News and Announcements, Projects /

African Doula Training

Fourteen African women from North St Louis were trained as doulas by the African People’s Education and Defense Fund at the end of July 2022. This was a first for this Northside neighborhood which is 97% African and where the conditions of birth are so serious that the number of babies that don’t survive the first year of life would fill 15 kindergarten classrooms.

The training was led by Bianca Nash-Miot and Akhmiri Sekhr-Ra, doula trainers from the Commonsense Childbirth Institute. Each new doula will participate in five births each in order to receive their certification.
The new doulas are also receiving business training from APEDF President Ona Zene Yeshitela and Uhuru Movement members Dr. Aisha Fields, Director of the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project, Yejide Orunmila from African National Women’s Organization and Director Akile Anai.
News and Announcements, Projects /

African Doula Project Students sponsored by APEDF and The Black Power Blueprint

Here are African People’s Education and Defense Fund’s newest African Doula Project students taking their class photos! These women along with 13 other students will be offering free doula services to 100 families who are planning to get pregnant or who are already pregnant.

These African Doula Project students attended an informational meeting at Akwaaba Hall on May 31st. The doula students signed commitment forms to do online pre-training in June and July, and will be back at Akwaaba Hall for the in person training July 29-31.  

These students will be changing health for black mothers and babies throughout North St. Louis, one birth at a time. 

If you want to be part of this amazing project CALL 314-334-2070 or email


Volunteers Dree Nicole Smith and Starya Pope, two of our new African Doula Project students, get emotional about their new role to serve African women and babies as Doulas in North St.Louis. APEDF and The Black Power Blueprint will save our black women and children. We Will touch One and Touch all.AFRICANDOULAPROJECT@BLACKPOWERBLUEPRINT.ORG OR CALL 314-334-2070

News and Announcements, Projects /

African Doula Project Orientations Held to Register New Doula Students

Orientation sessions on March 22 and March 26, 2022 were held in Akwaaba Hall at the St. Louis Uhuru House for students to register for the African Doula Project, one of the newest projects of APEDF and the Black Power Blueprint to improve infant and maternal health in the African community.
APEDF Board President Ona Zene Yeshitela and Zondlile Mpiko, Doula Project  Coordinator presented informational videos on the work and challenges of a doula. Participants had a chance to ask questions and discuss the issues before registering for the Doula and Business Training sessions coming up in April and June of 2022.
4-Plex Apartment on College Ave, Projects /

Volunteers assemble beds, install blinds and more

The Black Power Blueprint’s African Independence Workforce Program is on the move, cleaning, decorating and putting the finishing touches on the formerly abandoned 4-Plex apartments on College and W. Florissant Ave. in North St. Louis.

Thank you to all the volunteers who recently came out to the work days in March to put together beds, install blinds and so much more!

In April, Uhuru Furniture in Philadelphia will drive to St. Louis with a truck load of furnishings for the apartments. They will bring beautiful African pillows, coffee tables, dining room sets, desks and more. We can’t wait for you to see the finished look!

Job Opportunities, News and Announcements, Projects /

African Doula Project seeks Program Coordinator

The African People’s Education and Defense Fund (APEDF) is hiring a Program Coordinator for our African Doula Project.

Coordinate a six-month doula training program in St Louis, Missouri to improve infant and maternal health in the African community. Ensure recruitment and success of 20 students, following an established work plan and timeline for grant goals and objectives.

Oversees project and partner relationships, responsible for promotions and marketing, meeting grant requirements, assists with reports and project evaluation, supervises volunteer staff.

A full job description can be found below.

This position would ideally start in early February. This is a six-month / short-term grant-funded position. It is a part-time hourly position at $20 an hour for 25 hours per week.

Applicants must be able to work from the APEDF office in north St. Louis and travel locally for networking, as this is not a remote position.

To apply, please email or call 314-334-2070.

Job Description


The APEDF Doula Project Program Coordinator, under the supervision of the African Doula Steering Committee in St. Louis, MO. Oversees project and partner relationships, responsible for meeting grant requirements, assists with reports and project evaluation, supervises volunteer staff. Reports to APEDF Board President and Doula Project steering committee.

