Efia Nwangaza is the founder and Executive Director of the Afrikan-American Institute for Policy Studies and Planning and founding member 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 member 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.
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 successful 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.
In 2007 the SC General Assembly recognized Efia Nwangaza on her lifetime or remarkable accomplishments as a human rights and political activist and to honor her distinguished service to many worthy national and international organizations.
She has spent a lifetime helping others who are less fortunate or are suffering from political injustices in her community, nation, and around the world; and
For fifty years of work as a human rights activist, her early career as a staff attorney for the Greenville Legal Services Program, and her contributions to numerous civic and human rights organizations . Nwangaza is an affiliate member of the Pacifica Radio Board of Directors as a representative of WMXP
In March 1998 she was one of the “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress and a leader in the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. United for Peace and Justice Affiliation. In 2005 she was on the Steering Committee of United for Peace and Justice. In July 2007 Efia Nwangaza representing Not in Our Name, she served on the Afrikan-American Institute for Policy Studies (SC) was affiliated to United for Peace and Justice.
The National Office of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality,
Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation
A serious miscarriage of justice that was perpetrated in Greenville, South Carolina. Attorney Efia Nwangaza is currently faced a criminal contempt charge by the Office of the Attorney General of the state of South Carolina for boldly and consistently standing for justice for victims of police abuse. Efia was accused of jury tampering for distributing flyers alerting Black motorists being brought before the court on warrantless stops that "Driving while Black or Brown" was not a crime. And, that she marched on the courthouse and jail in the October 22nd National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation event in Greenville, South Carolina. The central theme of the march was support for the Wafflehouse 2 -- two Black men jailed in the death of a sheriff's deputy. The community believes the deputy died by "friendly fire."
The October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality believed that Efia was a victim of political persecution aimed at stopping her from exposing and building resistance to abuse by the criminal justice system. This persecution also aimed to deliver a message to other attorneys that there's a heavy price to pay if you refuse to stand by while the criminal justice system abuses people.
She is now fighting for the life of an important community resource, WMXP community radio.
Nwangaza learned the power of radio as an organizing tool early in life from her parents who worked in international evangelical radio broadcasting. During her early years as a civil rights activist she dedicated herself to the betterment of her community and the oppressed in general. As an established activist and lawyer, with the assistance of her community and Prometheus Radio, she helped launch (June ’07) WMXP, a low power community radio station. WMXP (95.5 fm), The Voice of the People, is Greenville's only non- commercial, community owned, operated, and funded radio station and is a project sponsored by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The station gives a voice to the voiceless and a home to knowledge, community enrichment and social justice advocacy. Nwangaza's interest in forming the station was driven by her desire to use the power of radio in the interest of liberation of people for political purposes, in a culture of consciousness and resistance. As she puts it? “Media is a life-line, not a commodity.”
This is a wide-ranging conversation that shows the power of low-cost, low-power FM community radio as a vehicle for community organizing and local artistic, cultural and polictical expression. Topics include a contextual discussion of racism in today’s culture and the criminal in-justice system along with why the station was developed and examples of hands-on community use of radio as a tool in community empowerment and youth leadership development projects, WMXP programming practices and more.