3rd Annual AAPDEP Conference is a success!

On October 13-14, 2012, the All African Peoples Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) held its 3rd National Conference at Thurgood Marshall Academy in Washington, DC.
Organized under the theme, “Empowering African Communities through African-led Development,” the conference brought together Africans from throughout the U.S. to discuss issues on the development of Africa and African communities around the world and to unite with AAPDEP as the organizational vehicle through which Africans can contribute their skills to develop the African World.
Africans came together from Texas, Alabama, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC for this conference.
The conference opened with a presentation from AAPDEP International Director of Information and Education, Ayesha Fleary on “The Danger of a Single Story,” in which Comrade Ayesha discussed the importance of technology, social media, art and propaganda to define our own story.
It proved to be a great opening presentation, which was not only visually dynamic but presented the theoretical context through which people should see our work in AAPDEP, which is African Internationalism.
AAPDEP International Director, Dr. Aisha Fields presentation, “What is AAPDEP” gave an overview of AAPDEP and its role in the Uhuru Movement. It highlighted the past and current work of AAPDEP in Sierra Leone and North America.
Dr. Fields presentation clearly stated the breadth of the work and vision for the future of the organization.
Nate Gilliam, International Director of Economic Development for AAPDEP, gave a presentation entitled “The Need for African-Led Development: Building Our Own Economic Solutions,” which focused on the historic economic impediments of African-led development and the importance of African people building an economy in our own interests.
Jaleel Nash, International Membership Director for AAPDEP, discussed the importance of membership in AAPDEP as a revolutionary mass organization and urged Africans not to be on the sidelines but to be engaged in practical work through AAPDEP.
Comrade Jaleel’s presentation “Organization is Key” also stressed that African people historically have known success as a collective and opposed the idea of individualism.
There were panel discussions on various topics such as “Organizing for Self Reliance,” “Empowering Education” and “Organizing to Combat Health Disparities in the African World.”
Conference participants were extremely appreciative of the presentations and high-level discussions which followed.
Day one also had a hands-on workshop at the DC Uhuru House on “How to build a raised-bed garden” from Green Scheme Director and Master Gardener, Xavier Brown.
Overturn the system that creates misery and poverty for Africans!
On day two, the conference was enhanced by a dynamic presentation from Chairman Omali Yeshitela, who provided all with the historical basis for the poverty of Africa and African people and the wealth of the white world.
He reminded AAPDEP that our work must be as part of a strategy to overturn the social system responsible for the conditions confronted by African people and that the job of AAPDEP members is to ensure that organizations like AAPDEP eventually “become unnecessary.”
Other presenters at the conference included Sister Tashira Halyard, Director of DC-based “Heal Our Hood,” who made an excellent presentation on the effects of food deserts in the African community.
Dr. Michelle-Strongfields of the I AM Science Education Group, Certified Nurse Midwife Lauren Arrington of AAPDEP, Camilla Hippolyte of AAPDEP-FL, Latif Tarik of AAPDEP-DC, Samah Elsayed of AAPDEP-DC, Omowale Kefing of the African People’s Socialist Party and AAPDEP-Houston, Jody Burnette and Gian Everette of AAPDEP-Houston, Ben Kabuye of AAPDEP-DC and Nzinga Hill of AAPDEP-Philly all gave excellent presentations.
The conference successes are measured by the establishing of two committees which were confirmed during day two’s working-groups.
AAPDEP’s Sierra Leone Winter Project, slated for December 2013 – January 2014, established itself as a committee when members and volunteers committed to build, plan and organize for the fullest participation.
An education working-group was also established to deal with the question of how to build avenues in which to contend with the colonial school system.
It should be noted that these committees include not only people who registered as attendees but also the vendors who, through hearing the presentations, were won to the importance of AAPDEP’s work.
In the next coming weeks AAPDEP will be pulling these committees together to begin the work we set out coming in to the conference.
With the success of this conference, the executive committee of AAPDEP is convinced that membership will see growth in addition to an expansion of our work in the U.S., Africa and Europe.
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