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President's Message: Coronavirus Alert!


Conference Update #1

March 13, 2020


Sawubona NABSW Family,


Given the unprecedented dilemma confronting us as an Afrikan Village regarding possible cancellation of our 52nd Annual Conference, and myself as it’s Paramount Chief, I must first give all praise and honor to The Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent Creator who, since the beginning of time, has been called by and answered to many names in many languages while making everything possible that has ever happened, is happening, and shall happen. I give thanks in the Spirit of both our Ancient Ancestors, and those of NABSW who have continued to guide us through difficult times which test our true mettle.


In extending my sincere gratitude to members serving in Executive and key leadership capacities, I am reminded of a quote from high school. I can’t recall its author, but it was around the time the U.S. gained independence. It reads:

“These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman”.


With heightened anxiety, we have been vigilant over the past three weeks as we assessed our position, identified our options, and weighed cost-risk of conference cancellation. The task has been hectic, taxing, and tenacious while simultaneously requiring that we respond to the myriad of enquiries received daily. Finally, this week we began compiling the information from which to make an “informed” decision in the best fiscal interest of NABSW, and in close tandem, that of the NABSW Village.


The magnitude of our challenge demanded resoluteness in determining a course of action. Those members in Executive and key leadership were invaluable in gathering preliminary information and offering input in the face of extreme adversity. We are not free and clear yet, but we now have necessary information that, we hope, will lead to the most feasible and timely closure.


A final meeting is planned for early next week with a conference status announcement scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th.  With that announcement, we will also share some next steps which will, hopefully, also answer any lingering questions. Additionally, please adhere to universal Covid-19 precautionary measures, consult with your personal medical professional, and we strongly encourage continued monitoring of reliable local, state, and federal Covid-19 updates for current, accurate information. Your continued patience is greatly appreciated.


In the Spirit of the Ancestors,


Cheikh Mbacke,

NABSW National President








Hotep NABSW Family,


Considering that the U.S. finds itself being swept in the throes of a life-threatening national health crisis of epic proportions as well as the prospects of a global pandemic, as NABSW President it is incumbent upon me to address the NABSW constituency and our supporters.

While Covid-19 certainly has major life and health implications for NABSW, it also raises the prospect of a very real economic threat certainty relative to our 2020 National Conference in Detroit and, quite possibly, into an uncertain future. Prayerfully, to date we do not have a reported case of Covid-19 in Detroit. However, unlike a President who shall remain nameless, I recognize and cannot minimize the personal and public health impact of Covid-19. We are being inundated with information and reports that are varied, skewed, and on the macro level. Despite all of the information we are receiving about Covid-19, I offer that at least one thing is patently clear: throughout the history of Humankind, Covid-19 is not the first epidemic or pandemic to confront the planet Earth, and in all probability, it will not be the last. For sure, among ALL of the peoples on Earth, we are the first and have survived every challenge placed in our path.

Considering that we are basically at the mercy of unknown forces, we ought not allow ourselves to become so paralyzed into inaction that it renders every aspect of our lives to a complete standstill. Granted, that is easier said than done on a very personal, intimate level involving family, loved ones, friends, employees, and professional colleagues.  So, what can be done, what can we do to at least assuage the fear and angst being generated and experienced.  Here are a few suggestions for consideration.

This communication is a step toward combating the spread of this disease. In order to assist this prevention effort is to remain in the know. Continue to heed the advice and guidance of health care professionals as new information about the disease emerges.


NABSW faces a compelling dilemma, but will assuredly be mindful of the health and safety of our conferees. Never the less, and in the final analysis, it comes down to individual decision making on the part of NABSW conferees.


Peace and Blessings,




Cheikh A. B. Mbacke,

NABSW National President



Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the symptoms of COVID-19?


Typically, human coronaviruses cause mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

In some cases, COVID-19 can cause more severe respiratory illness.


What can we, the public, do to limit the spread of COVID-19?


The following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses:

  • Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms.
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