The Work of Our Hands

Message from the Clerk – March 4, 2018

So teach us to number our days, that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.” Psalms 90:12

Amani Upendo Na Nguvu

How can it already be March! First of all, belated Happy New Year. My prayer is that 2018 has already been good to you.   I hope that you are celebrating the faithfulness of the Most High in your lives and being mindful to offer prayers of gratitude for each day. Like so many of you, I find myself sometimes overwhelmed with all of the things that are on my plate. I am mindful that some of the things on my plate were placed there by the Holy Spirit and some are there because I just don’t know how to say no! J. Tonight David’s prayer resonated with me “Teach us to number our days!” I know I personally want to exercise greater wisdom and discernment so that each day is spent gratefully, productively, positively, and mindful of what is really important. Love is important. Communicating is important. Making ourselves available for Spirit’s work is important! We really are here for such a short time. Let us find moments of joy as we number our days.

I don’t know about you, but for me, January and February have gone by so quickly. I think it’s been because we have been doing so very much! Here are a few updates:

News from the Continuing Committee: The Continuing Committee is excited to announce the theme for this year’s gathering: Singing God’s Song in a Strange Land…Psalms 137:1-4. The 2018 Gathering will celebrate the place of music in our spiritual journeys and our struggle for liberation. This will be a weekend to bring your instruments, songs, favorite music and stories about the transforming power of music in your life. This music could include any that inspires you to make the world better or reveals the Divine to you. This might be jazz, blues, gospel, spirituals, hymns, hip hop, R&B, classical, freedom songs or whatever touches your being. In addition, we are looking for folks to engage us in a consideration of the use of music in the Quaker tradition and the experience of music in the African and Diasporan faith and social justice tradition. Tentatively, the Gathering is set for August 24-26 in Philadelphia at the Ujima Friends Peace Center and perhaps one of the local meeting houses. Registration form will be posted in May on our website. For now, save the date!!!!

BAGU – Bold Adolescent Girls Union practices Kujichagulia: Introducing SEASJ

To celebrate Kujichagulia, we embarked on a fundraising endeavor to support the work of Linda Anaabah, who met with the Ghana delegation this summer. At the time, the name of her project was BAGU. BAGU, however, has exercised its Kujichagulia (self-determination) by changing its name to one that better reflects the fact that some of their work also includes males. The new name is SEASJ: Society for Empowerment and Social Justice! In celebration of the principle of self-determination, some members of the Fellowship partnered with several sororities and sisterhood circles to raise $1200 dollars for SEASJ. We had a delightful time at Ujima Friends Peace Center, SKYPING with Sis. Linda Anaabah! She is so upbeat and positive. It is clear that the work she is doing grows out of the bright light of the in dwelling Spirit. Well, we set $1200 dollars as our goal. We surpassed our goal and raised – $1500.

We are grateful for the participation of women from the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Sisters of Sankofa Freedom Academy, Assata Shakur Sisterhood Circle, Swing Phi Swing, Inc. , Ujima Friends Peace Center and Women of Sanctuary Church of the Open Door. Yes, sisterhood truly is powerful!

Congratulations, Paul Ricketts! – Congratulations to Paul for his publication in the February, 2018 edition of Friends Journal, entitled Breath of the Ancestors. Breath of the Ancestors chronicles the experience of Paul and the Fellowship’s Ghana trip.

Hill House Monthly Meeting in Ghana – We want to continue to encourage friends to donate to repairing the roof at Hill House in Ghana. Hill House has established a GoFundMe. They need to raise approximately $6,200 (4450 pounds). In these first two months, they have raised about $1550.

Family, the principle of Kuumba (creativity) requires that we leave a place better than we found it. In the past two months, the Hill House fundraiser has only had 16 donors. Let us each make a personal commitment to donate something to assist our brothers and sisters whether we went to Ghana or not! Please share this concern with your monthly meetings and ask them to match your donation. Please visit their Gofundme at:

Ujima Friends Peace Center: The Peace Center has been on a roll. Please visit the website and look at the newsletter to catch up on all the happenings. We had an awesome Kwanzaa and a greet celebration of Dr. King’s birthday. We have served over 50 tenants some of whom face eviction in our Renter’s Rights classes. We have provided 500 families with a week’s worth of groceries in our grocery give-away. We are beginning our work with the Courtland Life Center to bring together elders and youth to exchange their gifts and talents, as well as starting our yoga, health and wellness classes and African drumming classes. We presently are making plans to open a Freedom School at the center this summer as well as continue our Mpatapo (Peace Works) curriculum, which we hope will reach 500 young people through working with various freedom school programs in the city. One big highlight for February, was when we Ujima hosted a meeting between Lincoln University, two local schools, Philadelphia Freedom School and the Algebra Project. It was so wonderful having civil rights legend, Dave Dennis with us to share from his experiences as a community organizer and freedom fighter from his days at SNCC, CORE, MFDP, and COFO. Best of all, we continue to be blessed by the presence of the Spirit in our Sunday worship at 2:00 pm. and our growing sense of fellowship with one another.

