The African People’s Socialist Party’s Office of the Chairman recognizes individuals for their accomplishments and contributions to the liberation of Africa and African people.
The Marcus Garvey Comrade of the Year award recognizes the hard work and dedication of those individuals whose performance demonstrates extraordinary efforts above and beyond the “call of duty.”
We are excited to share this year’s nominees. Make sure to register for the 2021 Plenary so you can witness the announcement of the winners.
Title: Dir. Information & Education/N2U Director/Marketing Director of Zenzele Consignment
Read Kundai’s nomination narrative
I believe this award was made for a comrade such as Kundai, who in all my time in the Party has been one of the most impressive I have ever seen.
Kundai joined AAPDEP in 2017 during the AAPDEP 10 year Anniversary Convention in Huntsville, Alabama. She often reminds me that it was the Chairman’s keynote address at the conference that forever changed her life, causing her to realize that she had to dedicate herself to the African Revolution.
Shortly after joining AAPDEP, Kundai became a member of the Party and served as the Southern Regional Secretary. In 2019, Kundai was assigned to AAPDEP where she has worked directly under my leadership ever since.
Kundai brings creativity,tenacity, a willingness to learn and her competitive spirit as a collegiate track athlete and coach into her work as a political organizer. She throws herself into all of her work, never taking a half-hearted approach to any assignment. She has consistently expressed deep political unity with the overall mission of the Party and AAPDEP and is always seeking to find ways she can not only carry out her specific tasks, but can contribute to the success of the organization as a whole.
Kundai’s official responsibilities within AAPDEP include serving as the Director of Information & Education, N2U Coordinator and Assistant Manager/Marketing Director for our economic institution, Zenzele Consignment.
That in and of itself is an incredible amount of responsibility. However, because of a current limited number of Party forces and AAPDEP cadre within the organization, Kundai plays a role in almost every aspect of the AAPDEP work.
I often send her into organizational or community meetings on my behalf, and she never returns without recommendations, contacts or proposals. For this reason, I often refer to her as the AAPDEP Secretary General.
As the AAPDEP N2U Coordinator, she holds weekly orientations, constantly fighting for and bringing in volunteers for our community programs and store. As the interim membership coordinator, she does everything possible to turn our many volunteers into AAPDEP members and conscious African Internationalists.
One area that has seen tremendous growth under Kundai’s leadership is our AAPDEP Department of Information and Education, which has been increasingly putting AAPDEP into the world through Burning Spear articles, a revamp of our AAPDEP website, development of regular webinars and promotional materials and media interviews.
Kundai has also been instrumental in the development of our covid-19 telehealth program, serving as the secretary of our Medical Advisory Team, leading volunteer orientations, creating promotional materials, public service announcements and promo videos.
This year Zenzele had to close twice due to Covid-19. And even while sick with covid herself, Kundai fought for the store, doing live sales three times a week from her bedroom while in quarantine. Those live sales continue even now, and everyone always admires and appreciates the bubbly, fun live sales that have become an important sales stream for the store.
Kunai also led the charge to build Zenzele’s online store, working with members to revamp the website, organizing professional photoshoots and solving the problems of shipping, inventory and promotions for the online store.
In a move that has proven to be a game changer for AAPDEP, Kundai now takes on much of the daily responsibility of running Zenzele, allowing me the opportunity to focus on building the AAPDEP programs with much more clarity and focus.
There is so much more I could say about this comrade, but the word count requirements won’t let me say much more.
I will end with this. I doubt I could have a deeper or more profound revolutionary love for any comrade as I do for Comrade Kundai. She has shown herself to be a true African Patriot, a tireless worker for African People, and a deeply committed member of the African People’s Socialist Party.
I hope that my words can adequately express just how deserving comrade Kundai is of this award and that the nomination committee sees fit to honor her as Comrade of the Year.
