Voices of Peace
The 18th annual Africa: Peace with Justice Educational Tour, sponsored by the
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), kicks off in the Pacific Northwest this
spring/early summer with stops in San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon to
promote better understanding of issues facing the African continent. The tour stops
in communities across the United States throughout the year. Featuring speakers from
varied political, academic and activist backgrounds, the Tour provides information
to deepen and further mobilize the growing US constituency for Africa and African
The spring Peace with Justice Tour begins in San Francisco, June 8 then travels to Portland, Oregon on June 12-14 and ends in Seattle, Washington June 15-17. In the fall, the Tour travels to the Great Lakes region with stops in St. Louis, Missouri; Chicago, Illinois; Dayton, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan. In November, the Tour moves to the south with stops in Nashville, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Jackson, Mississippi.
"The Peace with Justice Tour works to promote organized citizen action that will influence U.S. policy toward the nations of Africa," said Prexy Nesbitt, interim coordinator of the AFSC Africa Program and coordinator of the Peace with Justice Tour. "Like many of us, Africans are concerned about violence and stopping the flow of arms into their communities. Economic development, health care and AIDS are also key issues of concern."
The Peace with Justice Tour reaches out to local communities - especially minority communities - building understanding of the diverse cultures, religions, and economic and social structures on the continent and highlighting shared experience and common ground. Past speakers have included individuals from Sudan, Algeria, Mozambique, Liberia, Mauritania, Uganda, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last year's tour featured former Rwandan Prime Minister, Faustin Twagiramungu; and Boubacar Ould Messaoud, an anti-slavery activist leading a struggle on behalf of thousands of people in the African country of Mauritania.
The Africa: Peace with Justice Educational Tour is part of the AFSC Africa Initiative, which is designed to identify and directly address the most pressing and widespread challenges affecting the basic human rights of African people. The Initiative will help local, national and regional communities explore new avenues for collaboration and cooperation that will promote solidarity with efforts to nonviolently transform Africa into a just and peaceful continent. "Africans are debating how to move into the new millennium and hope to raise public consciousness about issues affecting the African continent," Nesbitt said. "Global action and local concern must join together to become a force that US policymakers cannot ignore." Founded in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian victims during World War I, AFSC is grounded in Quaker beliefs respecting the dignity and worth of every person. AFSC has programs in the United States, and in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East that focus on issues related to economic justice, peace-building and demilitarization, social justice, and youth. In 1947, the AFSC and the British Friends Service Council received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends, for humanitarian service, work for reconciliation, and the spirit in which these were carried out.
For additional information, contact the American Friends Service Committee.
*** *** ***
The American Friends Service Committee is a Quaker organization which includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice, peace and humanitarian service. Its work is based on the belief in the worth of every person and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice.
Ms. Akwe Amosu is Executive Editor, AllAfrica Global Media. Akwe has been working for 20 years as a professional journalist on African affairs. Before joining AllAfrica, she was an executive producer at the BBC World Service responsible, among other tasks, for the Africa Service shows. She also worked as a desk editor at the Financial Times and as a correspondent for West Africa magazine. For several years she served on the panel selecting the CNN journalist of the year. She was born in Nigeria.
Mr. Salih Booker is Executive Director of AfricaAction (the former American Committee on Africa, Africa Fund and Africa Policy Information Center). Before joining AfricaAction, Salih directed the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies Program. He also served as professional staff for the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs; a Program Officer on Africa for the Ford Foundation; Associate Director of Catholic Relief Service's Southern Africa Office; and Legislative Assistant for TransAfrica. Born in the USA, during the past twenty-two years Salih has traveled to and worked in twenty-six of Africa's fifty-four countries.
Mr. Horace G. Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University in New York. A specialist on militarism and peace /reconstruction issues in Angola and the Congo, Horace is widely published, with his most well-known work being Rasta and Resistance: from Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney. Additionally, he was a major presenter on globalization at the United Nations' World Conference Against Racism and serves as the Chairperson of the International Caucus of the Black Radical Congress. Born in Jamaica, he did his doctoral work at Sussex University in England and taught for six years at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Mr. Kingston Tabvana Kajese is a theologian, professor and administrator. Born in Zimbabwe, he has three masters degrees and graduate degrees in theology and education. He has worked both in Zimbabwe and in the USA as a program officer and field representative for both the Ford and Kellogg foundations. Between 1983 and 1990 he served as the Southern African field director for both World Vision International and the International Voluntary Services. For three years, based out of Geneva, Switzerland he trained and coordinated a network of 135 self help associations in ten Eastern and Southern African countries doing community development and rural organizing.
Ms. G. Njoki Kamau is a lecturer in Women's Studies and Director of the Women's Center at Northwestern University, Evanston. She has an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is Ph.D. (a.b.d.) in marketing management from Northwestern University. During the period 1976- 1978 she received a Fulbright-Hays scholarship for post graduate work in management and was nominated in 1978 to Most Outstanding Women in America. An internationally renown speaker on gender, race and diversity issues, Njoki has played a leading role in the struggle against domestic abuse and violence against women and children. From 1985 -1990 she directed the YWCA Northshore (Chicago) Shelter for Battered Women and helped found the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Born and raised in Kenya, she is a founding board member of One Village, Daughters of Africa and the International Council of Christian Ministries.
Dr. Molefe Samuel Tsele is the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, and was born near Johannesburg in Benoni, South Africa in 1956. He briefly studied for a law degree but, like most of his other colleagues, had his studies interrupted by various stints in jail, especially after the 1977 death in detention of his associate, Steven Bantu Biko. Molefe was ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1982 serving parishes in Kagiso and Soweto. In 1985 he founded the famous Soweto Parents Crisis Committee and later became Secretary of the National Education Crisis Committee. He spent two years being tortured and in solidarity confinement as a State of Emergency Detainee between 1986 and 1988. In 1989 he left the country to study for a doctoral degree in theology which he earned at Chicago's Lutheran School of Theology in 1992. While in Chicago he was an active leader and spokesperson for the anti-apartheid and divestment movements all over the United States. After returning to South Africa in 1995, he established a desk for socio-economic transformation at the SACC and then went to work as an Advisor to the Premiere of the Northwest Province. Besides his leadership of Southern Africa's most critical ecumenical body, he also is a leading voice on education in South Africa and a member of the Black Economic Empowerment Commission.