Sababu K. Shabaka
Sababu K. Shabaka (commonly called Shabaka) was born and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated from Morgan State University with degrees in Mathematics and Physics. He left for New Jersey to work in the solid state physics and chemistry division of Bell Telephone Laboratories (Bell Labs), a research facility of AT&T. He worked at Bell Labs for six (6) years and was promoted to associated members of the technical staff (essentially, an applied science researcher). While at Bell Labs, Shabaka became active and president of the Association of Black Laboratories Employees (ABLE), an advocacy group that fought against racial discrimination at the labs. During his presidency, the group was able to bring such personalities as, Dr. Ben, Dr. Clarke, and Brother Gil Nobles to speak.
Before leaving Baltimore in 1973, Shabaka affiliated himself with members of the Nation of Islam, under the leadership of the Messenger Elijah Muhammad. Upon coming to the Newark, NJ area he loosely affiliated with members of the Nation in Newark, but separated himself from them just before the death of the Messenger in early 1975. In 1974 he joined a study group of the Congress of African People (CAP) and two years later became a delegate to the National Black Independent Political Party. In 1977 he left CAP and NBIPP and joined the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party. In 1979, he left New Jersey and moved to Washington D.C. to manage the Partys administration office and to continue his graduate studies.
He left the Party in the early 1980s and began to travel back and forth to Africa for the next 15 years, visiting over twenty (20) African countries and islands. He joined the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilization (ASCAC) in the mid 1980s, and helped to organize a trip of nearly 1,000 persons to Kemet (Egypt) in 1988. He became president of the Southeastern Region of ASCAC before it was divided and stayed with the organization for several years.
In 2000 he joined the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA), and currently serves as its National Treasurer. He is also currently a member of the Socio-Economic, Educational and Cultural Committee of APPEAL (Association of People for Pan-Africanist Economic Advancement thru Leverage), based in Washington, DC and a member of its Think Tank.
Shabaka has taught mathematics at the University of the District of Columbia, and Morgan State University. He is currently retired but still teaches a course for nursing students in the school of Nursing and Allied Health at the Baltimore City Community College. In addition to teaching Shabaka has helped to start several non-profit organizations that worked on projects in Africa, as well as, a current partner in Ujamaa, llc, an education consulting business based in Miami. He has degrees in Mathematics, Physics, and Educational Administration and a number of graduate cources in Management of Information Systems.
Shabaka is a father of two, grandfather of four, and great grandfather of four. Concerned about the welfare of our next generation of Africans, Shababa hoped to use his training and experience to further the movement towards African liberation and sovereignty.
Cindy Ball, born in Spartanburg, SC, began grassroots organizing work as a young educator in 1987 when she recruited her community to join the global fight to free political prisoners in South Africa and the US. After forming South Carolinians for a Free South Africa, her statewide efforts helped to free Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners. In 2005, she founded Nafasi, a nonprofit organization which supported child-headed households in Eldoret, Kenya from 2005-2012.
As an community organizer, she formed block clubs, youth coalitions, and international conversation cafés, an Emerging Filmmakers Cooperative and co-founded Ubuntu Institute for Community Development in South Carolina and UBUNTU INDY in Indianapolis.
She currently uses film and educational platforms to advocate for holistic community health and human rights issues. Her commitment to community is evident in her continued work as an adult and youth educator, social entrepreneur, and human rights activist. She is also author of the Queen Nation Rule Book, co-author to It’s My Club, Too! and several articles on gender equity and holistic health care.
Sister Cindy has a Bachelors Degree in Education from Converse College, a Masters Degree in Education from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a Masters Degree in Telecommunication from Ball State University. President of Inspire Film Productions, Mosaic Enterprises and The Vibe Tea House. Wife of Wesley Barnard, mother of three children and grandmother of two young men.
She is truly honored to serve the membership of Us Lifting Us as a Board Member. May I live up to your expectations.
We are an expanding group of Black women and men whose imaginations have been fired by the challenge issued by Marcus Garvey a century ago, “Up you mighty race, you can accomplish what you will”!
