Recognizing Outstanding Services: Gambian Journalist Receives Community Catalyst Award in The US

Pa Ousman Joof with his Community Catalyst Award

Gambian journalist and community leader Pa Ousman Joof has been awarded the ‘Community Catalyst’ Award by the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance for his consistent efforts that impact his community by supporting and amplifying local voices of underrepresented groups through his Washington West African Center.

The community award recognizes leaders whose contributions impact their community.

Pa Ousman Joof was awarded alongside three other influential people, including the former Governor of Washington State, Daniel Jackson Evans, former judge Anne Levinson, and Dr. Brent Jones, Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, by the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance Public Leadership Award.

The Award ceremony

Mr. Joof, a Gambian resident of Washington State in the United States, said he never expected to rub shoulders with influential and highly respected community leaders through his work.

“I didn’t know I would be running shoulders with such a group of people less than three years after opening the Washington West African Center because I am only doing my calling. Giving my community a voice, making sure my people have the opportunity that I so desperately needed but couldn’t have while struggling with immigration for 18 years,” he said.

Joof started the Center in 2017 after moving to Washington State in 2015. He said this Center was motivated by his 18 years of struggle in the state. He said establishing such a center was the board’s best decision.

“Opening this Center was the best decision for my board tool, as it allows us to provide wrapped-around services to our people at no cost. It also allows us to sit at the table where decisions about our community are made and give our input from a cultural perspective. I am currently sitting on different boards where I champion an advocate for racial equity and justice, especially for the members of the BIPOC Communities”, Mr. Joof explained.

He remarked that it is fulfilling for him to give voice to the underrepresented group.

Pa Ousman Joof is also the Proprietor of Gambia Talents TV, an online TV in The Gambia that gives young Gambians many opportunities to learn the art of journalism.


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