OUR COMMON GROUND with Janice Graham
IN CONVERSATION with Efia Nwangaza
HUMAN RIGHTS - COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT - MEDIA
Activist and Leader
"Speaking Truth to Power and Ourselves"
ABOUT EFIA NWANGANZA
Efia Nwangaza is a lifelong civil/human rights activist and freedom fighter who first worked for the liberation of African/Black people as a child in her Garveyite parents' apostolic faith church, in her birth place of Norfolk, Virginia.
At age 13 years, she served as secretary of the Norfolk Branch of the NAACP Youth and College Chapter and, later in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania she fought police violence, worked in the sucessful NAACP led campaign to desegregate Girard College, "a school for poor white, male, orphans" which then sat in the heart of Black North Philadelphia.
Efia and her family helped raise money and collect clothes and food to send South for those evicted and persecuted for attempting and registering to vote.
She joined forces with returning SNCC volunteers to found the Northern Student Movement (NSM) Freedom Library Day School; featured in the Xerox sponsored Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed series.
Anxious to go into the heat of battle, Efia Nwangaza accepted a scholarship and attended Spelman College. She worked at the national SNCC office and took on campus organizing for the successful Julian Bond Special Election Campaign Committee/SNCC-Atlanta Project. The Atlanta Project, SNCC's first attempt at urban organizing, began raising concerns of a maturing movement and demands of the day, self-determination and SNCC's position on the US War in Vietnam (which it did before King and SCLC), Palestine, and the role of whites in the community and organization. Atlanta Project position papers became the theoretical underpinnings for SNCC programming, and advancement of the modern "black power" call popularized by Kwame Ture (FKA Stokely Carmichael).
Armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Visual Arts from Spelman College, Temple University's first Master of Arts degree in Women's History (African-African American), and Golden Gate University School of Law Juris Doctorate, she went to Greenville, South Carolina where she is known as a freedom fighter, legal precedent setter and the recipient of many awards.
Efia Nwangaza is the founder and Executive Director of the Afrikan-American Institute for Policy Studies and Planning and founding memeber and SC Coordinator for the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement for Self-Determination. She is the founder/coordinator of the WMXP-LP community based radio, and a board memeber of Pacifica National Foundation, the nations oldest progressive radio network.
Efia is the former co-chair of the Jericho Movement for US Political Prisoners, represented the U.S. Human Rights Network's Political Prisoner Working Group in observing the U.S. first appearance for UN Universal Periodic Review, in Geneva. She represented the National Conference of Black Lawyers in Aristide era Haiti, lectured at the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, NGO Forum, Beijing, China, and helped draft action plan for UN World Conference Against Racism.
She is an Amnesty International USA Human Rights Defender, and past memeber of the national Board of Directors for National Organization of Women (1990-1994) which launched the Every Woman NOW Campaign for President to force NOW to address internal white supremacy and elitism, African-American Institute for Research and Empowerment (1994-1996), South Carolina ACLU (1994-2000), and she was a 2004 Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in memoriam and education of voting rights/citizenship work and ethics of Fannie Lou Hammer, Mojeska Simpkins, and Septima Clark.
Taken from Invisible Giants: Coming Into View Volume II
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