Our research has shown us that national liberation exists only when the national productive forces have been completely freed from every kind of foreign domination. As a people we will only be truly free when we control the economic life of our community. We have heard the voices of our ancestors calling us to be free.
The launch of this economic cooperative is the first step on the road to freedom, dignity and respect. Black Wall Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Sweet Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia, bear witness to our ability to operate businesses, to build industries, and to thrive economically.
We’ve done it before and we will do it again.
We are doing it now.
We invite you to partner with us.
Meet our Board of Directors
Nanana (Evelyn) Gordon
Nanana (Evelyn) Gordon is a Certified Nutritionist, Colon Therapist and Iridologist. She is currently on sabbatical from her wholistic health care practice which she has ran for over twenty years. Her active organizational memberships include Inward Journey/Underground Railroad Excursion, Vice President Sankofa Wholistic Healthcare Initiative, and Advisory Board for African American Care Givers. She is also trained in various African healing modalities in the Kemetic and Zulu traditions. Her commitment to expose people of Black African descent to natural healing is unwavering. Prior to opening her business Nanana had accumulated almost 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry primarily in the areas of operations management, training and development, and human resources.
Nanana accepted her position as a Board member of ULU with only the highest of intentions. To be of service by helping to bring about healing in the Black community via establishing a new economic reality.
Byron L. Merritt
BOARD MEMBER & SECRETARY
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and raised in Queens, New York, Bro. Kimbizi is a product of the New York City Public School system graduating with honors from Andrew Jackson HS in 1966. He attended the historic March on Washington with his family and faith community in August of 1963, where Dr. King’s, “I Have a Dream” speech and the experience of being among the 250,000 marchers left an indelible impression on his life. He went on to attend Syracuse University from 1966-1970 majoring in Political Science with a History minor. While at Syracuse University, he served as president of the Student Afro-American Society which successfully agitated for the creation of an Afro- American Studies Department, a Black Student Cultural Center and the Martin Luther King Memorial Library which became permanent fixtures at Syracuse University. From 1972 – 1975 he was a member of the Committee For A Unified NewArk and the Congress of Afrikan People under the dual leadership of Amiri Baraka and Dr. Maulana Karenga. Following the sudden death of his father from a heart attack in 1975, Bro. Kimbizi relocated to Atlanta, Georgia.
Beginning in 1980, he joined the 5000 member Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church under the dynamic leadership of Rev. R.L. White Jr. and became their first Director of Christian Education in 1985. To fulfill these duties bro. Kimbizi enrolled in the Interdenominational Theological Center in 1987 and earned a Master’s of Divinity degree with a focus on “Liberation Theology” and Education. In 1995, he was part of a small leadership team of metropolitan ministers who facilitated the creation of Atlantans Building Leadership for Empowerment (A.B.L.E.) The goal of ABLE was to build affordable low-income housing, provide ‘after-school’ programming for at-risk Atlanta children and create a mechanism for community policing. From 1995-2008, Bro. Kimbizi was active with the Shrines of the Black Madonna and First African Church where he taught classes and led seminars. An avid reader of African history and student of Kamitic philosophy, bro. Kimbizi is currently researching the intersection of culture and economics.
Bro. Kimbizi has been married to Zeoria Merritt for 33 years and they are the proud parents of two daughters, Furaha, a magnet student/junior at SWD High School and Naomi, who is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work degree at Clark University
Hekima Ana Kanyama
BOARD MEMBER & ELDER ADVISOR
Husband, father and grandfather: He has been married to a wonderful Sister, Tamu Sana Kanyama, for over 45 years. Together, they have created a legacy of work and dedication to community. They have three daughters and six beautiful grandchildren.
Hekima is a product of the student sit-in movement of the mid late 50’s and early 60’s, and the Black Power/Black Nationalist movement of the 60’s and 70’s.
Hekima was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1966 he received a B.S. degree from North Carolina Central University located in Durham, N.C. He was later admitted to the School of Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Hekima has dedicated 50+ years of his life to the liberation of African People. He began his journey in the early-sixties as a part of the student sit-in movement in the South. Even as a youth he saw a need for change. While in graduate school he was drafted to serve in the U.S. war in Vietnam. Facing imprisonment and ridicule, Hekima stood his ground, and refused to fight in a war he felt was unjust. With help from the community he was able to claim conscientious objector status and avert federal prison time.
