The 33rd UNAA convention was accentuated with cultural festivities, music, business networking and re-unification with family and friends.
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, UNITED STATES, September 13, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Dr. Ivan Edwards (FAAPMR, FRSA), CEO and founder of Jovana Rehabilitation & Pain PLLC, was the featured keynote speaker at the 33rd Annual Uganda North American Association (UNAA) convention, held in Cincinnati, OH, over the Labor Day weekend. The colorful convention ran from 09/03/2021 to 09/05/2021. Dr. Edwards delivered his keynote speech on the last evening of the convention, September 5 th, 2021.
In conformity with UNAA’s theme of “Recovery Beyond the Pandemic: Embracing New Opportunities for a Greater Diaspora,” Dr. Edwards shared a passionate message that touched on the themes of unity, fortitude, resilience, and growth—with a focus on three specific areas where the proverbial “trees of economic prowess, education and health” had to be tended to.
His speech was aptly titled, “What Do You See?” He tied the themes of the speech together with the three areas of required “tree planting” expected of the up-and-coming generations of the diaspora.
On the theme of unity, Dr. Edwards preached unity and its impact on achieving the desired goals for the good of everyone. That connectedness, as he termed it, was in line with the lyrics of Uganda’s esteemed national anthem: “…We lay our future in Thy Hand. United, free for liberty. Together, we’ll always stand.”
On the theme of fortitude, resilience and growth, he exhorted the members of the audience to keep focused on the vision ahead of them–despite the perceived length and difficulty of the journey along the way. He reiterated that the spirit that propels Ugandans to succeed everywhere they go is testament to their inner drive to excel.
He echoed that in the journey, one should not accept failure and turn back. If one “falls down,” he quipped, “…get up and keep walking forward – knowing that the best is yet to come.”
He reminded his audience. “You can do this. I can do this. We shall prevail. There is no giving up. That is your story. That is my story. That is the Ugandan spirit I know and cherish.”
Citing a cherished Ugandan proverb, “Old [people] sit in the shade because they planted a tree many years before,” he stressed the important role of mentorship that needs to be fostered in the upcoming generations. The up-and-coming group of Ugandan Americans, he noted, must be mentored, by their senior mentors, in planting the proverbial trees of economic prosperity, education and health.
Economic prosperity, he added, required basic elements of judicious investment, discipline, honesty, keeping time, and good estate planning (like securing life insurance policies).
The tree of education, he stressed, required the upcoming generations to keep up with (and even do better) than previous immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa– who have long been the most educated immigrant group, superseding all immigrant and native-born groups in the US–to date.
The proverbial tree of health, Dr. Edwards stated, is a call for people to combat and, hopefully, avoid getting common diseases amongst them, such as: diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and strokes—maladies which, left ignored, can cut lives short and drain the valuable human resource in the North American immigrant community.
The evening ended with the announcement results of the organization’s elections (with its incumbent president getting re-elected) and with celebration and music extending late into the night.
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