Isaiah Washington says he’s moving on after being fired from Grey’s Anatomy.
“In the coming months, all I’m working on right now is trying to focus on day-to-day life and what I’m doing with the foundation, what I’m doing with the family,” Washington, 43, told PEOPLE Friday. “It starts at the home.”
The actor is chairman of the Gondobay Manga Foundation, which works to improve life in Sierra Leone (the foundation was inspired by Washington’s discovery that he is genetically linked to that country’s Mende people).
And next month he’ll go to Ghana for the African Union Summit, where he and 50 other influential African-Americans will meet with 53 African presidents to discuss the continent’s future.
On Friday, Washington and Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Mos Def and Herbie Hancock spoke to reporters at L.A.’s Four Seasons Hotel in support of men’s fashion designer Ozwald Boateng, who is organizing the event.
Washington, who has traveled to various parts of Africa multiple times for charity work, explained his passion for the continent. “Once you get awareness of who you are and how you’re here, then I believe there’s a responsibility that you have,” he said. “And seeing that I can afford to take part in that, I have to be responsible.”
Asked if there were any misconceptions about him, he said: “I don’t know. Maybe for 50 years and the history of media and television I represent something that’s supposed to not exist. … This happened to Malcolm X, this happened to Paul Robeson – this misconception can happen to any man of power that loves himself and wants to spread that love and that humanity throughout the world.”