After college, Hekima became even more involved in the struggles of our people. During the late 60’s he embraced Black Nationalism and became a citizen and leader in the PG-RNA. He was later elected to serve as its’ 1st Vice President.
In 1971, as a target of the FBI led Cointelpro, Hekima and others were attacked and forced to defend themselves in a deadly shootout with police in Jackson, Mississippi. These brothers and sisters became known as the RNA-11. Due to a technicality, Hekima was able to obtain release from US imprisonment after nine years.
Starting in about 1974, Hekima (while still in prison) began to write on a new approach for Black Empowerment. In 1980 (after release) he started to organize based on this new thinking. He tested the plan for one year in Milwaukee. After moving to Atlanta in 1981, Hekima continued to test his plan, but met with little success until 2003 with the founding of the African Community Centers for Unity and Self-Determination, Inc. Other Brothers and Sisters have joined with him, his wife and family to put in place a permanent (intergenerational) system to naturally aid us in building power to control the economic, political and cultural life of our community. This permanent system is called “Functional Unity”.
In 2011, Hekima and others formed a think-tank that gave birth to Us Lifting Us Economic Development Cooperative LLC (ULU). This global business organization seeks to build, maintain and pass to future generations institutions and systems that give us the capacity to gain economic control of our communities and nations.
Hekima believes that with Functional Unity, Africa will be redeemed. He believes that with the growth and maturity of the system of Functional Unity and Ujamaa (Family-Centered Economics), we will have the proper tool to forever throw off the yokes of domination and exploitation by others and establish ourselves as a servant of none but ourselves and The Most High.
Born In Suffolk Va, Married, Father and Grandfather.
In The Late 60’s Bro Thurman Had A Life Changing and Life Saving Re-Awakening Back To Black Culture.
He Worked Many Years As A Journeyman Sheet Metal Mechanic. Bro Thurman Has Owned A Few Businesses and Was A Founding Member Of O.M.U. An All Black Investment Group That Had 300+ Members Who Pooled Their Resources To Buy and Sell Real Estate and Build New Houses, All Built From The Ground By Up Black Men. Creatively Bro Thurman is A Wood Carver, Practices Energy Work/Healing Touch, and Drumming.
He Keeps His Focus On African Spirituality, Culture, History, and Natural Health.
When a gentle breeze kisses your face think of Sistah Q. For like the wind, she is always on the move.
You don’t see her coming and you don’t see her leave. You do, however, feel her presence.
Qaraandin is clear that whatever healing is necessary within our community lies within the community,
not within a ballot box, an executive order, or a referendum. She has spent most of her life working to
help the community bring its healing forward.
Sistah Q sees Us Lifting Us as an important medium for our community healing.
- Born in Dakar Senegal in 1982
- Raised in France where I arrived at the age of 3 years old
- Studied Law in France, Spain and Canada and got a Master Degree
- Ability to speak various languages
- From 2011, living and working in Ireland as a Credit Analyst - Risk assessor
- Have relatives spread across the United States (Houston, Atlanta, Baltimore, and New York)
- Have always been passionate about African culture and about developing African connections across the Diaspora
Gail Elaine McGee
Gail Elaine McGee, Teacher, born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. Mother of five (now adult) children has lived in five states throughout her lifetime, which have all contributed, to her diverse background.
Foremost by referencing my natural and spiritual leadership role as a parent, I am also the Director of the Missions Outreach Team, for a great humanitarian ministry, Great Hebrew Awakening, whose mission is to awaken African Americans and other Bantus scattered around the world by rediscovering their ancient identity. I am currently serving on two boards for this ministry.
Contributing over 20+ years of experience, serving in various areas of “customer service” in the workforce, I carry, and can provide insight on problem solving, practical resolutions, keenness to detail, and addition to adding “seer prophetic eyes” to contribute this asset to ULU in giving excellent rapport, aiding. connecting our people relational, as well as being effective in partnering with various groups and organizations who share the same vision and mindset with ULU, to bring about the means, and results needed to carry us all forward.