We would love to have members of the Fellowship join us so if you are in Philly come home to Ujima. Remember, Ujima Friends Peace Center is a ministry of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent. We depend on monthly pledges from Friends of African Descent to maintain our facility. Please visit our website and make a recurring monthly donation.

Psalms 90 ends with my wish for our fellowship as we enter the month of March. Let’s be mindful of making each day count. “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hand; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. (Psalms 90:17)

Sisi ni moja siku zote (We are one always—-)

Blessings, family


 Happy Umoja!

 Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers (and sisters) to dwell together in unity. Psalms 133:1

Harbari Gani? Umoja

Beloved brothers and sisters! On this the first day of Kwanzaa, I am reminded of the blessing of this fellowship. What a beautiful collection of folks! We come from very different walks of life, have a range of beliefs about Quakerism, spirituality, politics, race, culture, food and the list goes on. We come from different parts of the country and in some cases different parts of the world. We have a variety of professions, vocations, gifts, interest, and talents. Sometimes, I wonder what unifies us together as a Fellowship. This morning two things occurred to me. The first is our reverence for the legacy of our ancestors who suffered, sacrificed, prayed, persisted, and left us such an uplifting legacy to continue. The second is our commitment to the rule of Love and its requirement that we lift up justice, peace, freedom, restoration, forgiveness and the right sharing of the earth’s resources. After over two and a half decades, we are yet holding on to one another and to the possibility of a beloved community that expands out to People of African Descent. May 2018 bring us a unity that is vibrant, inclusive and productive.

News from the Fellowship’s Continuing Committee: We continue to be open to sites to hold this year’s Gathering. The Ujima Friends Peace Center has expanded and can actually offer to host the Gathering. However, we are open to other suggestions. We are also looking for a theme for this years’ Gathering.   We hope that you will send your recommendation as soon as possible. One thing the continuing committee is considering is a Freedom Ride for August, 2019. Just like visiting Ghana, we believe the freedom ride through places like Washington, Greensboro, Selma, Ruleville, Birmingham, Memphis, Money, Jackson, Atlanta, Montgomery and other sites important to our liberation struggle will be transformative. We hope to discuss this more fully at the FOFAD Gathering 2018. In the meantime, let’s all do our research on this possibility.

Hill House Roof Fundraiser: As you know, Hill House Monthly Meeting in Ghana hosted a delegation of our members in August, 2017. In the Spirit of Kuumba, we are enjoined to leave a place better and more beneficial than we found it. The Ghana delegation was made aware of a need for a new roof at Hill House Monthly Meeting House. It would be wonderful if the wider fellowship could join together with our brothers and sisters in Ghana to repair the roof. Be on the lookout for a message from our sister, Vanessa Julye to move forward fundraising for this worthy cause. Because the fellowship is in the process of re-applying for its tax exemption status, funds for Hill House will be collected by Ujima Friends Peace Center, which has 501c3 status. This will be done on behalf of the Fellowship and will be sent to our Friends in Ghana. Fundraising efforts will begin in Januar. Let’s set a goal of $6000 and reach out to our monthly and yearly meetings for assistance. We will set up a link for donations next month. Stay Tuned!

BAGU (Bold Adolescent Girls’ Union): While in Ghana, members of the FOFAD Ghana delegation also visited with Linda Anaabah, the founder of Bold Adolescent Girls Union. She is doing amazing work in Ghana with young people as she strives to empower young girls to assert their reproductive rights, care for their health, and create possibilities for their education. Members of the fellowship were impressed and would like to sponsor 6 months of programming for her which would be an $1200. A few women are gathering at the Ujima Friends Peace Center and will SKYPE with Linda on Kujichagulia Wednesday, December 27. In the meantime, Ujima has set up a link for donations to BAGU on behalf of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent. We will like to be able to send $1200 by January 15 (Dr. King Day). Please make your donation now at

Fellowship Articles: Please check out articles written by our brother Paul Rickets on his fellowship experience in Ghana. His first article on his experience in Ghana,  Akwaaba PRicketts , was published in an African American newspaper in the Fort Wayne area. The second ”Breath of the Ancestors’ will be publish in Feb-Friends Journal. We are so grateful to Paul for continuing to tell our story! Write on, Brother Paul!

Vanessa Julye: Reaching a New Generation – Wanted to share this really cool experience from last Saturday. A young man came to receive groceries from our food give-away at Ujima Friends. He was about twenty-something and had a tattoo of a black panther on top of Africa with the red, black, and green flag covering the motherland. He identified himself as a member of the Black Panther Party and said he was excited to hear about the Peace Center moving in the community. I then proceeded to tell me about this really deep book he had read about Quakerism called Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship. He was thrilled when I told him the author was a member of our worship community. He asked our outreach coordinator, Mai Spann-Wilson, whether the Panthers could meet at the Center and would they be allowed to bring their guns. Even though we said no guns, I think he will be back. I am so grateful and proud of the work that our writers do. You never know who is being reached because of the sacrifice of the writers among us. Congratulations Sister Vanessa, your work is reaching a new generation of young folks in “the hood”.

