The Pan-African Family Empowerment & Land Preservation Network, Inc."Connecting & Empowering All Branches of Our African Family Tree"

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PAFEN helps keep family-owned land from being lost

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Land ownership prevents homelessness

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Land ownership breaks the cycle of generational poverty

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Land ownership protects African land-based cultures like Gullah-Geechee (photo credit: Pete Marovich)

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    PAFEN networks with organizations that promote Pan-African study and unity such as Savannah State University's Center for the Study of the African Diaspora (CSAD).

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    Dr. Henry Elonge of Cameroon explains and leads the opening libation ceremony for the Inaugural Conference of Savannah State University Center for the Study of the African Diaspora

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    These Panel I and Panel II Presenters at the 2017 CSAD Conference reflect the diversity of the global Pan-African Family. They hail from the Dominican Republic, the U.S., Cameroon, the Belgian Congo, Somalia, and Nigeria.

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Our information booth at historic Penn Center's Heritage Days Celebration November 2015


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Award-winning photojournalist Pete Marovich's candid photo of Eddie Grant in his mother's collard green garden on Hilton Head Island clearly illustrates the culture clash between the Gullah Native Islanders, and some of their new neighbors transplanted from around the globe.

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100+ Women Who Care Hilton Head Island

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The Pan-African Family Empowerment & Land Preservation Network, Inc.'s mission is both simple and complex in its scope. Our main goal is to simply empower people of African descent with the educational and organizational tools, and the financial resources necessary to protect their ancestral homes and family-owned land from being lost through delinquent tax sales; dishonest land surveys; encroachment by developers and neighboring landowners; forced sales of heirs property; forged deeds; and the unfair use of tax collection laws, etc. By doing so, we'll also help to empower them to avoid becoming homeless, or displaced from their property by gentrification, development of new communities, and skyrocketing property taxes.

With control over the roofs above their heads and the land under their feet, they'll be in a more stable position to concentrate on complex key quality of life issues, including enhanced educational, employment, and economic development opportunities that will break the cycle of generational poverty, and learned dependence on charity, public assistance and foreign aid.

As our organization grows and evolves, we’ll network with other organizations that share our goals and vision, and create a durable funding source for our programs. Please visit our GoFundMe page for more information about how you can help eliminate the loss of GullahGeechee ancestral land.

    • ABOUT
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      Theresa White
      PAFEN Founder ~ Chair & CEO

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      The Late Dr. Ja A. Jahannes
      PAFEN's First International Vice Chair


      Among other things, the Pan-African Family Empowerment & Land Preservation Network, Inc. is a non-profit organization that advocates for the preservation of homes and land historically owned by the culturally-unique Gullah and Geechee peoples of the United States of America.

      Our initial target area is defined by the U.S. Parks Service’s Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which stretches from Wilmington, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida. But as our resources grow, so will our outreach to other areas in need of assistance.

      Our organization was founded in 2013 by former journalist and congressional aide Theresa White, with a two-fold purpose: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the historic 1963 March on Washington, and commemorating the dynamic May 1992 North American Pan-African Congress held in Savannah, Georgia. The North American Pan-African Congress was convened just blocks away from where untold thousands of captured Africans were herded from slave ships docked on the Savannah River–then sold to the biggest bidder beneath the elegant iron balconies of Factor’s Walk.

      Today the site of that open air cotton and slave market is adjacent to the historic port city’s internationally-famous River Street tourist attractions, and a monument behind Savannah’s City Hall depicting formerly enslaved Africans emerging from their chains.

      Rev. Dr. Ja A. Jahannes, who convened the 1992 North American Pan-African Congress in Savannah as Chairman of the Pan-African Movement USA, was the first International Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Pan-African Family Empowerment & Land Preservation Network, Inc.

      Between March 5, 2015 and October 7,2015, we leveraged just $12,796.00 in donations to help save more than $1.1-million worth of Gullah Geechee owned homes, and land--through both financial and technical assistance. We also helped to block the sale of the largest tract of undeveloped Gullah Geechee-owned property on Hilton
      Head Island, SC for far less than its actual market value. The Heirs of Dennis and Emma Allen property was on the market for $18-million.

      In addition, in early 2016, we collected more than 10 boxes of donations to send to ebola weary Liberia, West Africa, in support of the "SENDING HUMANITARIAN EDUCATION ABROAD" project initiated by international
      students at historic Savannah State University, in Savannah,GA.

      And our president & CEO Theresa White promoted the still much talked about "MOTHER EMANUEL NINE ANNUAL MEMORIAL SERVICE," which was held at Grace Chapel A.M.E. Church in Beaufort, SC on June 16, 2016. The free public event was held a day ahead of the actual one-year anniversary of the shocking, bloody massacre of 9 bible study attendees at charleston's mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church. Every major media outlet that reaches Beaufort, SC covered the event.

      Although the PAFEN is located in the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, our reach is global through our board of directors, advisers, honorary board members, and general members who hail from across the
      U.S., Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, Africa, and the rest of the far-flung African Diaspora.

      We make every effort to connect with and empower all known branches of our African family tree.

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      Because African culture is land-based, our vision is also global.

      And as a Pan-African-oriented organization, we would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that both the treatment, and fates of African peoples are inseparable from building a free, strong, united, and financially secure Africa.

      But those goals will be most easily achieved through collective, strategic customized programs embraced by local communities in Africa, the United States, and the entire African Diaspora.
      These are the top seven elements of our global vision:

      1. We envision African communities with strong, healthy, happy families in their own homes–with multiple generations–living and working together for the highest and best good of their blood relatives, extended family, and the larger community.

      2. We envision communities in which our children will be well-educated; well-behaved; respectful of each other and their elders; embrace their rich, diverse African culture; and grateful to our Creator for the love, wisdom, and support of the ancestors on whose shoulders we all stand.

      3. Key to our vision is working to create a close-knit, global African community of interest designed to uplift, protect, and ensure the continued survival of our people through networking to forge durable international partnerships, collaborations, internships, scholar and worker exchange programs, and international trade opportunities for both present and future generations.

      4. We envision the use of targeted, multi-media, online programming to help reclaim, re-educate, and build high self-esteem in our young people, while teaching them their proper roles within our families, communities, and the world at large.

      A major part of that programming will emphasize the importance of marriage before having children.
      Also spotlighted will be the value of Black fathers; the long overdue necessity of returning Black women and Black motherhood to the pedestal they deserve; and conflict resolution without violence.

      5. We envision safe communities where our children can grow, thrive, and prosper–free of racial and social discrimination; police brutality and racial profiling; sexual and other harassment; and sudden death through violent means–especially Black on Black gun violence, gang and drug related murders, unjustified law enforcement killings, ethnic cleansing, and civil and tribal wars.

      6. The global daily use of the Nguzo Saba or the Seven Principles of the Pan-African family/cultural celebration Kwanzaa, which was created by noted Pan-African scholar and educator Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966. Kwanzaa means “first fruits” in the East African trade language Kiswahili. It’s celebrated by more than 20-million people of African descent annually from Dec. 26th to Jan. 1st.

      Those ancient African principles for daily living are based on African harvest celebrations: Umoja (Unity); Kujichagulia (Self-determination); Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility); Ujamaa (Collective Economics); Nia (Purpose); Kuumba (Creativity); and Imani (Faith).

      7. And finally, we envision the long-hoped for rebuilding of Africa, and the harnessing of its vast natural resources to create wealth–and a secure homeland–for its own peoples at home, and throughout the African Diaspora.
      We also look forward to the end of negative relationships caused by the aftermath of both brutal, dehumanizing slavery, and the crippling former colonization of Africa.

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