J Rêve Presents Thione Niang’s “Memoirs of An Eternal Optimist” 1st USA book signing

Thione NiangJ Rêve International is proud to present a global leader to the Rochester, NY community. We are committed to global education and creativity, and have proudly established a link between Rochester educators, artists and professionals to Senegal and the Give1Project founded by Thione Niang.  Our 2015 Global Educator Program was held in Senegal, and teachers from Rochester participated, also attending the book signing.

We had a lovely evening hosting Thione Niang’s “Memoirs of An Eternal Optimist” book signing in Rochester, NY, with Kanika Wright, Tamra Cherubin, (both who visited Senegal in 2014), Arzouma Kompaore and Simeon Banister for his 1st USA book signing on September, 10th, 2015 at The French Quarter Café.

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Panel moderator Simeon Bannister (l), filmmaker Arzouma Kempoure, Jacqueline Cofield, Thione Niang, Kanika Wright, and Tamra Cherubin.

Thank you to everyone who participated in an intriguing dialogue on cultural intersections between Africans and African Americans; the conversation should continue!   Visit www.amazon.com to purchase Thione’s book in French and English.

Global entrepreneur, US Ambassador of Energy, community leader and political activist, Thione Niang’s book, a personal biography of his journey, “Memoirs of An Eternal Optimist,” explores Niang’s path from Senegal, to the White House, to global activism and entrepreneurship.


Raised in a family of 28 in Senegal, West Africa, Thione’s determination, diligence and courageous spirit has lead him on a successful path. He is founder of Give1Project, a global organization in 30 countries that empowers youth entrepreneurs, and co-Founder of Akon Lighting Africa, with music artist Akon and Malian businessman Samba Battily, bringing solar power energy across the continent of Africa.

To learn more about his work visit youtube and : www.thioneniang.co , www.give1project.org , or www.akonlightingafrica.com.

“I was born and raised in Medina Baye, Kaolack, Senegal, a great country in west Africa. Senegal and my culture have always and continue to be in me. Traveling has enriched me to pick up the best of many countries that I visited. I came to this country (USA) by myself 15 years ago, without a family, with $20 in my pocket and limited English. My family has grown, and is all over the world. It is more than just my family in Senegal. The global Give1Project family is now in 30 countries and they are my family. We grew up sharing the bit that we had, and I think this impacted me in my career. The Senegalese “Teranga” as we call it, never left me.” Thione Niang

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Dr. Walter Cooper sharing his insights on African immigration

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The event was hosted by Rochester natives Jacqueline Cofield and Tamra Cherubin, and Buffalo native-Rochester resident Kanika Wright. Jacqueline Cofield is founder of J Rêve International, a global organization producing creativity programs for artists and educators. In 2013, Cofield conceived and launched Give1Arts, a department of Niang’s organization, Give1Project and serves as its global Director. Tamra Cherubin, R&B/soul vocalist and songwriter, performs throughout upstate NY and won the 2014 Roc Award for Best R&B Female Vocalist. Kanika Wright, is Continuous Improvement Manager at Carestream Health, who in 2013, was named one of Rochester Business Journal’s 40 under Forty and in 2006 noted in the Democrat in Chronicle as one of the Top 20 African American Leaders.

Also participating on the event panel were Simeon Banister, candidate for the Monroe County Legislature in the 13th District, filmmaker and educator Arzouma Aime Kompaore, a native of Burkina Faso, that has worked throughout Africa, Europe and the United States on numerous film projects, documentaries, and fiction films.

All photos listed on this page © J Rêve International LLC

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