Briggs Bomba, Coordinator, Project Director for Zimbabwe Alliance, Trust Africa
Briggs Bomba works for TrustAfrica as the Project Director for Zimbabwe Alliance, a donor collaborative that works to promote a vibrant civil society and democracy in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe Alliance engages and supports local initiatives through grant making, capacity building, networking and international solidarity. Previously Mr. Bomba served as Director of Campaigns for Africa Action in Washington, D.C. He holds a Master’s Degree in Social and Applied Economics from Wright State University (Ohio, USA). He has served on the steering committees of the Zimbabwe Social Forum and Southern Africa Social Forum and serves on the board of Jubilee USA. A leading analyst on democracy and economic development in Africa, Mr. Bomba has appeared on CNN, BBC, World Focus, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CBC, Press TV, Al-Jazeera, Voice of America, SW Radio Africa, KPFA, WPFW and Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Keeping Hope Alive radio show. His commentary and analysis has appeared in Alliance Magazine, Foreign Policy in Focus and Pambazuka News, among other outlets.
Imani Countess, Africa Regional Program Director, The Solidarity Center
Imani Countess is the Africa Regional Program Director at The Solidarity Center, a nongovernmental organization that works to advance the rights of working people and promote just and equitable development around the world Formerly the Zimbabwe country director for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Countess brings to the position expertise in advocacy, innovative educational training, outreach, defense of human rights, and an extensive knowledge of Africa. Her career reflects a lifelong commitment to social justice and a rich history of personal and professional activism, and she is a veteran of the solidarity movement with the South African people against apartheid. Countess also served as senior director for public affairs at TransAfrica Forum, where she advised the president on African policy. At TransAfrica Forum, she created and implemented the Zimbabwe program and strengthened the organization’s external relations to promote cooperation and uniformity within the global labor movement. Countess’s long career focused on Africa includes advocacy, outreach, and leadership positions at the U.S. African Development Foundation, Washington Office on Africa/Africa Policy Information Center, Namibia Information Service, and Coalition for a New Foreign Policy. She received the Bud Day Award for Activist Scholarship in 2007. Countess also is a board member of the African Studies Association, board member of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, and former co-chair of the Jubilee USA Network Board of Directors.
Jennifer Davis, Former Executive Director, American Committee on Africa / Africa Fund
For two decades, beginning in 1981, Jennifer Davis served as executive director of the American Committee on Africa and of its non-profit educational affiliate The Africa Fund (ACOA/AF). Under her leadership, the organizations played a central role in the national divestment movement supplying universities, trade unions, churches, and state and city governments with human and informational resources to carry out successful divestment campaigns. The imposition of economic sanctions against South Africa by the U.S. Congress in 1986 was a direct result of the nationwide, grassroots organizing and coalition building in which ACOA and The Africa Fund were deeply engaged. Before becoming executive director, Davis served as ACOA/AF’s research director. In exile from South Africa since 1966, Davis made her home on New York’s Upper West Side a temporary dwelling place for countless people—Africans, Europeans and Americans—who were recently expelled from their country of origin, at the UN for temporary assignments, or in New York to make use of ACOA’s resources. Over more than three decades, she played host to delegations and individuals from liberation, protest, human rights, and trade union movements throughout Southern Africa, providing the opportunity for them to inform and update activist Americans on the progress of their work.
Heeten Kalan, Senior Program Officer, New World Foundation
Heeten Kalan works as a Senior Program Officer for the New World Foundation where he manages the Global Environmental Health and Justice Fund and the New Majority Fund. He also oversees the Foundation’s Pooled Fracking Fund and works closely with allied funders ad donors on issues related to fossil fuels and climate change. Between September 2006-2008, he served as Program Officer for the Panta Rhea Foundation where he focused on ecological justice issues. He works closely with many South African environmental justice organizations and since the fall of the apartheid regime, his activism has centered on heightening awareness of the links between the environment and all aspects of health, and the broader socio-economic consequences of unjust environmental policies. He received his Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was able to merge his interests of environment, human health, human rights and planning. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. Kalan Chairs the Board of the South African Development Fund.
Nunu Kidane, Director, Priority Africa Network (PAN)
Nunu Kidane is from Eritrea; she’s lived and worked in the San Francisco/Bay Area for over two decades. Since graduating from U.C. Berkeley, she’s worked and written extensively on Africa policy developments topics related to HIV/AIDS, debt cancellation, migration, resource extraction, land rights/human rights and racial justice. Nunu is founder and Director of Priority Africa Network (PAN) an organization that provides advocacy on Africa and working directly with diverse grassroots African communities in the Bay Area and beyond. Nunu received the “Champion of Change Award” from the White House in 2012 for her work with diaspora groups.
William Minter, Editor, AfricaFocus Bulletin
William Minter has been a writer, researcher, and activist since the mid-1960s, focusing particularly on southern Africa and international issues. He studied at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria in 1961-62 and taught in Tanzania and Mozambique at the secondary school of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO) in 1966-68 and 1974-76. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology and a certificate in African studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is the author of a number of books, the most recent being the co-edited No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000. Minter worked as a writer, editor, and researcher at Africa News Service (now allafrica.com) in Durham, N.C. in 1973 and 1976-82. Based in Washington since 1982, he has combined personal research and writing with contract work for a number of organizations, including policy analysis, writing, and development of computer-mediated communication tools. This has included work for Africa Action and its predecessor organization, the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), from 1992 through fall 2003, and for the affiliated Washington Office on Africa (WOA), from 1992 to 1997.
