Tsehai Conferences is now an annual event, initiated in 2006. It aims to bring Ethiopian and Ethiopianist intellectuals, artists, as well as leaders of civic and political organizations together in an environment conducive to both formal and informal exchanges in an effort to contribute to the international discourse on education, community development, art, human rights, peace, and economic growth.
Tsehai Conferences is a project of the Ethiopian Heritage Foundation and prides itself on being a sister company of Tsehai Publishers, an independent publishing company committed to representing perspectives that would otherwise go unnoticed. Tsehai is renown for publishing works regarding Africa and, especially, Ethiopia.
In Amharic, Ethiopia’s national language, the word “TSEHAI” means the sun, to suggest illumination and enlightenment. This is precisely Tsehai’s mission, of thought, but, more fundamentally, a place where words and action coincide.
Tsehai Conferences hosts very important conversations regarding Ethiopia, a country with a large concentration of young people. With the highest urban unemployment rates worldwide at about 50 percent, questions regarding education, employment, health and social services, participatory democracy, and access to technology are absolutely necessary. Other problems include, lack of political stability and system capable of incorporating divergent perspectives; Ethiopians continue to flee Ethiopia because they are denied the right to pursue their dreams. Tsehai serves as a venue to discuss these issues and many more. Tsehai’s most fundamental wager is that unless these conversations take place, the current predicament will not improve, but furthermore is likely to worsen. Like we say at Tsehai, "If not us, who? If not now, when? If not here, where?”
Traditionally Tsehai Conferences is compromised of three components: (1) Panel Discussions (2) Workshop, which features sessions in strategic areas related to the conference's theme and is presented by experts and (3) Film Festival. It also presents awards to deserving leaders in the larger community.
The mission of EHF is to empower the Ethiopian American community through education, advocacy, service and the development of community-based resources; to build a new social, economic and political community in North America; and to promote the culture and history of Ethiopia.