Panel/Workshop Leaders

Iris Kimbrough

Founder of Phoenix Rising Birth Works

Iris Elena Kimbrough is a Birth Worker and aspiring Midwife who provides prenatal, birth & postpartum support and childbirth education through her service, Phoenix Rising Birth Works. In addition to the services she provides to her clients she engages with the community at large through speaking engagements and workshops such her "Ask A Doula" and "The Journey: VBAC prep" series.
Iris centers her work around the recognition of the role trauma plays in pregnancy, birth and postpartum and founded The Purple Lotus Project to address a specific aspect of this issue. The Purple Lotus Project is a grassroots initiative that promotes awareness of the intersections of childhood sexual abuse and birth trauma through community education and creates peer support spaces for pregnant and parenting survivors. Her "Healing thru Storytelling" series incorporates creative writing, storytelling, art and movement to create a space that forges community amongst survivors and provides tools to process and heal from trauma.
Iris is also a founding member of the Maternal Wellness Village, a collective of Birth Workers with a mission to function as an action oriented task force providing support services to empower communities throughout the African Diaspora and aim to increase modern adaptations of ancestral birth practices, reclaim the Black birth experience and reduce black maternal mortality. The Maternal Wellness Village has been recognized by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance as the official sponsor of programming and activities for Black Maternal Health Week 2020 in Philadelphia.

Karen Smith

Percussionist & Artistic Director

Karen L. Smith, Lead percussionist & Artistic Director for Weez The Peeples Collective & Sistahs Laying Down Hands, playwright, director, poet, producer was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brooklyn College in the performing arts department as well as H. B. Studio for acting and movement. In the early 90's, Philadelphia became an interested as well as the various entertainment venues.
Ms. Smith was born with the love of rhythmic energy and embraced percussion instruments at an early age. Karen has played with many groups, performing artists, workshops and was the lead percussionist for Ms.Debbie Allen's Artist in Residence program under the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.
She also manages, Sistahs Laying Down Hands, all female percussive, poetry, storytelling, dance and drumming as well as written several plays with Childhood Lost Entertainment Group : Legacy the play and Legacy II, Where are the Tubmans? that premiered in March of 2017 at Rowan College, A Love that Forgives (the diary of Sarah Collins Rudolph) and Ti Ti's Big Race, an Anti-Bullying play. The newly recipient of Lee Way Foundation';s March 2019 Art & Change Grant as well as 2019 Project Stream Award from Philadelphia Council of the Arts will release a new production entitled, "Awoke, the Musical". Possible is Possible.

Dr. Michelle Strongfields

Director of IAMM Science Education Group

Michelle Strongfields, MD is Founder and Director of IAMM Science Education Group, dedicated to increased representation of Black and Brown youth in STEM professions, creating specialized curricula and programming for youth K-12.
She has more than 30 years experience as an educator, physician and advocate of quality health care and the elimination of health disparities. She trained and worked in the US, Cuba, South America, Africa and throughout the Caribbean and is a professor of Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, Biology, a Community Health Advocate and health consultant.
Dr. Strongfields is a member of the Philadelphia Black Women’s Health Alliance (formerly Black Women’s Health Project) and the National Black Women’s Health Imperative, participating in the Imperative’s longitudinal study of Black women’s health in the United States.
She is lead trainer of Community Health Workers in the States and abroad, and former chair of the Health Committee for the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Program, (AAPDEP), led by Dr. Aisha Fields, PhD.
She is currently involved in the effort to link optimal health, wellness and liberation to a growing “urban agriculture” movement, collaborating with African-centered charter schools, universities and social justice organizations.
Finally, Dr. Strongfields believes good physical, mental and spiritual health is a divine human right.