Prexy Nesbitt, Educator, Activist, Scholar
Prexy Nesbitt is an educator, activist and scholar – these are intertwined activities; activities that are in dialogue in Nesbitt’s life and work whether in the classroom, taking educational groups to Southern Africa, in his various publications or his commitment to creating archives from the material he has collected and produced over the years. Central to all his work has been a commitment to anti-racism. This has informed his organizing on the West side of Chicago with Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s; his work with the World Council of Churches Program to Combat Racism in the late 1970s from Geneva, Switzerland; serving as a program officer for the MacArthur Foundation in the 1990s; and his work in other positions, including special aide to Chicago Mayor Harold Washington; Dean of Students , Community Engagement, and Diversity at the Francis W. Parker school in Chicago; and African history professor at Columbia College in Chicago. Nesbitt has also worked with a number of Africa-specific organizations. In 1970 he became the first field staff for the American Committee on Africa, (ACOA), organizing anti-apartheid groups in the Midwest. In 1972, Robert Van Lierop and Nesbitt founded the African Information Service and edited Return to the Source, a collection of Amilcar Cabral’s speeches. Nesbitt worked for ACOA a second time from 1976-1979, coordinating the national Committee to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa. He has also worked for the Institute for Policy Studies, the American Friends Service Committee, and Africa Action.
Anita Wheeler, Educator, Activist, Scholar
Anita Wheeler is an Andrew Mellon postdoctoral fellow in the Cultures in Transnational Perspective Program and a visiting assistant professor in the African Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles working on the project Navigating Difference: Africa and China’s Cultural and Political Geographies. She received her Ph.D. in African Studies and Research from Howard University. Anita was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship at the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia. She was also awarded the Davis Putter Scholarship Fund for social justice for her volunteer work in numerous social justice organizations in Baltimore, New York and San Francisco. For the past ten years she has worked on local and international issues ranging from environmental justice to youth rights. She participated in the American Friends Service Committee’s Africa Youth Initiative Network in Rwanda and Zambia. She is an alum of the Center For Third World Organizing’s (CTWO) Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) and worked as a youth program coordinator for the Common Roots Program at the Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco.
Anyango Reggy, US-Africa Network Coordinator
Born to an African-American mother and a Kenyan father, Anyango spent much of her childhood in Kenya. In 1993 she returned to the United States to pursue a BA in Psychology from Eastern University; an MA in International Affairs and Development from Clark Atlanta University; and a Ph.D. in African Studies and Research from Howard University. The focus of her dissertation research was on post-conflict reconstruction and women in Rwanda. For the past decade, Anyango has been actively involved in education and advocacy on international issues. For six years, she was the Program Director for International Affairs and the U.S Coordinator for the Youth Leadership and Exchange Program with American Friends Service Committee. In addition, she has taught and developed courses for Howard University, and the National University of Rwanda’s Center for Conflict Management. She also developed the Leaders for Social Change program for Yale University, Stanford University, and Princeton University. Currently Anyango serves as the network coordinator for the U.S. Africa Network, a short-term consultant for the Solidarity Center in Washington DC, and an ongoing consultant for Oxfam International in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine Root works on of the African Activist Archive Project as the Project Manager based at Michigan State University (MSU). She also was Project Manager of the multimedia online curriculum South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy created at MSU by the MATRIX digital humanities center and the African Studies Center. Root was active in the African solidarity and anti-apartheid movement beginning in the early 1970s. She served as Associate Director of the Washington Office on Africa from 1973-1981, and in 1983 she staffed the legislative campaign of the Center for International Policy to stop U.S. support for IMF loans to South Africa. She also was active in local organizing of the D.C. Bank Campaign and DC Divest. She served for several years in the 1980s as Political Action Committee co-chairperson of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars of which she currently serves as webmaster and a member of the Board of Directors. In 1986, she was the lead staff person on the public employee pension funds South Africa divestment legislation on the Democratic Research Staff of the Michigan House of Representatives.
Michael Stulman is currently a communications consultant with more than 5 years experience in producing and editing promotional materials. In his previous role as Senior Communications Officer at the Grassroots Business Fund, Michael produced material for a fundraising campaign that helped the organization raise $59,000,000 from foundations, high-net-worth-individuals, and development finance institutions. He also managed the field communications program, which includes offices in New Delhi, Lima, and Nairobi. Prior to working with GBF, Michael was associate director for policy and communications at Africa Action – the oldest human rights organization focused exclusively on Africa. He also has experience at the Institute for Policy Studies, Service Employees International Union, and several non-profit organizations in Southern Africa. Michael’s media broadcast and print credits include Al Jazeera- English, BBC Business Daily, Bloomberg, Christian Science Monitor, CNN, CNNMoney, Congressional Quarterly, The Daily Beast, Democracy Now!, Financial World, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, National Public Radio, NextBillion.com, Pacifica Radio, VCCircle, Voice of America, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other media outlets.