 News from Ujima Friends Peace Center

The Spirit of God continues to bless Ujima Friends Peace Center as a ministry of FOFAD. In October when we had our first Grocery Give Away we fed over 50 families. In November we fed 70 families, Last week we fed nearly 80 families. This represents providing groceries to nearly 1000 people in North Philadelphia in just three months. Praise God!

Ujima Friends also had a really successful Community Open House with several community organizations, who were recognized for their work. We are now scheduled to meet again with these community organizations and coordinate our efforts to improve conditions within this special historic black community. In November, we hosted a meeting of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women as well as Baltimore Yearly Meeting STRIDE organization which is making an outward bound youth development experience available for more children of color. We give thanks for the work of our Sister Dyresha for bringing STRIDE to Ujima. Best of all, we continue to worship together in the Black community every Sunday at 2:00 pm. What’s most exciting is that we now officially have 20 people who have officially joined Ujima Friends worship community as members and have committed themselves to the work of the center. Of these 6 count Ujima as their primary worship community. We really are growing and sharing the Quaker experience in among our people. If you are in the Philadelphia area, Ujima Friends is hosting a Kwanzaa celebration on the evening of what else? UJIMA, December 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm. At the Ujima Friends Peace Center. We ask that friends bring a dessert or their favorite dish. We also hope that friends will bring poetry, stories, and their talents to share.

Please remember that Ujima Friends Peace Center is a ministry of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent. It is a manifestation of a commitment that we as a Fellowship made in the summer of 2016. It cost about $3500 monthly to operate. We are grateful to those who have become monthly contributors and are members even if from afar. Every little bit helps so please visit our website at and make a monthly contribution.

Please, please, please send News: We would love to know what you are doing in the world. Please send news of activism, family, and spiritual epiphanies! We would love to hear from you and include your news in our newsletter. Email me using

Amani upendo na Nguvu (Peace, Love, and Power)! Sisi ni moja siku zote! (We are one always!)

 Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Holidays

Ayesha Imani, Clerk


A Beautiful Day


 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalms 27:1

Amani, Upendo Na Nguvu (Peace, Love, and Power)

Today was such a beautiful day! As we gathered together in worship at the Ujima Friends Peace Center, I was reminded of how blessed we are as a Fellowship to be able to draw on the faith of our foremothers and forefathers. They knew a spiritual Presence that kept them through times more horrific than our minds can possibly imagine. They walked with a God that emboldened them and enabled them to stand strong and fearless in the face of adversity. The good news is that every day we have another opportunity to draw near to that God and to be vessels and vehicles of that Light of strength and salvation in our communities and in the world. Let’s invite the Spirit to fill us, strengthen us, and empower us to walk fearlessly in love.


News from the Fellowship’s Continuing Committee
The Continuing Committee met on a conference call in September and is sorting out responsibilities for our new officers. We ask for your patience until after our next meeting on November 6th, at which time we should have the Facebook page set and the minute on Community empowerment or Self-Determination available for your review. The Continuing committee has been further tasked with bringing back recommendations for a site for our next Gathering. If you have a suggestion or would like to host the Gathering in 2018, please do not hesitate contact us by November 6, which is the next Continuing Meeting. (

Ujima Friends Peace Center

What a blessing the Peace Center continues to be. It has been wonderful to have Friends of African Descent drop in Ujima for worship when they are in Philadelphia. It has been absolutely awesome to worship with Fellowship members who serve in AFSC like our treasurer Paula Rhodes or Friends visiting Philadelphia, like Sis. Dyresha Harris. Sunday at 2:00 pm, you can always find us worshipping and planning our next community event. We have been blessed to have received a grant from the Friends Foundation on Aging, which will assist us in launching an intergeneration program using our Mpatapo Peace Works curriculum as the foundation for a project that will involve sharing between elders and youth involving arts, crafts, and computer skills. The project is called, With These Hands. We are set to launch this project in January.


We also are excited to announce that the Ujima Center has expanded to include the entire first floor. This means we will now be able to hold three times as many people and will be able to run our own summer program next year. Jump starting all of these programs will require that we hire staff for the center. It is with great joy that we announce the hiring of the Ujima Friends Peace Center, project director, Bro. Mai Spann-Wilson. Mai is a young man of great spiritual depth, who is skilled in conflict transformation and youth leadership development. He is an artist and motivational speaker who is also a grounded Quaker of African Descent. He is the son of our beloved member Niyonu Spann Wilson. We are excited about the work that Mai will do with folks in the community both youth and elders.

