Event recap

The Atlantic Council’s Black Employee Network is delighted to invite you to a special Juneteenth virtual event. This celebration features a discussion on the legacy of Juneteenth and its impact on the past, present, and future of the American and global political landscape. The event features a panel of unique perspectives from Black and African American leaders in the foreign policy, government, and political spheres.

Juneteenth is one of the longest running African American holidays and commemorates the final emancipation of enslaved people after national troops arrived in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865 to ensure the freedom of all enslaved people—two-and-a-half-years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It received federal holiday designation last year.

As the conversation surrounding racial injustice and Black liberation grows more complex, the Atlantic Council recognizes the importance this holiday holds in amplifying Black voices. This discussion aims to strengthen our efforts toward international unity in the face of adversity.

Opening remarks


Wanida Lewis

Crescendo Foods Ghana

Wanida Lewis’s bio

Dr. Wanida Lewis is the CEO and co-founder of Crescendo Foods, Ghana’s first culinary incubator in Accra, Ghana. Lewis has over ten years experience leading programs, strategic partnerships, and economic evaluation initiatives throughout the African continent. Previously, she was a senior economic program advisor in the US Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and a foreign affairs officer/AAAS fellow in the Office of Agricultural Policy. In 2018, she was named by New America as one of thirty-five “Black American National Security, & Foreign Policy Next Generation Leaders.” The Dr. Wanida E. Lewis Food Science Fellowship Award Endowment was established in 2013 to provide fellowship funding for graduate students of color in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University. She received a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Saint Augustine’s University, a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from North Carolina Central University, and a doctoral degree in food science from North Carolina State University.

Lewis Myers

Operations Director/Senior Adviser
Rep. Antonio Cardenas, Congressional Black Caucus

Lewis Myers’ bio

Lewis H. Myers III was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina and is a proud double alumnus of Hampton University. He has served in Congress ten years for Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members Marica Fudge and Stacey Plaskett. He helped advise Fudge during her time as CBC chair and at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He then transitioned to Plaskett’s office, where he worked to advise her during the 2021 impeachment hearings. He currently serves as senior advisor for Congressman Tony Cardenas, representing California’s 29th District.. Lewis also moonlights as the founder and commissioner of Congressional Golf Association (CGA), which helps foster bipartisanship and create a safe space for members and staff to work together through the game of golf.

Genaro Stewart

Senior Policy Advisor
National Security, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Genaro Stewart’s bio

Genaro Stewart serves as a senior foreign policy advisor to the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. In this capacity he provides advisory counsel to the White House, National Security Council, and Congress concerning national security policies related to irregular warfare, counterterrorism, and emerging international geopolitical issues. Genaro has previously served as a visiting lecturer at the US Naval War College on Department of Defense issues related to the Middle East, and as a graduate-level course advisor at Duke University. Genaro’s work abroad has included serving as the assistant director for intelligence in East Africa, a special advisor for Middle East issues to NATO in Afghanistan, and as an advisor to the United Nations Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Genaro received a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a master’s degree in national security and policy from American University.


Closing remarks