History of the BPAF

Our organization’s mission emphasizes connecting African peoples with each other, and with their friends and allies. Come and participate in our programs to help build an understanding of  why, and  how, and with whom we all can connect, for our common good.

History of the Boston Pan-Africa Forum — some highlights

  1. Our team of members and leaders has been long lasting – starting out as “The Boston Support Group for TransAfrica,” in the late 1970s, to the formal transformation to the BPAF in 1997, until now.
  2. Our most significant accomplishments include:
  • Organizing the first formal gathering of the African Americans who had served the US as Foreign Ambassador. This led to their own first organization of their members.
  • Organizing the “Free South Africa Movement” in the Boston area, in collaboration especially with “The Fund for a Free South Africa.” As part of the TransAfrica led national program, we are credited with leading the American “Anti-Apartheid Movement” to victory in the mid 1980s. In the Boston area we led the successful movement to ban the sale in the U.S. of the SouthAfrican “Kruger-rand” gold coin.
  • Helping to organize and host the first visit to Boston of the then recently-released-from-prison Mr. Nelson Mandela. TransAfrica organized the national visit of Mr. Mandela.
  • As the inaugural event for the BPAF Inc. itself, hosting a reception in Boston, at the Museum of the National Center for Afro-American Artists, of the then recently-elected U.N. Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan.
  • Organizing the NewEngland Regional planning conference for “the National Summit on African,” and sending a delegation to that conference in 2000, that produced a Policy Plan of Action (cf. www.africasummit.org for the policy plan)
  • Hosting numerous forums and receptions concerned with issues, leaders, and events throughout the African continent, and the African world-wide diaspora. Guest speakers have ranged from former heads-of-state, to civic and political leaders, and leading academics and writers.

JOIN the BPAF – see main-page sidebar for membership form


mailing address:
Boston Pan-African Forum
c/o Joyce Hope Scott
P. O. Box 55
Newton, MA 02464


Additional action Links:

scroll down this page for on-going and other past activities, including the U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan interview on AIDS.

Past and On-going Programs


PROGRAMS of 2011


Dec 3 2011 film and guest appearance
Dec 4 10:45am service at St. Paul AME Church, Cambridge

Click here– here for detailed information regarding the DEC 3 program for featuring the exceptionally inspiring speaker Mr. T. JACKSON KAGURI

Our Dec 3 program was also co-sponsored by the NYAKA AIDS ORPHANS SCHOOL PROJECT.
See their video (preceded by a sponsor’s short commercial advertisement) click here

Dec 4 10:45am service at St. Paul’s AME Church, Rev. Marcellus A. Norris, Pastor
37 Bishop Allen Drive (at Columbia St), Central Square Cambridge MA was co-sponsored by the St. Paul A.M.E. African Cultural Society. The guest speaker was also Mr. T. Jackson Kaguri. The “Love Offerings” of both the morning services benefited the Nyaka AIDS Orphans School Project.


OCTOBER 29, 2011  Democracy in Dakar: A Forum on Politics in Senegal

Saturday, October 29, 2011 11:00 – 2:00
Suffolk University
Donahue Building, room 331

Featuring Documentary Film Democracy in Dakar and discussion on The Future of Democracy in Senegal. The Reception was held at Donahue Building, room 430 and sponsored by The Suffolk University Black Studies Program, Collection of African
American Literature, and African Students Association.


Place: Wheatley Hall, 1st Floor Muriel S. Snowden Auditorium (0088)

Date: Friday, October 28, 2011
Presentation: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Reception: 5:00pm – 8:00pm

Co-Sponsors: University of Massachusetts Boston Office of Student Affairs,The Boston Pan-African Forum, Africana Studies, Center for African, Caribbean and Community Development, Black Student Center, African Students Union


APRIL 2, 2011

Film Screening: A Panther in Africa, in collaboration with the African Cultural Society of St. Paul AME Church, Cambridge and with support from Boston University African Studies Center Outreach Program.

Presented the film A Panther in Africa with guest speaker and former Black Panther Mama Charlotte. Pete O’Neal, Black Panther in Kansas City, was arrested on October 30, 1969 for transporting a gun across state lines. A year later, O’Neal with his wife, Charlotte Hill O’Neal, aka Mama C, fled the United States and eventually settled in Tanzania, where he still lives in exile.