The Ujima Friends Peace Center has two upcoming events. On October 28, we will have a Neighborhood Grocery Give Away. It is our intention to provide bags of groceries for at least 50 families in our community. We also have a community outreach lunch scheduled for November 16th, at which time we will bring together leaders in our neighborhood and acknowledge what they have been doing, while introducing them to the FOFAD and the Ujima Friends Peace Center. Please hold these two events in the light. Finally, remember that the Ujima Friends Peace Center is a ministry of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent. The Center is our space. We, friends of African Descent, put our money together monthly and pay the rent. We are grateful for FOFAD members who are supporting the Center and encourage each Fellowship member to make a monthly donation to keep the Ujima Friends Peace Center open as a place of worship for People of African descent and an oasis of peace and activism for members of the community. To donate and keep abreast of our activities please visit our website at

Friends of Color Regional Conference

We hope to see many of you at the Regional Friends of Color Retreat. It will be held on the weekend of November 3 – 5, 2017 in Stony Brook, New York. To register go to the FGC website at

Well beloved, may the strength, peace, and power of the Holy Spirit keep you as we strive in love to allow ourselves to be used to make our world more beautiful and beneficial than we found it. Walk humbly in the Spirit of Umoja (Unity) and Nia (Purpose) seasoned with the SPICE of peace.


Sisi ni moja siku zote! (We are one always) – Ayesha


The Gathering

Amani Upendo na Nguvu (Peace, Love, and Power)

Tonight I was searching YouTube for videos I could use at for next month’s celebration of the 100th birthday of Fannie Lou Hamer, when I came across a Fannie Lou Hamer sermon. I pushed play and here was the voice of Fannie Lou Hamer proclaiming…

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;[a]
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;[b]

Well, I almost started shouting! Of course hearing that scripture, reminded me of what an amazing time we had this summer at our Gathering. What a blessing to have had the opportunity to be inspired by the ministry of Sis. Regina Renee Ward, uplifted by the dedication of the Ujima Friends Peace Center, motivated by the panel on black Quaker activism, and touched by the report of our Friends who sojourned to Ghana. We were truly enriched by our time together.

Luke 12:48 reminds us of something our ancestors taught us, that to whom much is given much is required. We were given so much at our Gathering. Let us now seek the Spirit’s guidance about what such a blessing requires of us.   Let us allow the Most High to lift us up into the great work that is talked about in the Isaiah 61. We know that the Spirit of the Lord is upon us because we have been given righteous work to do. Let us move forward with the work that the Divine has given us and that Her love empowers us to do. Let us not hesitate to challenge ourselves individually or collectively. As we move into this year, let us ask ourselves:

How can I (we) support our brothers and sisters at Hill House to repair their meeting house?

How can I (we) support the FOFAD’s ministry at the Ujima Friends Peace Center?

What can I (we) do to further other aspects of the work that is articulated in our minute regarding State Sanctioned Violence?

How can I (we) more authentically root our activism in our Quaker faith?

How can I (we) manifest our Quaker faith more profoundly and consistently in activism in our communities locally and globally?

How can I(we) support the work of our brothers and sisters who are addressing institutional and structural racism within the Religious Society of Friends?


What a tremendous privilege it is to be a part of this ministry, this movement, this moment in Quaker history, as we stand together in the Spirit of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination) and Ujima (Collective Work) to be used by God to make a difference in our communities and in the Religious Society of Friends.   We are blessed. Let’s spread the blessings we received last month by continuing this sacred work throughout the year.


Sisi ni moja siku zote! (We are one always !)    — Ayesha Imani


Grace be unto you and peace…I thank my God always on your behalf for the grace of God which is given you…God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of Christ. I Corinthians 1:3,4, and 9

Amani upendo na nguvu   (Peace, Love and Power) Family:

How can we not celebrate the faithfulness of Spirit as She moves throughout and within our fellowship! It is with great joy that I send this praise report as an update of what is happening in our beloved Fellowship!

Ghana: We continue to move forward with great anticipation of our trip to Ghana, where we intend to fellowship with our Quaker brothers and sisters in the Motherland. The deadline for final payment on the plane tickets is June 14. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Clerk of the Ghana committee, Vanessa Julye with questions concerning the Ghana.

Gathering 2017 – Register Now! This year’s Gathering promises to be historic. Our theme is “The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Us”. At our Gathering, we will bear witness to the manifestation of the work of Spirit in our Fellowship and in our communities. We look forward to welcoming Our Ghana delegation back home and hearing their presentation. We will also have the dedication of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent – Ujima Friends Peace Center! We look forward to having a Saturday afternoon panel at the Peace Center which will focus on the work of Friends of African Descent in the world. If you are interested in being on the panel and sharing your ministry with us, please contact us by email. This year’s gathering promises to be amazing. We need you to spread the word in your quarterly and yearly meetings. We also need you to register asap. We really want to see you and your family in Philadelphia at Chestnut Hill Meeting , August 25-27. To register, please visit our website at

FOFAD Ujima Friends Peace Center: On June 1st, we moved into the Ujima Friends Peace Center with furniture donated by various members of the Fellowship. (Thank you Phil and Claudette Grimes and Phil Lord). Our first event was a meeting on Saturday June 10th of the Philadelphia Freedom School trainers in the morning and an amazing celebration of the 60th birthday of our beloved member “O-Love”. At the Philadelphia Freedom School meeting, we were able to roll out sample lessons from our Mpatapo: Peace Works curriculum – an African Centered Quaker curriculum designed to build, maintain, restore, and extend a peace that is rooted in love and in justice. The curriculum overview received rave reviews. We will conduct a fuller revelation of the curriculum during a three- day training involving 70 people at Cabrini University.