Title: Vice President & Membership Coordinator
Department: InPDUM Executive Committee
Read Matsemela’s nomination narrative
Coming out of last year’s plenary, Matsemela’s first responsibility was Africans Charge Genocide Campaign. He built a virtual ACG tour by having themed webinars and special guests to expose that everything that Africans face is genocide. In the time he was chair of Africans Charge Genocide Campaign he brought in hundreds of dollars and InPDUM/ACG Working Group members into organization. The presence of the webinars and circulation of the ACG petition increased the petition by 100,000. This was due in part to a surge of signatures after the murder of George Floyd by the colonial pigs.
When the Colonial Virus impacted in-person events and shut down schools, he created a school curriculum “Uhuru Shule” and the Burning Spear Study Group. For the last few months he has learned and carried out the responsibilities of the People’s War Radio Show which includes many hours of researching, recording, hosting and editing.
Matsemela brings the African Revolution into the classroom. Odom teaches African Internationalism in San Diego at the college he works at and he has gotten Chairman’s books into the university library. He also brings back the expertise and skills that he learned from the bourgeoisie and brings it back to the African Revolution. He writes for the African Resistance Now! column and other articles in the Burning Spear Newspaper.
Matsemela demonstrates a practical revolutionary approach to the work and encourages teamwork and participation among a wide variety of people. He lives up to his name sake “exalted roots” by lifting himself, his family and the African working class up at the same time.
He supports other sister organizations and has recruited his own family members to join InPDUM, AAPDEP and ANWO. As the Membership Coordinator for 2020-2021, he is dedicated to building his committee, branches all over the world and leaders in InPDUM. He recently created a monthly membership newsletter “Wanachama’ and he’s consolidating fresh ideas into the committee.
Matsemela has a deep love for understanding and applying African Internationalism and works hard to implement it into his leadership, educational opportunities and responsibilities. His commitment to building the advanced detachment of the African working class is worthy of emulation. For all these reasons, I am nominating Matsemela for Comrade of the Year!
Title: National InPDUM President
Department: APSP Occupied Azania
Read Zakhele’s nomination narrative
I am nominating Zakhele for comrade of the year.
Comrade Zakhele, president of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) South Africa has been in our ranks for a number of years now. Ever since, the comrade has made absolutely obvious his wholehearted commitment to African Internationalism and the Party as the only solution we have to advancing the African revolution to its final conclusion of total independence, African freedom and socialism under the leadership of the African working class.
This comrade has demonstrated in very practical ways his loyalty to the Party and his desire to see it occupying all spaces. From time to time he has travelled from his province of residence, Mpumalanga, to Gauteng responding to the call of getting on with other comrades in order to carry out a program or action. Just recently, he took the Pienaar InPDUM branch to a local march for youth empowerment. He fights for active struggle. A lot of Africans have signed the Africa charge genocide petition because of his efforts.
Amongst other qualities of comrade Zakes is that he is always up to date with current affairs, not only the local events but international as well. Zakes is always first to update us of what is happening in places like Venezuela, Iran and different parts of Africa where oppressed people are struggling to either survive or get rid of imperialism and its domestic neo-colonial minions.
He has several times engaged the Party with grassroots movements; building friendly relationships with some of the progressive organizations that are dealing with concrete struggles in the hellish townships of South Africa.
One such organization is the Amadiba Crisis Committee that has been fighting against parasitic ambitions by an Australian mining company in alliance with the government to exploit our resources in what is referred to as the Wild-coast. President Zakhele, in the name of the Party, went to support this organization in a court bid against the government and this rejected mining company. He did an interview with the leader of the organization, who has just been murdered last month in this ongoing battle for Xolobeni. The interview can be found on the Burning Spear newspaper website.
When you find him online, Zakes promotes every single organization and initiative of our Party and movement. Sometimes I bump into comments he made on someone’s random post, and his response is always aimed at advancing the Party. It is for this reason I want to give him the credit for InPDUM winning the response it did with its last convention.
A month before the actual convention, InPDUM had its first preconvention conference on the African continent, and despite it appearing to be spearheaded by myself, Zakes was the catalyst of the whole event. This comrade doesn’t wait to hear what’s next, he always strives to take things beyond what has been presented to him.
Once unleashed by the growth of our Party in Occupied Azania, Zakhele is going to be a force to be reckoned with.