Charlotte Hill O’Neal and Pete O’Neal are the subjects of the award winning PBS documentary about the lives and activism of the former Black Panthers. They founded the United African American Community Center (UAACC), a non-profit NGO in Arusha, Tanzania with a mission to provide programs and projects for the enrichment of the Arusha community, both urban and rural, and to promote closer cultural ties to communities in America and around the world. Mama C
is an artist, poet, musician, community activist, and co-director of the UAACC.

She states, “As a member of the Black Panther Party, I was taught the importance of building international solidarity among all people while honoring my Ancestral roots. That philosophy has never changed. Many of my poems and songs reflect this burning desire and mission to spread peace, love and unity through my art.”

The Black Panther Party rose to power in the late 60’s to uphold self determination and collective vision offering programs such as the Free Breakfast for Children and Free Health Clinics. Pete and Charlotte are proud to have been a part of that historic chapter of American history. “Our present day community outreach service continues to be informed by our time as Black Panthers,’” Pete acknowledges. “Our work is truly a continuation of the work we did
as members of the Black Panther Party!”


February 26, 2011
Cote d’Ivoire: Strengthening of Democracy

Suffolk University School of Business

Co-sponsored with Network Afrique

Dr. Joyce Hope Scott, President of the Boston Pan African Forum (BPAF)
Dovi Abbey, Founder of SOMPATT, Treasurer BPAF
Norbert Prevaut, Writer and Lecturer
Dr. Hyacinth Ntchobo
Dr. Konan Martin
Dr. Emile Tabea

On November 28 2010, Cote d’Ivoire held its Presidential election (the second round) –somehow, in a peaceful atmosphere. As of today, Cote d’Ivoire is the only country in the world to have two competing Presidents and two competing governments. We will explore how this country, which was once known for its peace and cocoa wealth, got to this point of confusion creating division of
opinion within and between the Ivoirian, the African, and the International communities. The country is on the verge of a civil war, and once again, mediation after mediation sessions are being held to attempt to resolve the issue. The peace and welfare of the population should be the priority of every one, but there can not be peace and welfare without political stability.


October 23, 2010 SOMPATT FORUM on African Institutions of Higher Education,
held at Boston University, with the co-sponsorship of the BU African Studies
Center. For the flyer announcing this event click here and for a list of the speakers click


July 28, 2009 — Our partner, The African Society of the National Summit on Africa, held a WEB EVENT on July 28th, 2009  from 2-4pm EST

Participants could take a virtual expedition to Africa and join fellow teachers and students in a one-of-a-kind live web event! Explore the Republic of Benin, one of the most diverse areas of West Africa, with special guest His Excellency Cyrille Segbe Oguin, Ambassador to the U.S. from Benin, who will bring the diversity of the country, its people and cultures to life in an open, interactive discussion. Learn about changes taking place within Benin as the country embraces the modern challenges of democracy while honoring its heritage.

This event was sponsored by USAID, The Discovery Channel’s Global Education Partnership, The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa and Discovery Education This unique online and in-person event was an extension of the ExploreAfricaToday.com initiative, featuring the AfricaToday documentary series, both of which are part of the USAID-funded Teach Africa™ program.

Teach Africa™ showcases the culture and history of Africa and underscores the importance of its inclusion in American curricula. One-day Africa immersion forums for more than 3,300 students were held in Atlanta, Ga., Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, Calif., during the past three months alone. Teach Africa™ has previously been implemented in Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Penn., San Francisco, Calif., and Portland, Ore.

The 2009 BPAF Annual meeting as held July 9th  7- 9:30pm at MIT.

It featured a shared reading of the famous 1852 speech by Frederick Douglass “What,
to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?” The Massachusetts Humanities Council featured this speech in its programs for 2009. For copies of the speech and guidelines for making good educational use of it click here.

The participants also discussed possible BPAF programs for the coming year, heard reports on programs of the past year, discussed other topics of interest to the participants, and tallied and announced the results of our election of the Board of Directors. The newly elected Board is to elect the Officers for the coming year.