Our Freedom School youth program begins on July 10th at the Ujima Center with a team of high school students who will be trained to implement the Peace Works Curriculum to 150 elementary school scholars in Philly.

We are also rejoicing that the Racial Justice Committee of Germantown Monthly Meeting has donated $1000 to the work of Ujima Friends Peace Center. This brings total donations to $9457.00. (This includes donations and rental payments)

Based on guidance from the FOFAD continuing committee, the Ujima Friends Peace Center has incorporated as an independent non-profit and has filed for 501c3 status. We are also in the process of setting up a separate bank account for the work of the Center. This will allow us to accept donations directly and enable contributors to receive tax exemption for their contributions. For now, you can donate through the Fellowship’s website or can send checks to Ujima Friends Peace Center at 1701 Lehigh Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19132.

Please remember that the Ujima Friends Peace Center is a ministry of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent. It comes directly from the Minute that was passed at the August Gathering against State Sanctioned violence. It is what we hope will be the first of the Peace Centers but certainly not the last. We are reaching out for supports from every single member of the Fellowship. Presently, we have a link on the Fellowship’s website. It is our intention to establish a Ujima Friends Peace Center web page so that Friends can donate directly to the Center. Please continue to hold this ministry in the Light!

FGC Gathering: Our member Lynda Black will serve as a spiritual guide/ elder at the upcoming Friends General Conference Gathering in July. Please pray for and with her as she prepares for this awesome responsibility. The FGC Gathering is

Family, let us continue to hold each other in the Light as we work toward the time that we will be reunited in fellowship together. In the meantime, remember Galatians 2:25….If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit! On your mark, get set, go…..

Sisi ni moja siku zote (We are one always) . See you in August if not before!





Time to Gather

Gathering of Friends of African Descent: August 25-27, Philadelphia, Pa. – Chestnut Hill Meeting, 20 East Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, Pa. 19118. – YOU GOTTA BE HERE!   (Registration: $50     Membership Fee – $25)

God is doing such amazing things in this Fellowship!!!!!! You have to come to this year’s Gathering in Philadelphia August 25-27, 2017, as we celebrate together the opening of OUR VERY OWN SPACE! Family, this is absolutely historic!

We have actually lived into our minute from August, 2016 and are opening our Peace Center in Philadelphia, Pa in the heart of North Philadelphia at 1701 Lehigh Avenue — an historically black neighborhood. We expect to sign the lease at our meeting on Friday, April 28. After 27 years for this Fellowship and over 350 years of Quakerism in the North American, Black Quakers have organized and acquired their own space in their own neighborhood, with their own resources to bear witness to the power of Spirit, the Power of Peace, the Imperative of Justice, and the transforming power of the intersectionality of our Africanity and our Quakerism. Family, we really are about to open the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent Peace Center (We do not yet have the official name but hope to do so by our meeting this Friday, April 28. In fact, feel free to send suggestions up until 4/28). The center will be a place of worship, healing, community organizing, celebration, advocacy, restoration, strategizing, resistance and peace with justice making!

We are putting a call out to members of the Fellowship far and wide, past and present to come stand and worship with us as we celebrate and bless our Peace Center during this year’s Gathering, August 25-27! We also plan to hear from our intergenerational delegation returning from Ghana, share our new Mpatapo Peace Works Curriculum, hear about the Fellowship Freedom School Project and strategize about our continued work to stand for peace and justice and against all forms of state sanctioned violence.

Our theme this year is: “The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Us” and is taken from…Isaiah 61.1 and Luke 4:18. Come testify to the movement of the Spirit in our midst and the work of the Spirit in our communities. A number of us are offering home hospitality for those who want to visit in homes. For those who want to stay in a hotel, we have reserved rooms in the Doubletree Hotel in Plymouth Meeting not far from Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting House and will provide transportation. Here is a snap shot of the weekend:


Friday, August 25:

    • We plan to kick off the Gathering with a old-fashioned cook out at the home of Phil Lord and Ayesha Imani. (Start practicing your Cupid Shuffle and Electric Slide J.) Our home is a short distance from Chestnut Hill Meeting. Lots of yard space for kids!
    • Of course there will be worship, food, fellowship and fun.

Saturday, August 26

    • Worship and business Meeting at Chestnut Hill
    • Workshops / Panel Discussions and Center Dedication at the Fellowship Peace Center in North Philadelphia
    • Service Project for Youth at Sankofa Freedom Academy
    • Evening Worship and banquet/program at Chestnut Hill Meeting
    • (Childcare and Transportation will be provided)

Sunday, August 27

    • Worship with Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting
    • Final Business Meeting


Please check the website for details on the Gathering. Registration should be possible starting no later than May 1st.