Title: Uhuru Foods & Pies Outreach Coordinator, Baker & Wholesale Manager
Department: Uhuru Foods & Pies
Read Sealli’s nomination narrative
Nomination of Sealli for Comrade of the Year 2020
Sealli has been an important contributor of the Uhuru Movement for decades in Oakland, California. He is well known for making the best looking Uhuru Foods Crab Cakes as well as his own crocheted creations found on the streets and at Party Congresses.
Sealli brilliantly articulates and carries out the Party’s strategy for economic development in the hands of the African working class, under the leadership of the Party. At the drop of the hat, Sealli can passionately tell you how significant Uhuru Foods & Pies is and what it means to Afrian people. He doesn’t need a script or a prompt, he lives his understanding in his work.
For the past several years, Sealli has been the Uhuru Foods & Pies Oakland outreach coordinator. In the beginning of 2019, he was dropped into the Uhuru Pies kitchen out of necessity to take on production for the market booths and began also baking pies.
It was going to be a temporary position, but Sealli is still in the kitchen three days a week most of the year and everyday during the pie campaign.
Sealli took on learning how to make the prettiest Uhuru Pies with little training, and has even improved some of the techniques of the pies. He now works with another baker and with various volunteers in the kitchen. Sealli brings African flavor to the kitchen, always DJing African music of many genres in the kitchen, and telling the stories of the artists you are hearing.
Since Uhuru Foods & Pie got a dough sheeter, Sealli has become the “master sheeter” as demonstrated in the UFP Oakland video for the Giving Tuesday USM Telethon. He makes perfect cut out Africas for Uhuru hand pies and vegan pies, and the most uniform lattice for the berry pies
Even when he has had a long day, Sealli brings written reports to meetings.
When Uhuru Foods & Pies secured more donated sweet potatoes than we thought we would need, Sealli jumped into the work and handled the roasting of 3,200 pounds of yams on a weekend!! That meant he had to lift them IN and OUT of the ovens, moving literally three tons of potatoes and half the time they were steaming hot!
Sealli helped plan and implement the production of 1,000 pies in one night for the “Christmas with the Currys” (NBA Star Stephen Curry’s Christmas food give away). We had never done a production this large. Sealli took it very seriously, thought of details and struggled to upgrade some systems.
Even while doing the production, which means being very heads down, Sealli continues to secure all of our pop-up partnerships and our wholesale accounts. Our partners, such as Lauren at Drake’s Brewery or Adam at Balboa Theatre know and respect Sealli. These relationships saved what we could of our pop-up tabling sales when we had to shut down other opportunities due to COVID.
In fact, in any environment, Sealli is a top pie seller. He knows Uhuru products and the mission well and promotes them with passion.
Our volunteers and staff know and love Sealli. Sealli always laughs, even when things are difficult.
Sealli’s spirit, hard work, humor and dedication are the reasons that we are nominating Sealli for Comrade of the Year.
Title: ODC Project Director & AOBS Social Media Coordinator, St Louis, MO
Department: APSP, Office of the Deputy Chair
Read Nzeyi’s nomination narrative #1
I present this narrative to nominate Nzeyi for the African People’s Socialist Party Comrade of the Year Award 2020. This past year, Nzeyi wore many hats for the Office of the Deputy Chair.
The Chairman stated, it takes 7 years or more before a member of the APSP to become Cadre. Nzeyi became a member of the African People’s Socialist Party at our 7th Party Congress held October 2018, so in two short years, Comrade Nzeyi is well on her way to living up to these expectations and exceeding them.
Nzeyi came into the Party with a wealth of skills and she wasted no time putting them down in the Party. Nzeyi is this quiet storm, when it hits, you wonder where it came from; Nzeyi is that powerful whirlwind!
At the time Nzeyi came into the Party, I was her sponsor and direct leadership. Throughout her 6-month sponsorship, it was clear to me that she was determined to find her place in the movement and become a leader in her own right, not just in name but in practice.
Here are some of the ways Comrade Nzeyi carries out the work of African Internationalism in the four (4) institutions of the ODC this past year 2020 that makes her worthy of the APSP Comrade of the Year Award.
