Since 2007, Dr. Aisha Fields has served as International Director of the All African People’s Education and Defense Fund (AAPDEP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to “collectivize the vast skills of Africans around the world in order to establish community based development projects that improve the quality of life for African people everywhere while promoting self-reliance and self-determination as key to genuine, sustainable development.”
Under her dynamic leadership, AAPDEP has organized renewable energy, water purification, farming, healthcare and ecological sanitation projects in West and Southern Africa. In Sierra Leone, AAPDEP initiated a clean water project and an infant and maternal health program. The group has organized community gardens in Washington, D.C., Houston, Texas and Huntsville, Alabama.
AAPDEP is currently growing its “Project Black Ankh,” the worldwide African emergency response organization. Initiated during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, Project Black Ankh was also employed to assist Africans trapped in flood waters in Houston during Hurricane Harvey where emergency aid was denied to the black community.
Unlike many non-profit groups and international NGOs, AAPDEP’s work is led “by Africans for Africans.” AAPDEP organizes the highly trained and skilled sector of the African community to use their skills for the development of African communities everywhere.
According to Dr. Fields, “our vision is a united Africa–free of the poverty and misery all too common today. An Africa whose abundant resources, both human and material, are used for the benefit of the masses of African people everywhere.”
“Our work encourages African people to take responsibility for changing our material conditions and for building our collective future–it is not charity. Although charity is the most popular and accepted way of dealing with the objective conditions in Africa, it often demoralizes the African recipients as well as other Africans who witness it.”
Dr. Fields is a physicist with a Ph.D in Applied Optical Physics from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. She left a job with a U.S. defense organization once she recognized the intended use of her work and has since dedicated her skills for the development and empowerment of African people.