Peace Center Fundraising/Membership Drive

We are launching our fundraising for the Peace Center on May 1st. Be on the lookout for the PayPal link for the Peace Center on the Fellowship Website, which we plan to have active by May 1st. We are asking every Friend of African descent in our fellowship to make a recurring pledge of anywhere from $5 to $500 dollars monthly to support the work of the peace center. Yes, we will do other fundraising in the wider Religious Society of Friends and yes, we will write for other grants and do fundraising outside of the Quaker community. However, in the Spirit of Kuichagulia (Self-Determination), we want to do what our ancestors did before us; combine our own resources to build, maintain, and control our own institutions. Family this is our chance! We already have over $1000 in donations and Fellowship pledges that total $1500 monthly for our rent and expenses at the center. To do the work that we feel called to do, it will take all of us together in the Spirit of Umoja, Ujima and Ujamaa (Unity, Collective Work and Responsibility, and Cooperative Economics).

Mpatapo: Peace Works Curriculum: Hold us in the light as we continue to develop our Peace Works Curriculum. It is a culturally responsive curriculum informed by our Quaker Testimonies (Spices), the virtues of Maat (an Ancient African System of Thought), Nguzo Nane (the principles of Kwanzaa plus one) and rooted in the Ethos of Love. This model utilizes the Quaker Alternative to Violence Curriculum, The Pillars of Peace Curriculum by Ras Ben Hopson, and a variety of Restorative Justice Curricula. It is divided into four sections and is activities based. These sections include Peace Building, Peace Keeping, Peace Making, and Peace Works (or Extension through Restoration and Transformation). We look to make this curriculum a living document that continues to grow as we grow. Each section of our curriculum is contextualized historically and culturally and is rooted in our faith as Quakers and our Culture as people of African descent. We look forward to traveling with our curriculum and doing presentations worldwide. This means, yes we would love to come to your meeting and present this culturally responsive approach to peace and anti-violence work. Please reach out to our Sis. Tracey Diggs-smith at

Fellowship Freedom School

The Fellowship of Friends of African Descent is partnering with the Philadelphia Anti-Violence Anti-Crime Network to run a Freedom School for 50 children (scholars) 20 servant leaders (teens) lead by a staff of college students and YBQ (Young Black Quaker) leadership. We are having a book drive and will publish a list of books that we would love to give to our children. You can order books for our babies and we will place a label in your books in dedication to the person of your choice and with a message of inspiration to the children. We will post the book list by May 15 when we intend to start our book drive. Support the Fellowship Freedom School through your paypal donations to the Fellowship in general and your book drive donation in particular. For more info on the Fellowship Freedom School contact our Site Director. Sis Nia at Asante Sana!

Ghana Trip: Our intergenerational delegation to Ghana continues to make preparations. Please make sure that you have registered and are keeping up with your payment schedule. Also, remember, it is still not too late to make a donation to support our delegation. We look forward to hearing from our Ghana delegation at the Gathering in Philadelphia this summer.


Family, when we sat together last August at Arch Street, I never imagined that less than a year later our fellowship would have grown to have such energy, vitality, and faith to be able to send a delegation of Friends to Ghana, build national support for our minute against state sanctioned violence, develop a culturally responsive peace curriculum, open a home for our Fellowship and peace center for our community. This is affirmation that Spirit continues to be active in our midst. It affirms that the Christ Spirit continues to be available to teach his people himself and that we can continue to be a part of the miracle of personal and societal transformation if we are open and willing. With gratitude for both God’s faithfulness and yours, I end with a non-gendered version from one of my favorite Pauline epistles:

Now to the Holy Spirit who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above anything that we can think or ask, according to the power that is at work within us……. (Ephesians 3:20)


Let’s Continue to Work in the Power of that Spirit and the Legacy of our Ancestors


Sisi ni moja siku zote! (We are one always!)


Ayesha Imani


Pressing Forward

I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus – Philippians 3:14

Peace, Love, and Power Family —

I am writing on what has been declared a snow day here in Philly. On snow days, I find myself so filled with gratitude for the many blessings that are in my life. This Fellowship is one of those truly great blessings. It is such a source of inspiration, love, and joy.

We continue to gather together in Philly on a monthly basis. In January, we had a deep and meaningful celebration of MLK Day, as we ate a simple meal and did a worship share around excerpts from the speeches of Dr. King. I cannot find the words to express how uplifting it was. In February, we gathered to move forward with the Minute Against State Sanctioned Violence and the opening of a Peace Center in an historically black community in North Philadelphia. We have submitted a proposal for a building on Broad Street in Philadelphia and are waiting for a response from the owner. Please hold this up in your prayers. In addition, we have divided up into communities and have already had a subcommittee meeting on the development of a culturally responsive model for conflict resolution and de-escalation. We continue to meet and work with a host of organizations in the city to develop a freedom school and prepare to share our conflict resolution model with freedom schools throughout the region.