As the Project Director for the National Black Power Blueprint Steering Committee, Nzeyi brought excellent Project Management to many committees within the Office of Deputy Chair.
Nzeyi started this area of work in her sponsorship meetings, where she developed systems to track the daily, weekly, and monthly progress for each sponsoree, allowing for the sponsorship of multiple applicants simultaneously within a 6 month period.
Nzeyi created report templates for the Black Power Blueprint National Steering Committee and the overall ODC. When the People’s War Committees was initiated she created report templates for those areas as well.
Nzeyi is the Project Director for the UhuruWaBenki, and created the policies and procedures for qualification, and sits on the Committee to approve the microloans for the Uhuru Movement applications.
Nzeyi’s participation on the Grants Committee team that successfully won the USDA Farmers Market Grant of over $250K for 2020 – 2023, applying her advanced skills and job experience to this successful effort. She produced the Grant Budget and mapped out job descriptions for the One Africa! Marketplace! for St. Louis, MO.
Nzeyi is a critical member of the Africans One Billion Strong Donor Campaign. When Nzeyi joined she created a Plan Of Action to reach the African world utilizing the Party’s regional strategy and winning Africans throughout the world to participate in building the Liberated African economy.
She is the Social Media Coordinator for the African One Billions Strong Donor Campaign. And In this capacity, she has grown the social media team from zero to eleven people at its height. She has helped the Africans One Billion Strong campaign push out to reach Africans by posting African Internationalist content and by creating and promoting through all social media platforms. She articulates AOBS’s mission and promotes its vision. The AOBS social media team has emerged as a motivated and skilled team of contributors learning the philosophy of African Internationalism through the production of revolutionary propaganda.
Nzeyi created the processes through Asana that allows for new volunteers to take one part of the whole that makes the weekly work happen to produce content, design, memes, and promotions.
Nzeyi worked with N2U Coordinator, Ticharwa Masimba to bring this skill to advance building the local Black Power Blueprint Social Media Team. The practical result is that the BP2 Social Media Team has grown from one to ten people at its height.
Nzeyi began working as the Project Director of the Committee to Elect Masimba – the Party-initiated electoral campaign to elect Comrade Ticharwa Masimba to St. Louis Ward 21 Alderman.
About three weeks into the campaign, Nzeyi assumed the role of Vote Masimba Campaign Manager.
In this capacity, Nzeyi made a formidable contribution to providing organizational leadership to the campaigns of both Ticharwa Masimba and Kalambayi Andenet. She organized effective meetings, held the work accountable, and helped uncover the requirements to file for office that has been intentionally made obscure by the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie.
She has provided incalculable strategic insight into how it is we are to achieve victory and pushes relentlessly to implement those strategies.
She has organized volunteers into effective campaign teams, such as a Social Media Team, Fundraising Team, Media Relations Team, and is currently building a Phone Banking Team and Outreach Team.
On several occasions, we have received sizable local bourgeois media coverage as a result of her vision, organizational efforts, and leadership.
She is the consummate problem-solver and assumes total responsibility for the success of whatever roles she accepts.
She has done these things while working a full-time job, running a household, and homeschooling her son Zyon. This requires her to meet at 7 am five days a week, before she begins her colonial workday. Her life consists of early days and late nights.
Nzeyi is an inspiration. She sets the example of a true cadre in this period when we are called onto VANGUARD UP! She has brought about qualitative advances through her leadership that’s undeniable!
Read Nzeyi’s nomination narrative #2
Comrade Nzeyi is one of the key forces in the office of the Deputy Chair. I have watched her movement, coupled with her skill and the tremendous ideological development I have seen displayed in this comrade’s life and with that in mind I confidently make this nomination.
Comrade Nzeyi has an innate sense of how to understand how things work. She studies what is before her and then sums up what has to be done from an African Internationalist position. Her political stance is ALWAYS the deciding factor.
Comrade Nzeyi has taken on Uhuru St. Louis Elections and developed processes to galvanize how the Uhuru movement has impacted the political terrain in St. Louis.