May 12, 2009
Somalia: A Crossroad?

A FORUM FEATURING Abdul Kadir Hussein, Founder & CEO, African Community Education Development of New England – Paul Camacho, Associate Director, Joiner Center, UMass Boston; – Hodman Osman, Graduate Student, UMass Boston; – Abdi Jama, President, Massachusetts Association of Somali Students; – Amani El Jack, Assistant Professor, Women’s Studies, UMass Boston —- Location: UMass Boston, Ryan Lounge, McCormack Hall.

THIS EVENT WAS CO-SPONSORED BY The William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture, The Department of Africana Studies, and The William Joiner Center for the Study of War and Social Consequences OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AT BOSTON





The AIDS pandemic is widely recognized as the most serious human health crisis in history. Ultimately, it threatens everyone, everywhere. However, its worst effects are now concentrated among the world’s poorest and most politically destabilized peoples. We believe that there is a reason for this – that the global system works to allocate misery just as it does wealth and privilege. Just as “money goes to where money is,” so misery goes to where misery is. We must work to break this cycle.

One small but significant thing we can do is help to save the next generation! And we can attempt to understand the challenge of AIDS within the context of understanding the challenges of globalization. That is why we have joined our project to the nation-wide “Campaign to End Global Apartheid and Secure Africa’s Right to Health” that has been organized by Africa Action Inc.

Watch our website for future programs of this project. You may continue to contribute to this on-going effort, by sending your contribution to our postal box, earmarked for the “Adopt an Orphanage” project.  Click Here for more Information

 We call your attention to a moving BBC interview with U.N. Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan,on the subject of HIV/AIDS, which  aired November 28, 2003 Click here for plain text of Kofi Annan interview For a audio/visual clip of  the interview BBC News URL you must have Real Player on your computer (which you can download free from the internet if you do not already have it.)

Former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia

Former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia



In the context  of an often pernicious and imbalanced GLOBALIZATION,  the emeregence of a NEW IMPERIALISM from  “uberpower” arrogance, the ravages of the AIDS pandemic, and the crushing burdens of an unfair financial DEBT, and ECONOMIC and POLITICAL ISOLATION, this  is even more necessary today.

African peoples around the world confront  many challenges often not of their own making, and sometimes because of their own mistakes and isolation.

This must stop. The answer is not more isolation into a new apartheid. The answer is for African peoples and their friends and allies to collect their wits, combine their strengths, and defend their common interests.

How is this to be done? Africans around the world must meet the challenges that confront them in the areas of: stopping the genocidal slaughter going on in the Darfur region of Sudan; arresting the spread and combating the ravages of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; in overcoming technological, economic and political isolation; in ending the burden of debt; in achieving sustainable development; in protecting the cultural strength of Africa’s peoples around the world. Our programs aim to further the achievement of these goals.



The Boston Pan-African Forum is a local program partner with AFRICA ACTION of Washington D.C. click here for their ACTION ALERT regarding (March 04) BUSH funding proposals for fighting
AIDS in Africa. For other action alerts and information on their programs, click here

BPAF was also the delegate organization for Massachusetts activities to promote the
implementation of the National Plan of Action adopted at the National Summit on Africa in Washington, DC, in February 2000.

The plan emphasizes 5 themes:

  • Economic Development
  • Education and Culture
  • Environment & Quality of Life
  • Democracy & Human Rights; and Peace & Security.

Visit the website at  Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa

TransAfrica Forum: for information regarding current programs, click here



Elizabeth A. Sarkodie-Mensah, Ghana Association of Greater Boston
Joyce Hope Scott, Professor, Wheelock College
Moderator: Willard R. Johnson, Professor Emeritus, M.I.T.

— PIANO CRAFT GALLERY, 791 Tremont Ave.
For a summary of the discussion click here

For information on a conference held in Ghana in August, 2007, about the history of various governmental efforts to end the Atlantic Slave Trade click here!

In 2006 we co-sponsored with the Harvard Law School Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice a symposium on the challenges facing New Orleans inhabitants displaced by the Katrina disaster. With the SOMPATT organization, and the MIT Department of Political Science, we co-sponsored the first grand, week long SOMPATT African Diaspora Cultural Festival performance and fair. This will be a recurrent program.