The Minute that was passed at our National Gathering continues to be well received as it is shared in our various monthly and quarterly meetings. It has been awesome to travel in the ministry to share the minute and to bring greetings on behalf of the Fellowship. Please know we are happy to visit your meeting whether near or far to share the minute. Just invite us!!!!!

We are most excited to see things moving forward with the Ghana trip. Presently, we have over 50 people including adults and children who have indicated that they are very likely or definitely going with us to Africa! Hallelujah!

We look forward to the Gathering of Friends of African Descent the weekend of August 25-27th. This promises to be an exciting Gathering as we hear from our Brothers and sisters returning from Africa, as well as have the opportunity to celebrate the opening of the Peace Center and Freedom School. More details about location and housing arrangements for the Gathering will follow. In the meantime, please mark your calendars!!!!

I don’t know that our Fellowship has ever been more vibrant and responsive to the urgings of Spirit. Let us continue to hold one another in the Light, as we move forward with the work of strengthening our Fellowship and bearing witness in our communities. Let us continue to press toward the mark of the high calling that we have as a people who are both Unapologetically Black and Unapologetically Quaker.

Blessings and joy, Ayesha Imani

Happy New Year 2017

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” Hebrews 12:1

Peace, Love, Blessings and Happy New Year, Family:

Fofad Philly (the Fellowship working group in Philadelphia) finished the year celebrating Kwanzaa by gathering on December 28 at the home of Phil Lord and Ayesha Imani to worshipfully and joyously reflect on the principle of Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility). It was such a wonderful event. Twenty-eight (28) people attended including children. What a night! We worshiped, fellowshipped, poured libation, lit candles, sang our anthems and ate lots of food!

Best of all, we were reminded of the amazing ancestral well from which we draw. Friends shared about the ancestors in their families that exemplified Ujima. Everyone could recall people in their families that took on the problems of others and left legacies of love in action.   We realized that we had in our midst the descendants of extraordinary people. One of our members, Philip Grimes is a descendent of Harriet Tubman. Vanessa lifted up the name of an ancestor who had survived the middle passage and had brought forth a strong family who kept faith with their heritage and identity. Barry is a descendent from a member of the Niagara movement who helped found the NAACP. Many of us poured libation for ancestors who may not have been famous but held our families and communities together through extraordinary acts of love and faith. These folks make up our great cloud of witnesses. Take a minute now, and give, thanks, honor and praise for someone in your family whose shoulders you stand on, someone whose memory reminds you that you must look out for others!

Remember that your ancestors’ love, fortitude, and courage are available to you and to us as they surround us and cheer us on to do in our day that which they did in theirs. Friends, let us move forward in 2017 with the strength, courage, audacity, resolve, faith, hope, and determination of our ancestors to be vessels and vehicles of God’s love in the world. Let us look out for one another and bear witness in our communities to the love of God and the Maatic principal of Justice. In 2017, let us make our brothers and sisters problems our problems and solve them together. Happy New Year! May we live the principles of Ujima all year long and continue to run this race together.

Good News

Ain’t That Good News:

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, …let us run with patience the race that is set before us!” Hebrews 12:1

Blessings Beloved:


I never know what greetings to send during this harvest time. While I must confess to enjoying family gatherings, seeing the grandchildren, and telling family stories, I am also mindful of the suffering of indigenous people, especially those who are taking a stand in South Dakota to prevent the decimation of their land. I try to reconcile these two realities by being thankful for the opportunity to be reminded of the love of God and our responsibility to take that love into the world as we fight for justice and shared prosperity. Certainly, these are times of great trouble but that means that these are also times of great opportunity to bear witness to the awesome power of love and the faithfulness of the Divine Spirit to work through us.


Update on the Minute and Peace Center: Our work continues here in Philadelphia as we present the Minute Regarding State Sanctioned Violence and move forward to locate a site for our peace center. We have received positive responses in our presentation at Continuing Session at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Moreover, our minute has been endorsed by Germantown Monthly Meeting in its November business meeting. GMM will now consider how it can support the work of the Fellowship. It is heartwarming to see our numbers growing as each meeting brings new Friends of African Descent into our circle. (Hallelujah). We want to encourage our brothers and sisters throughout the United States to look for occasions to share our Minute and please do not hesitate to invite us to come stand with you as you reach out in the name of the Fellowship. We would love to visit you in your meetings. In fact, the most exciting thing that has happened as we share this minute is the renewed interest in and gratitude for the witness of the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent.

FOFAD-Philly has continued to meet monthly here in Philadelphia and has done so faithfully since July. (Thanks be to God!)   Our last meeting was especially moving as we gathered in North Philly at the headquarters of our member Jondhi Harrell in The Center for Returning Citizens. Worshipping and strategizing together in an all-Black community on a Friday night was really awesome!