Yejide Orunmila

President of the African National Women's Organization

Yejide Orunmila is the President of the African National Women’s Organization (ANWO), an international organization founded by the African People’s Socialist Party in March 2015 to address the specific oppression that African women face as a result of colonial domination.
As President, Yejide is responsible for the international growth of ANWO by creating initiatives that respond to the economic, social conditions that remove African women from revolutionary political life.
Under her leadership, ANWO has built branches and established membership in the United States, Africa and Europe.
Through Yejide’s travels to Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and within the borders of the United States; she has seen the effects of colonialism on African people and the specific oppression that African women face and is committed to help organize and destroy barriers to the full participation of our women in the Revolution.
ANWO has been organizing against the state sponsored kidnapping of African children and criminalization of African parents through its campaign ArrestCPS; Black women and their relationship to the Prison system as prisoners and as supporters of incarcerated persons, anti-African dress code policies in schools, and horizontal violence.
Yejide is the creator of ANWOs DeColonaise: Hair and Body skincare brand which is the organization’s main economic development project. DeColonaise’s products remedy everything from dry skin to eczema. The brand uses quotes on its packaging to encourage conversations about wellness and freedom.
Yejide is the mother of an amazing young woman and resides in the Washington D.C. metro area.

Omali Yeshitela

Chairman of the African People's Socialist Party (APSP)

In the heat of revolutionary struggle and during his early years as a political prisoner, Yeshitela was driven to discover the reasons why black people all over the world are impoverished and oppressed. Yeshitela developed the political theory of African Internationalism that understands the world through the eyes of the African working class. Yeshitela contends that the leading force of struggle is the African and oppressed working class throughout the world against “parasitic capitalism,” embodied in U.S. and Western imperialism built on enslavement, genocide and colonialism.
In 1968 Chairman Yeshitela founded The Burning Spear newspaper that continues to be published today. Throughout the years Yeshitela has authored numerous books, pamphlets and articles, including his latest book, Vanguard: The Advanced Detachment of the African Revolution.
In 1972, Yeshitela formed the African People’s Socialist Party which he chairs. He built the worldwide Uhuru Movement and the African Socialist International with branches now active in the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean and on the continent of Africa.
Yeshitela's African People's Socialist Party created the African National Women's Organization (ANWO) as a vehicle for African women to contend against the special oppression faced under modern colonialism.

Erin Miles Cloud

Co-Founder and Co-Director of Movement for Family Power

Erin Miles Cloud, founding co-director of Movement for Family Power, is a dedicated advocate for families who are policed by the Foster System. She has represented over 400 parents in child protective proceedings, and supervised many more at the Bronx Defenders.
In addition to her work as a supervising attorney, Erin also was a Team Leader and special projects coordinator at the Bronx Defenders. As a Team Leader she managed an interdisciplinary team of advocates, and her special project involved the close supervision of cases where women were drug tested at birth, and the test results were used as the primary allegation of neglect. These cases represented an intersection of drug policy and reproductive justice that required advanced litigation.
In 2018, Erin was a lecturer at law at Columbia University School of Law, and the Co-Director of the Holistic Defense Clinic. She also serves on the NYS Dept of Health’s AIDS Institute and the NYC Department of Health’s Sexual and Reproductive Justice Community Engagement Group. Both committees examine the intersection of health systems, with race and structural inequality. Erin is also a collaborator for Black Mamas Matters Alliance.

Akile Anai'

Director of Agitation and Propaganda for the African People's Socialist Party (APSP)

Akile Anai, is the Director of the African People's Socialist Party's Department of Agitation and Propaganda. She is 23 years old, making her the youngest to ever sit on the APSP's National Central Committee. Ms. Anai serves as Editor in Chief for The Burning Spear newspaper and political leadership for the APSP’s radio and internet media outlets. She's been a political activist since graduating high school in 2015. She ran for City Council in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 2017 and 2019, on a reparations platform and was profiled by Ebony Magazine as a “Millennial of Change". Ms. Anai was the first candidate in known history to run on a reparations platform in the U.S.

Kalambayi Andenet

President of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM)

Kalambayi Andenet is a lifelong resident to the Saint Louis, MO area. She is a tireless organizer, fearless warrior, and courageous defender of the African poor and working class. Kalambayi divides her time between her two greatest passions: African Liberation and revolutionary fashion.
She has served as the international president of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) since 2014 which has membership in Africa, the U.S., and Europe. She is also the Chairwoman and driving creative force behind UZI Custom Clothing.
She is the mother of two beautiful little girls.