As a woman, this Comrade embodies African Women leadership..I have watched her on all fronts, Comrade, Leader, Wife, Mother, Sister and Comrade for a number of years and this Comrade consistently displays cher certain loyalty and commitment to African Internationalism and the Party. .
This comrade has demonstrated in very real ways her willingness to struggle to overturn contradictions whether through criticism or self criticism. She will do whatever is necessary to promote the Party and see occupying on all fronts.
Comrade Nzeyi is always on the cutting edge of technology. Keeps abreast of current news and affairs, not only the local events but international. A serious problem solver, Nzeyi doesn’t wait to be told what’s next, she always strives to take things beyond what is called for. Nzeyi IS A FORCE! And is so deserving of this nomination.
Title: Sales and Operations Coordinator at Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles
Department: APSP Northern Region, Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles, Philadelphia
Read Ali’s nomination narrative
NARRATIVE FOR NOMINATION OF ALI FOR COMRADE OF THE YEAR
Ali has been the Sales and Operations Coordinator at Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles, Philadelphia PA for the past two years. He assumed this responsibility after he joined the African People’s Socialist Party following the Party’s 7th Congress in October 2018.
I have had the honor of working with Ali as his manager since he joined the Uhuru Furniture team six years ago.
The reason I am nominating him now for Comrade of the Year is that Ali has totally transformed this year, and has emerged as a powerful and critical leader in one of the Party’s historic economic development anti-colonial dual power institutions.
This was the year when UFC was challenged to close on March 17th due to the colonial virus, and had to navigate surviving and developing with whole new strategies under the brilliant leadership of Deputy Chair Ona Zene’ Yeshitela and the People’s War Commission led by the Chairman and Dr. Aisha Fields.
Ali not only rose to the occasion, he became an outstanding leader who did whatever was necessary to push UFC forward. While some people stood back while we were closed, Ali fully participated in all efforts to go to the people to win their support for UFC and African self-determination.
Ali participated in the GoFundMe phone banking; in the Live Shows and over the phone sales. As soon as we could start doing curb deliveries and curb pickups, even while we were still closed, Ali jumped in as a volunteer to come on the truck and with me and another volunteer to get the resources needed to keep the store afloat.
Once we re-opened on June 6th, Ali worked tirelessly with a reduced staff to get all the donations in and to coordinate sales, which went through the roof in that period. He always went above and beyond for APEDF. He has fought fiercely to keep UFC open and building, and demonstrates a deep stake in the institution. He leads the political education in the UFC Philadelphia Steering Committee, and brings his deep love for the Chairman and the Party to the whole staff.
He is also working to overcome his tendency to be timid in asking people for extra donations at the sales desk. He is exceptionally personable with customers, and he has gone the step further to make sure everyone is fully informed about APEDF’s mission and to let people know that this is their institution. He coordinates the Buy Black Power products and wins people to buy them as well as the Burning Spear and the Chairman’s books.
Ali is a powerful leader of the Sales and Operations team. He sets the stance of the Party Style of Work every day and insists on leading by example. He has won the deepest respect of all the staff as well as the community and struggles for everyone to carry out the protocol and the highest standard of work. His stance is always to work incredibly hard, comes in early, stays late and literally does whatever needs to be done. He exemplifies the stance of the African working class fighting for self-determination.
Title: Donor Recognition, Retention and Appreciation Team Chair
Department: APSP Office of the Deputy Chair/Africans One Billion Strong Donor Campaign
Read Rhya’s nomination narrative
Rhya met the African People’s Socialist Party at the first Tribunal for Reparations to African People in Brooklyn New York in 1982. Since then, Rhya has been known for her deep love for the Party and fierce fighting stance of solidarity with the African Revolution.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela often recalls that Rhya was his Secretary when he led the Oakland INPDUM Branch and built it to 125 members!
Trained under the leadership of the Chairman, Rhya always carried out key Party core organizing principles: “The people are everything!” and “No one falls through the cracks!”
