Our People

 

MAMYRAH PROSPER

PAN-AFRICAN SOLIDARITY NETWORK ORGANIZER

 

Mamyrah Prosper is an organizer in the United States and Haiti. She received her Ph.D. in Global & Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in Cultural Anthropology as well as graduate certificates in African & African Diaspora Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies from Florida International University. She also holds an M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University as well as a B.A. in Political Science and Africana Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. Her doctoral work centered on a coalition of social movement organizations calling for an end to the ongoing “non-governmental” occupation of Haiti. She is interested in the construction of neocolonial nationalist ideologies and collective identities in relation to race and class, gender and sexuality, education and language, and religion. Prosper has served as an organizer with land and housing rights organizations Take Back the Land-Miami.

KWAME TAYLOR

COOPERATIVE DIRECTOR

 

Kwame Taylor has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a masters degree in supply chain management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His supply chain knowledge has helped build several of our cooperative businesses, including wholesale sea moss with our product “Community Sea Moss”, a produce Buying Group in food deserts across Southwest Atlanta, and an aquaponics system sustainably growing shrimp and heirloom tomatoes for wholesale. All of these cooperatives are meant to source residents, local corner stores, restaurants, farmer markets, and larger retail stores with locally grown and fresh produce, shrimp, and health supplements. These worker-owned cooperative initiatives are a proven method to help stabilize and strengthen a community’s economy. As an organizer with Community Movement Builders, Kwame has led an anti-gentrification petition campaign, collecting over 400 signatures. As part of this campaign, he helped organize a forum with community members discussing the history of gentrification in Atlanta and what residents can do to ensure they are able to stay in their homes. Kwame has also led and organized several anti-police brutality/murder protests and helped start and run a mutual aid program for the SW Atlanta community, providing COVID-19 relief and funds so legacy residents can pay their bills amid gentrification.

JASMINE BURNETT

ORGANIZING DIRECTOR

 

Jasmine is an Atlanta-based organizer, narrative-builder and creative producer. She has led and supported campaigns to abolish the Atlanta Police Department, reallocate city funds from carceral systems into community programs, and enhance local community engagement. Jasmine leverages her experiences as a trained urban planner to develop and amplify anti-gentrification and displacement strategies for a number of Atlanta-based campaigns. With an extensive background in community development, she has also managed and supported affordable housing projects for local organizations; worked with Atlanta Public Schools to design community-centered uses for its portfolio of underutilized properties; and co-created equity-based COVID recovery programs for practitioners across the Southeast. Jasmine is a co-owner and founder of The Spoons Consultancy, a Black women-run and staffed creative consulting cooperative that specializes in design thinking, brand and narrative building, and high-impact activations. Jasmine has a master’s degree in both City and Regional Planning and Public Policy from The Georgia Institute of Technology. She received her B.A. in Government with a secondary in African American Studies from Harvard College.

YAFEUH BALOGUN

DALLAS CHAPTER LEAD ORGANIZER

 

Yafeuh Balogun has always been surrounded by the socially conscious movement through his parents and extended family who were active in the Black Power era. He was taught the value of community by his father’s consistent example of love for his fellow neighbor. Yafeuh has developed many social programs in Dallas including Community Unification Day to detour fratricide, seek unity and to promote a holistic lifestyle and healthy living. He is a co-founder of Guerrilla Mainframe (GMF) and the Huey P. Newton Gun Club. He and his comrade Rakem Balogun were targeted by the FBI for advocating community self-defense. Rakem was arrested by the FBI under the guise of the Black Identity Extremist Label.  Yafeuf started the Balogun Defense Committee which helped in the dropping of all charges against Rakem. Yafeuh is a graduate of El Centro College with a Degree in Applied Science. Yafeuh has been interviewed about his work within the community by some top publications, include: CBS, NBC,  and The New York Times.

YUSEF BUNCHY SHAKUR

DETROIT CHAPTER LEAD ORGANIZER

 

Yusef Bunchy Shakur, is a father, author, educator, community organizer, and entrepreneur. He grew up in a struggling single parent household surrounded by violence and crime and eventually co-founded the notorious street gang “Zone 8”, which led to his incarceration at the age of nineteen for a crime he says he did not commit. He met his father for the first time in prison where they were both serving time. During his sentence he began a journey of transformation, in large part thanks to his father, from a gang member into an revolutionary who would eventually leave prison and continue on a path of redemption. Today Yusef travels the country to speak to youth about his experiences and to steer young people away from a life of violence and crime and to organize for change in the neighborhood of “Zone 8” where members of his family and many friends still live.

MAURICE PERSON

FOOD SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR ​

 

Maurice is an agrarian land steward, aquaponics expert and food sovereignty activist. They created the business Kansas City Aquaponics to bring diverse approaches using DIY methods to obtain knowledge through community building and educational projects. Kansas City Aquaponics creates custom aquaponic installations from models to commercial size, workshops for schools, landscape designs, edible garden planning and traditional soil growing. Maurice also practices holistic tincture making with locally cultivated herbs.

ZAHIR OLADUNNI MOBOLAJI TOURÉ

POLITICAL EDUCATION DIRECTOR

 

Zahir is a political theorist, author of Becoming African: Radical Transformation in the Art of Mageuzi, and a practitioner of the African spiritual system of Ewe Vodu. As the Political Education Coordinator Zahir leads the organization in political education classes teaching critical political and organizing theory. He has also created the Afrikan People’s Holiday list and facilities Afrikan inspired cultural programs in the community. He holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Masters in Public Administration from Clayton State University. 

KAMAU K. FRANKLIN

FOUNDER

 

Kamau Franklin is the founder of Community Movement Builders, Inc. Kamau has been a dedicated community organizer for over thirty years, beginning in New York City and now based in Atlanta. For 18 of those years, Kamau was a leading member of a national grassroots organization dedicated to the ideas of self-determination and the teachings of Malcolm X. He has spearheaded organizing work in various areas including youth organizing and development, police misconduct, and the development of sustainable urban communities. Kamau has coordinated and led community cop-watch programs, liberation/freedom schools for youth, electoral and policy campaigns, large-scale community gardens, organizing collectives and alternatives to incarceration programs. Kamau was an attorney for ten years in New York with his own practice in criminal, civil rights and transactional law. He now lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and two children.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Chandra Farley

Dr. Yolande Tomlinson

Pandora Thomas