We welcome our newest board members who will be traveling with us on a program oversight trip this December. They will assess the current state of the project, as well as identify additional opportunities for expansion.
She comes to the board as a community activist with a wealth of experience. Annette grew up in the home of a prominent civil rights attorney during the era just prior to the ascendancy of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From a teenager she traveled with and worked with her father who was arguing on behalf of issues affecting disenfranchised people, specifically around segregation and civil rights. Her father was the successful lead attorney in the Sarah Keys’ case that set a precedent for bus boycott activities throughout the south.
The Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company, was a landmark civil right case in which the Interstate Commerce Commission, in response to a bus segregation complaint filed in 1953 by Sarah who was a Women’s Army Corps (WAC) Private, in which it broke with its historic adherence to the Plessy v. Ferguson doctrine which enforced segregation by race in the use of transportation and associated facilities.
Annette’s family background, and the influence the rising civil rights movement led her to community activism, and in 1963 when she moved to Florida with husband, an officer with the Air Force, she was also involved in efforts to desegregate off-base facilities for use by all members of the Air Force without regard to race.
In 1967, they moved to Columbus, where her husband was accepted into the Ohio State University to pursue a doctoral program in math and physics. In their to efforts to purchase they were confronted ‘restricted covenants’ and denied purchase. She worked lobbied the National Board of Realtor of Ohio, and State and Local entities and finally approved for purchase of a home in a previously segregated white community.
At this point, during the height of the civil rights movement, she became involved in developing curriculum for the Umoja Sasa Harambe Pan-African School, which was founded by her, her husband, and other community activist with the mission of enriching educational opportunities for urban black families.
In 1971 she relocated with her family to Ile Ife, Nigeria. It was there that she had the opportunity to serve as a delegate to the 1st International Pan-African Women’s Conference, where she served on committees for the development of the entire conference program. Subsequently, her family moved to Tanzania where she taught English as a Second Language (ESL) and Business Development to the University of Dar es Salaam to the Administrative and Clerical Staff.
In 1979 she became the County Desk Officer for East Africa representing Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Seychelles Islands. Responsibilities also called for oversight of countries located on the Horn of Africa. In 1985, she again returned to Columbus, Ohio as a educator and social activist to work with women who were paroled to the RAAH Women’s Center to complete a program rebuilding their lives and having their children returned to them. During this time and with this work she was licensed and ordained.