In all areas of her work, Rhya has led with these principles. As Membership Coordinator of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, Rhya was responsible for the qualitative leap in the membership rolls during the initial years of USM under the leadership of Chair Jesse Nevel. She taught and trained the new USM comrades to make personal contact with the people and not rely solely on social media.
This is the foundation that Rhya brought to the Africans One Billion Strong Donor Campaign work under the leadership of Deputy Chair Ona Zene’ Yeshitela, that has contributed to the many victories of AOBS in 2020.
Rhya is instrumental in building the Donor Recognition, Retention and Appreciation Team as the core of AOBS in this period. As a leading member of the Steering Committee Rhya developed the Polices, Procedures and Protocols and the monthly Reporting Form that now set the standards for all donor development practices of the Movement.
As the liaison to all North American donors to the African People’s Socialist Party and Black Star Industries, Rhya’s profound articulation of African Internationalism has deepened their unity with solidarity and reparations to the overall vision and goals of the Party and its campaign of the Black Power Blueprint..
Rhya designed thank you cards and other acknowledgements. She researched and produced many of the revolutionary Give Backs from AOBS such as the “I Donate to the People’s War Against Covid-19” buttons and the APSP revolutionary bandanas. She was part of the team that solved the logistics to produce the buttons, pick up and distribute the AOBS newsletter and mail to all the donors and supporters during the complete Covid -19 lock down and People’s War Campaign.
Every birthday message Rhya has designed and sent from AOBS is a work of art with a personalized message that is uplifting and lets the donor see their significance to this heroic movement.
She carried out the AOBS strategy to personally follow up with all St. Louis North American donors. The donors have responded with profound appreciation and often engaged in political discussion for over an hour. It has broken an isolation they feel living in this social system in crisis and they expressed that no other organization they have donated to ever called and engaged them!
Many will be lifelong friends of the movement and repeat donors. Others signed up and participated in the Uhuru N2U Volunteer Brigade Orientation led by the Party and have joined the Black Power Blueprint Campaign. She is turning donors into volunteers and activists!
Rhya exemplifies the stand of solidarity daily while pushing through all her health limitations to ensure that this important work is done with the best revolutionary spirit and highest standards.
She motivates and inspires others to unite in solidarity and reparations with the African working class under the leadership of the Vanguard Party until colonialism is defeated and all the resources of Africa are in the hands of the African Nation!
Title: Reparation Challenge Coordinator, and Local Chair of USM Minneapolis
Department: Uhuru Solidarity Movement
Read Leah’s nomination narrative
We are nominating Leah, a dynamic leader of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement who is based in Minneapolis. For the past two years, she has been organizing a model Reparations Challenge, as part of USM’s Reparations Challenge campaign, that has consistently raised hundreds of dollars a month, through local acupuncture sessions. Through her Reparations Challenge acupuncture sessions, she has built a strong base of support for the Uhuru Movement among the North American population in Minneapolis. In April of this year, Leah took on the role of coordinating the Reparations Challenge National Committee, a position to which she was enthusiastically elected by the USM general membership at the USM National Convention of 2020. Within weeks of assuming this position, Leah hit the ground running.
Leah built the committee to capacity, recruiting other key members into committee positions and training them with patience, care and political education. Especially when USM experienced an uptick of recruits following the George Floyd uprising, Leah worked diligently to prevent anyone from falling through the cracks, taking responsibility to bring in, develop, and give roles to new people eager to do the work for reparations. She has transformed into a bold African Internationalist, always fighting to recruit and build the reparations movement.
Leah attends every study and webinar including the Chairman’s weekly studies and strives to sharpen and deepen her own internalization and articulation of the line of African Internationalism.
This comrade leads by example. Her stance is one of humility, discipline, and integrity—completing the work at hand, and always doing a full and complete job, never halfway. No matter what contradictions arise, she struggles to find solutions through organization. She revolutionized the Reparations Challenge campaign with a much clearer strategy for outreach, sign-ups, and follow ups, always making herself available to comrades, old and new, who participate in their campaign.
