A native of Kaedi, Mauritania, our brother Bakary Tandia has been recognized for his commitment to the defense of human rights causes and social justice for nearly three decades in the United States and around the world.
The ceremony took place on July 30, 2022, at Harlem Inc. a beautiful event space located on Adam Clayton Jr. Blvd in the heart of Harlem. Harlem, which was the center of the intellectual, cultural, artistic, and political renaissance that served as the foundation for the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s. It was a triple recognition of my friend and brother Bakary Tandia, whom we affectionately call Abou Tandia. They were for his multiple contributions to the improvement of the living conditions of people of Harlem and New York City on the one hand, and his stand for human rights and the rights of immigrants on the other hand
The first recognition presented was by Susan “Bunny” Southwell-Dais, CEO of Harlem Honors, an organization which recognizes influential people in Harlem who have made significant contributions to improving the lives of residents. The second acknowledgment was a proclamation from Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, to honor him for his more than a quarter of a century long contribution to the community. It was presented by Athena Moore, Director of North Manhattan Office. By proclamation, the Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine declared Saturday, July 30, 2022, Bakary Tandia’s Day in the Borough of Manhattan. The third proclamation was granted to our brother by the New York State Senator Cordell Cleare. In her message she spoke of the courage of Mr. Tandia as an immigrant who overcame many obstacles to be in a position to advocate on behalf of others. She urged attendees to be actively engaged in their respective communities.
With un bias conviction and without discrimination he addresses the needs of vulnerable and marginalized communities. Mr. TANDIA has advocated on their behalf at local, State, and Federal levels. Through his efforts he facilitated access to health care, housing, and legal services for the underserved, particularly immigrants. He has participated in public hearings to present this communities’ views on decisions that affected their lives. In the same vein, he participated in numerous press conferences and demonstrations to make the voice of the community heard and give it the visibility it deserves.
Thanks to the multiple relationships he has strongly forged over the years, his countless friends and family members in New York and beyond converged in large numbers at this ceremony with the sense of ownership . To name a few, the audience highly appreciated the presence of Senator Cordell Cleare, Senator Robert Jackson, Sean Tenner, Co-founder with Mr. Tandia of The Abolition Institute, Reverend Mitchell Johnson, Fodie Niakhate, Honorary President of Soninkara In America, Aissata Niang, President of Muritani Min Njejjittaa, and Mr. Souleymane Guengueng, President of the Association of Victims of Crimes and Political Repressions in Chad. In turn, they gave vibrant testimonies on the commitment of the tireless fighter being honored, his struggles to gain grounds in the pursuit of a more just world which is the most seriously challenging.
Deeply moved by the magnitude of the recognition, Mr Tandia spoke under a sustained round of applause from the audience. He warmly thanked all those who contributed to the success of the ceremony, especially Dr Michelle James, the architect of the event who deserves a special mention. Then he indicated that “this prize is not for me, it belongs to Mother Houleye Sall, President of the Association of Widows, in Mauritania who lose their husbands by the hands of war crininals, to Aichana Boilin Abeid the first female slave freed by SOS Slaves, to the Mauritanian refugees still living in camps in Senegal and to all victims of human rights violations.” Then, he urged everyone to get involved, “every person must at least embrace a cause to give meaning to his or her life,” he ended.
From your brother & friend Mohamed Baby
New York, July 30, 2022.