APEDF Administrator Janice Kant
Seeing the injustices and disparities faced by African people in the District of Columbia where I grew up influenced me. I saw the poverty of black neighborhoods -- with houses in disrepair and no visible commerce -- hidden from view of the tourists to the pristine White House, museums and monuments. I learned that the Federal Government has veto power over decisions of the local DC government, so African people in that (once) majority black city have no power to make laws. Gentrification was also starting in the 1980s and pushing African people further out of the city and into deeper poverty with higher and higher costs of housing and living. The city is no longer majority African, since 2011. After moving to other cities, I now know that this was a microcosm for the lack of political and economic power by African people in every city in the US, and around the world. Until I met APEDF, I didn't see anyone challenging this situation! Now I have the honor to be part of creating solutions that are not charity but building genuine economic development and self-determination for African people. This is a positive future for us all.
What is your passion?
Building institutions and programs that are reproducible anywhere in the US and world! Seeing volunteers learn about the expansive and comprehensive work of APEDF, seeing that we are about self- reliance not charity, about changing the conditions and system not just ideas in people's heads, understanding our different relationship and role as white people, and seeing them decide they want to be part of changing the world! It is most satisfying to see African people once again empowered to determine their own future and to be part of generating the resources for African people to create an independent economy.