Leah has led the work in Minneapolis until recently when she has had to take a temporary leave due to a family emergency. Her work in Minneapolis has had a tremendous impact. She organized a powerful March for Reparations in Minneapolis that had a great impact, winning a contact from a local condo group to invite USM to speak on reparations to their group, and recruiting a new member who has joined the national campaign to target the moneyed sector. Leah’s work reverberates throughout the organization. Her love for the Party and her unity with the African working class is solid, inspirational and worthy of emulation by the masses of white people.
Title: Project Manager, APEDF Grants and Relief Team
Department: APEDF Grants and Relief Team
Read Wendy’s nomination narrative
We nominate Wendy for Comrade of the Year 2020.
Wendy took on the role of Projects Manager of the newly formed African People’s Education and Defense Fund/Black Power Blueprint Grants Team starting in May 2019.
In March of 2020 when the colonial virus hit, the Party formed the People’s War Commission. All Party economic institutions were temporarily shut down. Deputy Chair called on the Grants Team to take advantage of all possible relief funding for the institutions and for individuals in the movement, many of whom were now out of work.
Wendy stepped up to the challenge! She quickly became recognized as one of the best project managers in the Movement. Wendy created documents and highly organized systems to keep the grants team on top of all opportunities, applications, and submissions as we met daily at 7:30am her time for months. She kept all deadlines in front of the exec team, followed up on action items between meetings and assisted in creating the agendas with the chair. Where able she wrote all or parts of grant applications.
Wendy enthusiastically took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator to build the Grants Team. She assembled all the pieces of the N2U orientation process and systems into a format focused on building the grants team. With these systems in place, the team was able to accommodate the flood of volunteers after the George Floyd murder rebellions.
Wendy skillfully delegated work, mobilizing more than a dozen volunteers at one time. She gave them assignments that appropriately matched their available time, skill level, background and interests. Each person made significant contributions to moving the work forward — they didn’t just do tasks! She divided the work for researching, budgeting, writing letters of intent, writing grant portions. She mobilized the volunteers to support the Movement politically as well as to participate in team meetings.
Wendy’s project management, volunteer coordination and grant application skills contributed to the success of the grants team in securing over $383,000 in funds this year, a true stand of Reparations!
Wendy was instrumental in one of the biggest achievements of the grants team — the awarding to the African People’s Education and Defense Fund of a 3 year $243,000 USDA grant to establish the One Africa! One Nation! Farmers’ Market in St. Louis. Wendy organized the team of eight people and created a division of responsibilities that made it possible to tackle such a complicated application process.
She personally worked on several sections of the application that were unfamiliar to the rest of the team, such as the outcomes and evaluation. Her leadership on this process was critical to the submission of a high quality application, forming an achievable program, and being awarded the grant. The grant reviewers gave APEDF a glowing evaluation!
Wendy continues to work on implementation of the grant. She worked with Deputy Chair to develop staff job descriptions. She also attended workshops on administering the grant.
In addition to her work on the Grants Team, in November, she traveled to Oakland for the annual Uhuru Pies campaign. Wendy demonstrates a true stand of Reparations by coming every year with her son. This year the pandemic prevented the usual hundreds of student volunteers from participating in the pie campaign. Because of this, Wendy united with and expertly carried out the role of Assistant Baker without prior training.
Wendy also stepped in to lead the San Diego Uhuru Solidarity Movement March for Reparations to African people in October, when the committee that was supposed to be leading it abandoned the work. Wendy’s leadership of this work brought out more than 100 participants and garnered excellent media coverage to build the Movement.
Because of her dedication and her tireless work that wins Reparations to the Uhuru Movement through African People’s Education and Defense Fund and Black Star Industries, we are honored to nominate Wendy for Comrade of the Year.
Title: Birthdays for Reparations Coordinator
Department: Uhuru Solidarity Movement
Read Monica’s nomination narrative
I am nominating Monica for comrade of the year because in their stance as a member of the USM National Steering Committee, as the coordinator of the Birthdays for Reparations campaign, and in their local work with USM Portland, Monica has proven to be a hardworking, dedicated, enthusiastic, and well-organized leader.
