The African Village Survival Initiative (AVSI) conference was held at the Uhuru House in Oakland, California on August 23rd 2009. Aisha Fields, Director of AAPDEP(All African Peoples Development and Empowerment Project) performed a PowerPoint presentation on the relevance of the AVSI(an offshoot project of AAPDEP) and provided information on some of the organization’s activities in St. Petersburg, Florida. The presentation also highlighted the achievements of AAPDEP in Sierra Leone. Further more, she expatiated on how the imperialist economic crisis has impacted the African community in the U.S in the form of hundreds of thousands of homes and almost a billion dollars of African community wealth lost due to foreclosure, skyrocketing unemployment and increased food insecurity.
The event, which was sponsored by the African People’s Socialist Party (APSP) and International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (INPDUM), was attended by approximately, 30 community members from around the Bay Area. A local AAPDEP committee was formed in the process with a total membership of five people led by Michael Williams. It is important to note that Michael Williams and his family were victims of a police attack on March 26th.
(See the Williams video.)
In another part of town, a second event sponsored by the APSC (African People’s Solidarity Committee) occurred on Tuesday, August 25th from 7-9pm at the Marxist Library and was attended by Africans and North Americans from the area. The initial steps of the newly formed AVSI in Oakland will be to organize a community garden at the Uhuru House with the assistance of the AVSI garden committee eight member team. The committee is developing an outreach plan to win a minimum of twenty Africans toward membership and participation in gardening at the Uhuru House. The plan is expected to be consolidated by October 10th, 2009. At the Uhuru House, monthly workshops regarding gardening, clean water, renewable energy, health etc, will be in effect. The first workshop titled “how to start an organic garden” will take place at the Uhuru House on October 10th. The goal is to organize African community gardens throughout Oakland under the leadership of the local AAPDEP Committee.
In addition, the APSC in Oakland is organizing local AVSI support committees that North Americans can join in solidarity with the work of AVSI. Local AVSI support committees will help raise resources, organize equipment and other donations, and where helpful, offer members skills in the areas related to AVSI work.