is transformed into love friends from the present you ever polished a lever in my life and replaced it with love which in leadership courses and when service is given in love everything we do becomes a pleasure and in inspiration and through this hour we have inspiration in a physical space in my life [Applause]

One thought on “Dzikamai Bere Receives the Young Leader Award

  1. Dzikamai Bere, I got inspired by your vision and passion! That night has become memorable for us all.

    #YALI2019 #MandelaFellows #MandelaHokies #VirginiaTech #vtspia #AfricaWeWant #PresidentialPrecinct

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