Founder of Phoenix Rising Birth Works
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.
Percussionist & Artistic Director
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
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.
President of the African National Women's Organization
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.
Chairman of the African People's Socialist Party (APSP)
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
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.
Director of Agitation and Propaganda for the African People's Socialist Party (APSP)
President of the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM)
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.
ANWO Coordinator Occupied Azania (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)
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
Survival Expert - AAPDEP/APSP
Black is Back Coalition & People's Organization for Progress
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.
African People's Socialist Party Bahamas
Hada Dioula Longi
African National Women's Organization
Belinda Parker Brown
Louisiana United International
Mujer Committee - Union del Barrio
African National Women's Organization
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
African National Women's Organization
APSP Director of Organization - Africa
African People's Solidarity Committee