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Our Mission

The APEDF mission is to defend the human and civil rights of the African community and end the disparities faced by African people in health, healthcare, education and economic development

African People's Education
& Defense Fund

APEDF History

Since 1994, we have been establishing institutions and programs that put African people in control of our own community life.

APEDF has longstanding institutions deeply rooted in the communities of Oakland, CA, St Louis, MO, St Petersburg, FL and Philadelphia, PA.

This is economic development in the hands of the African community to feed, clothe, house and employ our people.

We have the power to transform the future for African people, providing genuine solutions to disparities and injustice in every aspect of life for African people.

We are driven by African self-determination, a sense of pride and a vision for a prosperous future once again.

APEDF Board Of Directors

Ona Zene Yeshitela, APEDF President

APEDF President

Ona Zené Yeshitela


APEDF mission statement spoke to me directly. It calls for immediate action. We are committed to creating institutions, programs and campaigns that defend the human and civil rights of the African community and address the grave disparities in health, health care, economic development and education
Kitty Reilly, APEDF Secretary

APEDF Secretary

Kitty Reilly


I traveled throughout the country searching for solutions to a social system I felt was unjust. I found APEDF in Oakland, CA. There were solutions to the disparities in the conditions the Black community is faced with led by African self-determination in the center. And that’s how I got to St.Louis, MO where I currently live -- not to retire -- but to work in the national APEDF office!

APEDF Treasurer

Maureen Wagener


I saw the movement of black people for justice and black power. I began to understand the huge disparities that exist between white people and black people in this country. As a child, the injustice of the two Americas struck me. When I saw the mission, programs, successes and dynamism of APEDF, I knew it was a solution to this divide, and I wanted to be a part of it.

Get in touch


4101 W. Florissant, St. Louis, MO 63115