Celebrate Kwanzaa with FOFAD-Philly – December 28, 2016: In December, members of the local fellowship will come together for a time of spiritual and cultural sharing.  For those who are in Philly area for the holidays, we would love to have you and your families come to our celebration on the third day of Kwanzaa (Ujima). We will celebrate Collective Work and Responsibility – just what we will need to live into our mission as a Fellowship. The celebration will be at 6:00 pm at the home of Phil Lord and Ayesha Imani. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at

Love Trumps Fear: Finally, I could not end this communication without acknowledging the results of the election. Certainly, many of us are sobered and disappointed by the election results. Mostly, we are concerned about the suffering that may be unleased under this new administration. I just want to remind us all of who we are and Whose we are. We are the descendants of freedom fighters, justice makers, and miracle workers. We must face the challenges of our generation, just as they faced the challenges of their times—with courage, hope, faith, and holy resolve. As we move forward as a Fellowship to live into the minute that we approved in August, let us do so, uplifted by the spirit of Paul Cuffe, Richard Allen, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sarah Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Ella Jo Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Bayard Rustin, and of course Dr. King – Let us bear witness in our communities as Children of the Light, Drum Majors for Justice, Warriors of Love. Let us be inspired and guided by I John 4:16-18: ”And, we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is Love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God. Here in is our love made perfect, that we may have BOLDNESS in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.”  Now more than ever, brothers and sisters, let us adopt a politic of love not one of fear!

Take care everyone! Mind the Light! Work for justice and love, love, love as much and as hard as you can!

Peace, Love, and Power— Ayesha

2016 Gathering

“Grace Be Unto you and Peace….I thank the Divine upon every remembrance of you.  Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy for your fellowship in the good news from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ.    Philippians 1:3-6


Peace and Love Family:

It’s been two months since we met in Philadelphia and many of us are still floating on air.  I believe each of us in some way continues to be blessed by our memories of the 2016 Gathering.  Who of us will forget Eware Osayande’s sermon reminding us that there is in fact a balm in Gilead or the pouring of libations for our fellowship ancestors or how we lovingly labored through seasoning the Minute regarding state sanctioned violence?  Perhaps more memorable than any particular event was the sense of love we experienced for one another and our sense of enthusiasm for doing the work of the Spirit.  I am still giving thanks for the wonderful time we had together!


Update on the Minute Regarding State Sanctioned Violence

Certainly, a good work was started at the 2016 Gathering and the Spirit continues to move our work forward.  Since August, our Minute Regarding State Sanctioned Violence has been published and distributed by members throughout monthly and yearly meetings in the US and abroad.  We are now receiving feedback and it is nothing less than amazing!  The Board of the American Friends Service Committee has endorsed the minute and has tasked its staff with looking for ways that their work connects to the minute.  Baltimore Yearly Meeting is considering the minute and has contacted us to see how they might help.  Lake Erie Yearly Meeting has published the minute and sent it to all its monthly meetings.   It can be found on line.  Phil Lord and I had the opportunity to present our minute on State Sanctioned Violence before the monthly meeting Clerks of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.  It was received with great enthusiasm and will be brought to the full Yearly Meeting for consideration.  The minute has also been presented to individual monthly meetings for endorsement.  It will go before Germantown Monthly meeting in November.  If your meeting has endorsed the minute or has taken it under consideration, please let us know.  The minute has even been endorsed by a faculty group at Germantown Friends School called WAG (Whites Against Racism).  Let’s continue to build on this momentum!  If you would like representatives from the Philadelphia working group to come to your meeting to present the minute with you, please let us know—we would love an excuse to come to your meeting and hang out with you!

The working group in Philly continues to meet monthly and has decided to focus its next steps on acquiring a building for the Peace Center in North Philadelphia.  We look forward to establishing a presence in that community which is rooted in our Quaker testimonies and our African tradition of faith based liberatory work among our people.  Please continue to hold us in the Light!


Ghana Trip

The other exciting news is that the committee for the Ghana trip in August has convened twice and is moving forward.  We appreciate the work of that committee under Vanessa’s leadership and truly look forward to being together in Ghana in the summer.  We still intend on Gathering in the United States and will send more information as we nail down greater details.



Let’s Stay in Touch

Family, we are so grateful for the resurrection of our fellowship and for your role in keeping it strong.  We experience the power of the prayers and positive vibes that you are sending in the Universe for our continued growth and development We also know that this work does not belong to us.  It belongs to the Divine Spirit.  It is Her work to move forward and to complete.  We, however, are so excited to be a part of what Spirit is doing in our lives, in our communities, and in our fellowship.  There is an African proverb that says talking to one another is loving one another.  Please let’s keep talking with one another.   Let us know what Spirit is doing in your life, your meeting, and in your efforts to spread the gospel (good news) of the Fellowship by sending post to our Fellowship Facebook, replying all to this email or sending us a message at  It would be great to have a e-newsletter of some type so that we can together celebrate the activity of the Spirit among us.   Take care family! Continue in prayer for and with one another as we work toward justice, peace, and full human rights in our communities and our world.


In Love and in Fellowship—– 

Ayesha Imani

Ain’t That Good News! – A Message from the Clerk