Building AAPDEP from the ground up


The 3rd annual All African People's Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) National Conference was held January 16-17 in St. Petersburg, FL and opened with the raising of our flag; the red, black and green.
 
Shortly after, conference attendees were welcomed by Gaida Kambon, AAPDEP's Treasurer. This message was filled with political education, AAPDEP education and just plain old inspiration.
 
Dr. Aisha Fields followed with a review of the progress that AAPDEP has made since its inception. AAPDEP projects include: Community Health Workers Training (Freetown, Sierra Leone), rainwater harvesting (Lungi, Sierra Leone) and a Community Fishing Project (Oloshoro, Sierra Leone). Currently, AAPDEP is diligently working to lower infant mortality rates.
 
The first day ended just as powerfully as it began. Later on that evening was the banquet. The banquet opened with the presentation of awards to outstanding individuals who have worked hard to support the projects of AAPDEP.  Following was a silent auction of beautiful art, jewelry and handbags.
 
Day two was just as powerful as the first. Chairman Omali Yeshitela delivered a powerful speech on the significance of AAPDEP as a part of the struggle for international African unity and self-determination.
 
Shortly after, presentations were delivered on the U.N. Climate Change Conference 2009 and the situation in Haiti by Ayesha Fleary and Nyabinga Dzimbawhe. Then, the Houston and Washington, D.C. chapters provided an update on their current and future goals. All conference attendees were able to pose for the AAPDEP photo.
 
The AAPDEP Conference was very empowering overall. We were given political education on various topics to help us understand the current situation and the significance of our roles.
 
In retrospect, the most significant part of the conference was the flag folding at the very end. I've seen the red, black and green before, but never have I touched it. The flag, of course, is quite large and requires all participants to be coordinated and focused. As we lowered the flag, I took notice to each stitch that was made binding the red, black and green stripes together. Each movement we made cautious not to allow any part to touch the ground. We were all smiling and talking about the flag as we folded it.
 
Symbols are everywhere and our flag is one of the most prominent. Waving to all who pass by, boldly announcing its presence and sending a message to us that as long as we are united under one flag we can never be divided.

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