Connie Hutchison

ANWO Coordinator Occupied Azania (South Africa)

Connie Hutchison was born and bred in the colony of South Africa, in a typical marginalised working-class household. She is a 21-year-old African working-class woman who is still residing in South Africa. Connie was introduced to the African People’s Socialist Party in 2018 at Braamfontein at the time Chairman Omali Yeshitela visited the comrades in South Africa.
She became the Director of Agitation and Propaganda in the Party after the six-month probation period. Connie got exposed to the African National Women’s Organization in the Party as it is a constituent organization of the Party. The party received a call to build the organization if the circumstances allowed us to, from our President Yejide Orunmila, with the permission of the Party the call was answered.
Through the teachings of African Internationalism Connie understands the importance of African Women's liberation as a prerequisite to truly make the African Revolution a success. She is currently leading the organization of ANWO in Occupied Azania under the leadership of the President of ANWO Yejide Orunmila and the Chairman of the APSP Occupied Azania Tafarie Mugeri with the support of all Party members which mainly consists of African men; but they have made it possible to build the organization through their constant help.

Dr. Aisha Fields

Director of the All African People's Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP)

Dr. Aisha Fields is an applied optical physicist and International Director of the All African People’s Development & Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), a non-profit development organization founded by the Uhuru Movement in 2007. As the AAPDEP Director, Aisha is responsible for coordinating African community-led health care, agricultural and educational programs on the continent of African and in African communities world-wide.
Under her leadership, AAPDEP has built clean water systems, vocational and nursery schools, community farms, maternity centers and a variety of youth and adult educational programs.
In Sierra Leone, West Africa, AAPDEP medical personnel have trained hundreds of community health workers on the prevention, identification and treatment of waterborne diseases and on the prevention of Ebola Virus Disease. AAPDEP has also worked with networks of midwives, nurses and traditional birth attendants to help to deliver more than 3,000 babies without death of mother or child. Aisha helped to lead the charge to build Zenzele Consignment, AAPDEP’s nonprofit clothing consignment store as a economic development project for its programs. Located in Huntsville, Alabama, Zenzele Consignment offers African, African inspired and revolutionary clothing, accessories, home goods, natural personal care products and more. A cultural and political hub for the African community, Zenzele offers a variety of community programs, skill building workshops and social events.
Despite the grave conditions of existence faced by African people around the world, Dr. Fields believes that sustainable development for Africa and African communities is possible, but only through self-reliance and self-determination.
She is the proud mother of three beautiful children.

Malika Zyaire Alexander

Midwest Regional Coordinator of the African People's Socialist Party


Malika Zyaire Alexander is an African Woman on the forefront in the fight for the liberation and empowerment of African Women worldwide. A member of ANWO for 3 years, she has led the ArrestCPS campaign and as the wife of a formerly incarcerated man, is passionate about FACEOFF, ANWO's campaign for families affected by mass incarceration. She is the Midwest Region Representative for the African People's Socialist Party. Malika is a wife, mother and Revolutionary!

Chiwoniso Luzolo

Survival Expert - AAPDEP/APSP

Chiwoniso is a self taught and trained survivalist. An avid archer and mother of a one year old boy, Chiwo has always had a desire to arm our people (specifically African Women) with the skills needed to survive the dangers of colonialism, while organizing for our freedom. She has spoken on panels in regards to survival, as well as organized community survival camps and self defense classes.

Elikya Ngoma

Musician

Elikya Bwanya Ngoma is a member of the African People’s Socialist Party and African National Women’s Organization. Under the leadership of Chairman Omali Yeshitela, Elikya has written and composed music and anthems for the Uhuru Movement such as the Anthem of the African Nation, the Uhuru Medley and the African Nation Fight Song, which she will be performing.

Edythe Rodriguez

Poet

Edythe Rodriquez is an African Renaissance poet who studied creative writing at Temple University. Her work is fueled by the unbreakable spirit of Afrikan people and influenced by the Black Arts Movement.