Monica has coordinated the Birthdays for Reparations campaign for over a year. Monica unhesitatingly said “yes” when asked to coordinate this major reparations revenue stream of USM which is responsible for $25,000 of USM’s annual pledge of material solidarity to the Uhuru Movement.
Monica has built a committee with a give-backs coordinator, project director, and outreach coordinator which meets every week on Friday nights to move forward this campaign. Monica gives leadership to the regional strategy within USM, mobilizing the regional leaders to reach out to members and contacts in their region in order to get signed up for the birthday fundraisers. Monica has also hosted mass meetings with guest speakers like Chairwoman Penny Hess and presided over the revamping of the Birthday for Reparations page on the USM website, with a beautiful new logo.
Under Monica’s leadership the Birthday for Reparations campaign initiated a give-back program in which committee member Ron Hudson sculpts Africa-shaped candles to send to people who raise more than $500. All of these have added a new level of excitement and energy into the Birthdays campaign, thanks to Monica’s steadfast and consistent leadership.
Monica’s stance is humble, confident and straightforward. They is all about moving forward the work, no excuses. They have a genuine love and respect for the Party and a passion for raising reparations for the Black Power Blueprint which impresses all who work with them.
In her local work in USM Portland Monica is a solid and reliable force who can be called upon to fulfill some of the most important positions of any campaign, whether it’s outreach, security or otherwise. Monica played a key role in building and carrying out the March for Reparations in Portland.
Overall this is a comrade whose stance and unity with reparations is self-evident in her work and contributions to USM. You can see her unity in the work they do. For this reason I believe Monica is worthy of recognition as Comrade of the Year.
Title: Sales and Donations Manager, Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles Oakland
Department: APSP Office of the Deputy Chair / APSC
Read Jeanine’s nomination narrative
Since March 2020, Jeanine has been a driving force, under the brilliant leadership of the Deputy Chair and the People’s War Commission, keeping Uhuru Furniture in Oakland open throughout this period of the colonial virus!
After the furniture stores closed due to COVID, Deputy Chair immediately created a plan to go to the people, to do what we could for our employees, volunteers and customers, and at the same time the Oakland store manager was out of the work with an injury.
Jeanine represented the Oakland Uhuru Furniture store single-handedly in the national ad-hoc leadership body that led Uhuru Furniture through the closure and re-opening, under Deputy Chair Ona’s leadership. As the “second cadre” in the Oakland store, she assumed the role of leadership without a moment’s hesitation, handling all the challenges with great political and practical confidence.
Jeanine dove into the work, campaign-style, putting all the leadership and skills she has developed over her 29+ years in African People’s Solidarity Committee to work! Phonebanking, organizing social media, emails, banners, webinars and so much more.
Jeanine also took on assisting staff with getting their benefits. This was no small task and involved hours of research, phone calls, training and paperwork, all under Deputy Chair’s leadership to ensure that employees received the benefits coming to them.
She held weekly politicized and mobilizing volunteer team meetings and won participation from a core group. When we did carry out a GoFundMe campaign, asking our supporters to contribute to help keep Uhuru Furniture open, it was Jeanine who led it from Oakland and worked with our volunteers and gave our supporters the opportunity to give, and people gave generously!
Due to circumstances out of our control, several staff members did not return to work when we reopened. We were a skeleton crew and all had to wear many hats as we rebuilt.
Jeanine stepped up again and held down the sales team practically single-handedly, often being the only salesperson on the floor, often pricing every item and making every single sale. She also took leadership of our incoming donations system which had to be completely overhauled and transitioned from paper hard copies to on the cloud. She systematically trained the staff to function in this new system.
Jeanine’s stance this past year has been bold and full of revolutionary confidence! She has jumped in and used all her training to bring the very best results to Uhuru Furniture. She fights for the best. She fights for the people to be in the center. She fights for the resources. Though I know that Jeanine herself would argue that this is simply the stance of any member of the African People’s Solidarity Committee, I want to take this opportunity to appreciate this exemplary stance. After doing things one way for so long, and then being called on to shift into a totally new mode, I believe you are able to really see what someone is made of. And Jeanine is cadre through and through! Uhuru!