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 gofundme.com/panafricanfamilyem 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.
PAFEN Founder ~ Chair & CEO
The Late Dr. Ja A. Jahannes
PAFEN's First International Vice Chair