In 2005 we organized a meeting of Boston area African and Caribbean organizations to foster communication and collaboration. We co-sponsored a Jamaica Hurricane Relief program and fund-raising concert

With the Cambridge Multicultural Center and the Boston Arts Academy we co–sponsored a major program featuring a gala dinner with Hugh Masekela and the South African Ambassador to the U.S., as well as master classes by Masekela at the Arts Academy..

With the Africana Studies Program at the Univ. of Mass. Boston, we co-sponsored a conference on “Haitian Development and Public Policy: The Next Decade.”


With the Northeastern Univ. AAMARP Center, we co-sponsored a day-long sumposium
“Immigration and the African Diaspora.”

With the U.Mass. Boston, we co-sponsored the annual M.L.King/ Amilcar Cabral Conference held on M.L. King Jr.Day.

In 2004 we co-sponsored an exhibit of contemporary South African art, titled “A Decade of Democracy: Witnessing South Africa” at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists 300 Walnut Street, Roxbury, MA



The first program was held September 15, 2003, and was co-sponsored by The MIT AFRICAN STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION. It featured presentations by Dr. Pearl Robinson of Tufts University, Mr. Reggie Jackson of Simmons College, and Mr. Michael Ofori of the Ghanaian Association of Greater Boston.

The second program in this series was held October 1st and featured three speakers brought directly from the African continent by Africa Action as part  of its END GLOBAL APARTHEID CAMPAIGN. The speakers were Pholokgolo Ramothwalahabo from the South African Treatment Action Campaign; Limota Goroso Giwa from the Nigerian Baobab for Women’s Human Rights organization, and Demba Dembele (Senegalese) from the continent-wide Forum for African Alternatives.

The 2003 program in the PROJECT ADOPT series was: :”ENDING GLOBAL APARTHEID”
— which featured the film “A CLOSER WALK,”

It was held on World AIDS Day, Dec. 1st, and was co-sponsored by The MIT AFRICAN STUDENTS’ ASSOCIATION and AFRICA ACTION Inc.


A SPECIAL EVENT was held  Oct 3, 2003 — “Fighting for My Life” Paintings of Ndume (Erskine Johnson)  Tennessee Death Row Inmate click here for more information on the Ndume program and ways to contribute

We co-sponsored the King-Cabral Conference at UMass Boston on Martin Luther
King Jr. Day The Boston Pan African FORUM 2002 benefit, “Project Adopt an African Aids Orphanage” Click Here for more Information

In November 2002:

The Boston Pan-African Forum and Roxbury Community College Student Government Association Presented: Former President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia at the Roxbury Community College Media Arts Building.


The Boston Pan African Forum supported The August 17th 2002 Mobilization March On Washington in support for reparations.

In April, 2002, in association with The Discovery Channel and  The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, the BPAF conducted a special preview of the film; THE REAL EVE For a chart of the likely route of mankinds migration out of Africa to provide the base population for all humans alive today, anywhere in the world, click here

In late 1999, the BPAF served as the organizing coordinator for the New England Regional Confererence in preparation for the National Summit on Africa that was held in Washington, DC, in February 2000. The regional conferences, and the National Summit prepared, and adopted, a Plan of Action that emphasized 5 themes: Economic Development; Education and Culture; Environment & Quality of Life; Democracy & Human Rights; and Peace & Security. As indicated
above, you can get a copy of the Plan by visiting the website  for the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa website.


Previous BPAF activities have also included:

Sponsoring a benefit for African AIDS orphanages during World AIDS Day; hosting a reception with Tuft’s University’s Curriculum Co-Develop Project for visiting faculty and staff from Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania; organizing a memorial for the late former President of Tanzania, Julius Nyerere; co-sponsoring a reception for U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, Rev. Charles Stith; co-sponsoring U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Susan Rice, and co-sponsoring a film series with the Boston Museum of Fine Artts; and sponsored a reception for the U.N. Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, Museum of the National  Center of Afro-American Artists in the heart of Boston’s black community.