*African-born linguist, global liaison and cultural connector, Stephanie Gregoire-McKinney, is on a mission to continue in the legacy of her great grandfather, Feu Felix Houphouet Boigny, the First President of Cote D’Ivoire, (Ivory Coast) West Africa.
She will travel to interested colleges, corporations and organizations, during Black History month, to speak about his legacy of resolving conflict through dialogue and peace.
Feu Felix Houphouet Boigny, was in office for three decades and is known throughout the world as the spokesman for resolving conflict and ensuring a better world. He traveled to the US many times to meet with American presidents. On May 22, 1962, he visited the White House for a State Dinner given in his honor by then President and Mrs. Kennedy, and was later to meet with many others, such as President Richard Nixon in October 1973, and as President Ronald Reagan in June 1983, who praised him for a free economy and as a spokesman for resolving conflict. World leaders travelled to Africa to seek his advice.
The climate of today’s world, along with instant access to global violence provided by technology, has many US citizens intimidated by international travel and in fear of engaging with other cultures. “Many Americans still hold outdated beliefs and great mistrust for African people. There is a need for all of humanity to understand that there is good and bad in every culture.” says Gregoire-McKinney. She intends to keep her grandfather’s legacy alive by sharing his story, dispelling myths and negative stereotypes that many Americans have of African leaders and people.
In 1989, the General Conference of UNESCO established The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize to reaffirm its commitment to peace and dialogue between cultures and civilizations. According to the UN:
The General Conference of UNESCO conferred on the Prize the highly symbolic name of Félix Houphouët-Boigny, the “Sage of Africa”. The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize is intended to honour living individuals and active public or private bodies or institutions that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and the Constitution of UNESCO. The Prize was established in 1989 by a resolution supported by 120 countries and adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 25th session. It is in line with the philosophy of UNESCO’s founders who, in the preamble to the Organization’s Constitution, solemnly declare that: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”
Born into the Baule Tribe in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa, Linguist, Global Liaison & Cultural Connector, Stephanie Gregoire- McKinney, has a passion for the diversity of cultures and global harmony. Following in the footsteps of her Great Grandfather, Feu Felix Houphouet Boigny, first President of Cote d’Ivoire for three decades, known as “The Sage” of Africa, Stephanie gears her work to continuing his legacy through her movement for peace by guiding people to engage harmoniously with the diverse cultures of the world.
Gregoire-McKinney has studied in France and at the Monterey Institute of International studies in California. She has traveled extensively, engaging with people from Italy, Germany, England, Spain, Portugal, Maghreb, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Costa Rica, Columbia, Brazil, and Mexico.
Corporations, organizations and interested parties in booking and/or sponsoring events should contact Bobbi Hicks at (862) 944-4737. Stephanie Gregoire-McKinney may be contacted directly at [email protected]