Mission, Vision & Core Values


To reverse the negative economic impact of the colonial economy and prison system, the African Independence Workforce Program is training members of our African community to contribute to a prosperous future through development of our independent liberated economy.


  • Collective African economic development
  • African ownership of the means of production
  • Empowerment and leadership of the African working class
  • Transform individuals with confidence, skills and respect
  • Team-building and collective leadership
  • Organizational and personal integrity
  • Collaboration and partnerships with like minded organizations and individuals

The African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) is launching the African Independence Workforce Program (AIWP).

The need to build the AIWP is not an abstract need. It is real, based on the impact of the past 40 years of mass incarceration that has torn apart families; interrupted the ability to produce and reproduce life; left our communities impoverished; left families without fathers, sons, uncles and mothers, daughters and sisters. AIWP is part of a process of the black community receiving our brothers and sisters back into the community to reverse the damage done by the prison system that has always been used as a colonial tool against the African community. We are 13% of the U.S. population, but we are more than 40% of the prison population. One in three black men and 1 in 18 black women will go to prison in our lifetime. In the current economic crisis, our communities everywhere are battered worse than ever with the escalation of prices for the basic necessities of life, such as food, clothing and shelter. Like many communities of African people worldwide, in North St. Louis, the average income for an African family is $5 per day. We are creating opportunities for formerly incarcerated African men and women and all our people to receive training, gain employment and become stakeholders in a prosperous economy for our entire community.

The African Independence Workforce Program has designed grassroots training to develop the future:

  • Chefs
  • Bakers
  • Food Production Managers
  • Professional Furniture movers
  • Truck drivers
  • Store managers
  • Artists
  • Logistics coordinators
  • Outreach Coordinators
  • Marketing coordinators
  • Project Managers
  • T-shirt printers
  • Salespeople
  • Radio engineers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Social Media Coordinators
  • Videographers

The African Independence Workforce Program has designed grassroots training to develop the future:

We are creating the “Huduma za Maisha”* commission to provide life services so that our trainees and our community can succeed and prosper.

We will provide services such as:

  • Pre-program training in English and Match
  • Housing and transportation references
  • Child care assistance
  • Food access
  • Resume writing and interview skills
  • Employment search and placement
  • *Swahili for life services