Lisa Davis

Black is Back Coalition & People's Organization for Progress

Lisa Davis is a long time strong community activist in NJ who has been passionately committed to the Black Liberation Struggle for over 30 years. She started out at the age of 19, in 1979, being the youngest person ever elected to serve on the Democratic County committee in her hometown, but soon found a stronger and truer voice in the grassroots movement of the people’s struggles and has made a conscientious choice to stand with the people ever since. From being actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid, to fighting to end police brutality and stop and frisk, Lisa vows to remain committed to the struggles of oppressed people everywhere.
Today she is a member of the People's Organization for Progress, the vice-chair of the Black is Back Coalition (BIBC) and chair of its Healthcare Working Group, which is tasked with the mission of establishing an advocacy network of revolutionary people who are involved in healthcare, be it naturopathic or allopathic, and who are committed to challenging the paradigm of this current racist, for profit, medical system. And whereas she commends the Black Liberation Struggle for being on the forefront of fighting against the abuses of a racist judicial and law enforcement society, she is adamantthat we must become equally as vocal about the devastating effects of structural racism in medicine.

Charo Morley

African People's Socialist Party Bahamas

Charo Morley is an Economist who has worked for government, international organizations and also in the private sector. She is committed to taking a revolutionary approach to economic development initiatives in underserved communities in The Bahamas. Charo plays an important role in building the African People's Socialist Party-Bahamas and heads up the Party's economic development work as co-owner of Black Food Bookstore & Culture Shop, an African-centered retail store, based in Nassau, Bahamas.

Hada Dioula Longi

African National Women's Organization


Belinda Parker Brown

Louisiana United International

Belinda Parker-Brown, is the organization’s CEO. She co-founded LUI with her husband, Mr. Carl Brown. As social justice leaders and private individuals, both are exceptionally compassionate, committed to the cause of justice, knowledgeable, talented, skilled, astute, and visionary. Both are very receptive to inclusiveness. As LUI’s CEO, Parker-Brown works with advocates across a super wide spectrum of philosophies and lawful tactics as long as their first objective is justice as opposed to selfish advancement.

Desiree Gaytan

Mujer Committee - Union del Barrio

Unión del Barrio is an independent political organization with the goal of building a peoples organization capable of promoting and defending the human rights and class interests of la raza within the political borders of the US. Shortly after the founding of Unión del Barrio in 1981, mujer members began discussions to explore their unique oppressions and the importance of women taking leadership within the movement. In 1993, Unión del Barrio founded the Women's Commission and created a 10 point platform to guide the liberation of raza women. We recognize that our struggle is part of a global struggle of bold and resilient mujeres who are leading the charge to dismantle and destroy the source of our collective subjugation – capitalist imperialist white supremacy, and its exploitation of our bodies and of our land. Unión del Barrio insists that without the full participation and leadership of revolutionary women, there will be no victory in revolutionary struggle.

Carmen Alexander

African National Women's Organization

In addition to being an ANWO member, Carmen Alexander is the Deputy Director of Operations and Chief of Staff for New Voices for Reproductive Justice. With over 15 years of management and business analyst experience, Carmen oversee the entire operations of our organization including staff management and supervision, fiscal management, oversight and coordination, human resources, facilities management, information technology including database management, program management and outcomes-based movement-building.
Carmen began working with New Voices for Reproductive Justice in 2014 when she led our community organizing efforts on health care access, LGBTQ+ rights and ending gender-based violence specifically sexual assault. Carmen then went on to successfully build the Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) program, Voice Your Vote! Project™, initiated in 2014 with our phone bank targeted to Black women and Black LGBTQ+ people during the first Affordable Care Act Marketplace open enrollment period. As a result of her exemplary leadership, the IVE program continues to thrive outreaching over 300,000 times to our voter universe in Pennsylvania and Ohio and replicating our IVE program in Cleveland and Philadelphia. In 2016, Carmen was instrumental in the passage of a City of Pittsburgh ordinance to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which established the city’s Gender Equity Commission, one of the few in the nation.

Vanessa Gabrielle Chandler

African National Women's Organization


Pauline Pierpont

African National Women's Organization


Rahnda Rize

Singer


Tafarie Mugeri

APSP Director of Organization - Africa


Penny Hess

African People's Solidarity Committee

Penny Hess is the Chair of the African People’s Solidarity Committee (APSC). The African People’s Solidarity Committee organizes in the white community for white reparations to African people, working under the direct leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party, an organization led by Chairman Omali Yeshitela that is working for the liberation of Africa and African people everywhere. Penny is the author of the book Overturning the Culture of Violence, which addresses white people’s relationship to enslavement and genocide using the Party’s theory of African Internationalism.