Essential Functions:

(Essential functions, as defined, may include the following tasks, knowledge, skills and other characteristics. This list of tasks is ILLUSTRATIVE ONLY, and is not a comprehensive listing of all functions and tasks performed by positions in this class.)


Coordinate a six month doula training program in St Louis, MO to improve infant and maternal health in the African community. Ensure recruitment and success of 20 students, following established work plan and timeline from APEDF for grant goals and objectives.

  • Promote doula training project through community outreach, social media, print media, HTML email announcements, website, blog, signs and other marketing methods that result in recruiting African women to participate in African Doula Project.
  • Implement promotions and marketing plan. Promote program through monthly online and printed calendar, media, internet postings, social media, regular HTML email announcements, website, blog, signs, community outreach and other marketing methods. Assist in designing and distributing promotional literature.
  • Network with community members, organizations, hospitals, nurses, CNA workers, schools, teachers, the healthcare industry, local businesses and others to participate in identifying African women who want training to become a Doula.
  • Create and manage orientation meetings with speakers, calendar and materials to introduce interested participants to the program.
  • Respond to all inquiries regarding signing up for Doula training. Conduct pre-screenings with interested applicants and coordinate with Jamaa Village Doula training coordinator to confirm accepted participants, forward financial scholarship information and other needed information.
  • Create and manage a database of all contacts and donors that inquire about the African Doula Project, and of all accepted doula trainees to record progress to certification completion.
  • Maintain necessary records to meet grant reporting requirements including communicating with Jamaa Village Doula training coordinator to get the statistics needed for reports to the African Doula Project grant funder. Assist with completing final reports to funders.
  • Recruit and supervise 10-20 volunteers to participate in community outreach, event coordination and project evaluation. Work with doula certification candidates to participate in community outreach for education and clients.
  • Coordinate and manage business development training for doula trainees with speakers and materials from APEDF.
  • Conduct clerical duties like answering phones, handling emails, managing print materials, scheduling events, preparing regular reports, organizing files.
  • Maintain all promotional photo storage of events, training and portfolio album. Ensure all events are photographed for promotional use.
  • Attend all meetings of the steering committee of the African Doula Project and present reports on project progress weekly.

Knowledge, Skills, and Other Characteristics:

Agreement with the mission statement and policies of APEDF. Passionate about social justice, economic development and improving the health and well-being of the African community.

Skill in oral communication and effective interpersonal relationships in one-on-one and group situations. Knowledge of the principles and concepts of customer service. Skill in written communications. Skill in supervising and developing volunteers. Knowledge of telephone operations and call handling procedures. Knowledge of social media, blogs, google docs, flickr photo storage and other online promotional tools.

Physical Requirements:

Work may involve light to moderate lifting.


Requires an Associates Degree or Higher or the equivalent work experience, a valid driver’s license.

Experience with developing and implementing project work plans and multiple timelines, and with managing budgets.

Proficient in Google docs, Google spreadsheets and other software programs to manage project, and excellent writing skills, with strong verbal communication skills and strong leadership skills, self-starting and the ability to multitask and delegate responsibilities.

At least two years related experience in marketing, social networking and sales. Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel. Proficiency in graphic design software and HTML email programs such as Mailerlite is a plus.

4007-09 West Florissant, Projects /

Thank You from APEDF President Ona Zené Yeshitela!

Uhuru everyone! Because of YOU on #GivingTuesday this past week, the Black Power Blueprint exceeded our goal to raise the funds needed to begin construction on the Community Basketball Court in North St. Louis!

Thank you for everything you did to make this happen! Thank you to all of our donors, our volunteers, supporters and everyone who made phone calls, put up posters, flyers, promoted the campaign on social media and contributed in so many other ways. Together we have officially raised over $140,000 for this dynamic program of African self-determination.

Like I said from the beginning, this is about rebuilding our community. All of you are a part of making this happen. This is another victory for the African community. Another victory in our movement for political and economic power in our own hands.

We did it. You did it. We are winning! Uhuru!